We're coming off of Opening Weekend of the 2024 MLB Season. And baseball fever is at a fever pitch. With the Opening Series of the year in the books, fans got a good first look at their teams and players - leaving them either super optimistic or devastated.

And Texas fans have a lot to be hopeful this (unless you're cheering for the Astros who got swept by the Yankees). Not only do the Rangers look good out the gates as they try to repeat as World Series Champions, but one Texas native looked dominant in his first start of the year. So good, that it's probably not too early to talk about him winning a Cy Young in the not too distant future.

Who Is Grayson Rodriguez?

When Grayson Rodriguez was selected by the Orioles in the 1st round of the 2018 MLB draft out of Central Heights High School in Nacogdoches, TX there were some HIGH expectations for him. He was a first round pick. He had an electric fastball. Everyone expected and hoped he'd have a big time impact on the Baltimore Orioles.

However, unfortunately for him, the COVID year stunted his development and Grayson didn't get to the big leagues as quickly as he'd hoped. But, he was pitching well enough in the minors to earn the nickname "The Butcher" because of the way he was slicing & dicing opposing hitters.

News Radio 710 KEEL logo
Get our free mobile app

He got called up early last year, but failed to make the impact everyone hoped he'd make. He struggled to get out of innings and gave up a lot of runs. But then something magical happened. He got sent down to the minors to work on some stuff and when he came back after the 2023 All-Star Break, he looked like the pitcher everyone thought and he'd hoped he'd be.

He ended his rookie year with a 7-4 record and a 4.35 ERA in 23 starts. That rough start to his professional career inflated some of his rookie year numbers but left fans hopeful of what was to come. Well, his first start of the 2024 is leaving a lot of Orioles fans & Texans hopeful of what's to come.

READ MORE: Babe Ruth and the 1921 Yankees Once Played in Shreveport, LA

He had a dominating performance in his first start against the LA Angels. The Texas native went six innings allowing only 4 hits, 1 walk and 1 earned run on a solo homer. The Angels only managed to hit .190 against him and really the only hard hit ball he game up was the solo home run.

What are the Odds a Texas Native Wins the AL Cy Young?

Obviously, we're only through the first series of the baseball season, so these projections and guess are probably a little too early to make. BUT, as they say, Vegas odds don't lie. And looking at the betting odds, you can't really call Texas native Grayson Rodriguez a dark horse.

Not only is he in the Top 10 in betting odds, but he's the only Texas native at the top of the list. Framber Valdez, pitcher for the Houston Astros, has better odds. But, his first start against the Yankees did not go well - giving up 5 runs and only lasting 4 2/3 innings. So, his odds have dropped slightly after that dismal performance.

READ MORE: Local Texas League Team Set an Unbreakable Record

So, if anybody in Texas is going to win it (whether a native son or just someone that pitches for the Rangers or Astros), it's looking like Grayson has to be one of the early front runners. He may have to fight his teammate Corbin Burnes for the honor, is the odds on favorite and was equally dominating against the same Angels lineup on Opening Day.

Regardless, If you're a baseball fan and likes to root on people from the area, Grayson Rodriguez may be a guy you want to keep your eye on this season.

LOOK: MLB history from the year you were born

Stacker compiled key moments from Major League Baseball's history over the past 100 years. Using a variety of sources from Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video from events, we've listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read through to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.

Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman

The Best Professional Baseball Players From Louisiana

Louisiana has produced some incredible athletes over the years. In fact, many called the Bayou State a "quarterback factory", but let's not forget just how many amazing MLB baseball players have roots right here. See if your favorite made this list.

Gallery Credit: Gary McCoy

More From News Radio 710 KEEL