The Texas Rangers' shiny new toy has pretty high odds to do something that is elite in baseball, and I think he can do it. Now, it's just about execution and health.
That's the biggest thing too, is health. We know that Jacob deGrom will execute because he always does and he has done it for so long now. But, can he stay healthy?
To start training camp or spring training practice I should say, he got hurt rather quickly. Well, it seemed that way. Levi Weaver of The Athletic reported that he had something going on, and general manager Chris Young ended up sitting him.
That lasted for a total of three days, which to be fair, isn't even the full length of one game to another for a starting pitcher. He is already back at spring training and we haven't heard anything bad since.
When healthy, which he is right now, deGrom is one of the best pitchers in baseball, if not the best pitcher in baseball. He is a Cy Young and is good enough to absolutely shut down opposing teams' offense.
And, he can do that this year for the Rangers, wearing white, blue, and red. Not only can he do that, but he can lead the American League in strikeouts. At least some betting odds think he can. Actually, scratch that, he has odds to lead all of baseball in strikeouts.
According to The Game Day MLB on Twitter, deGrom has the fourth highest odds to lead all of baseball in strikeouts. He is +1100 to do so behind just Max Scherzer, Corbin Burnes, and Gerrit Cole.
deGrom has led the league in strikeouts twice in his career. In 2020 during the covid season, he finished with 104 strikeouts and the year before that he finished with 255, which was the year he won one of his Cy Young awards.
The veteran star pitcher can definitely do it, but I cannot stress this enough - he has to be healthy.