Is There Still Value Betting AL Cy Young Odds?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on July 20, 2022
AL Cy Young Odds

With the “first half” of the 2022 MLB campaign wrapped up, let’s dig into AL Cy Young odds to determine if there’s a number worth betting. You can click on any of them below to place a wager.

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AL Cy Young Odds: Breaking Down The Field

Shane McClanahan
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+210
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+210
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+220
Justin Verlander
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+260
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+250
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+260
Shohei Ohtani
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+850
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+700
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+600
Gerrit Cole
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+1000
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+900
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+800
Dylan Cease
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+1000
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+1100
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+1000
Kevin Gausman
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+2000
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+1800
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+2000

Betting Market Analysis

Although Shane McClanahan () sits atop the board, Justin Verlander () has generated the highest percentage of the tickets (13.0%) and overall handle (16.7%) at BetMGM Sportsbook. However, Shohei Ohtani () remains the biggest liability to win the award.

McClanahan and Verlander both bolstered their resumes going into the All-Star break. For one, the Rays ace owns the longest streak in MLB history (seven) with six-plus innings pitched, six-plus strikeouts, an earned run or less and four hits or fewer. Simultaneously, Verlander is the first starter to resume the second half with 12-plus wins, an ERA under 2 and better than a 5 strikeout-to-walk (K/BB) ratio.

Bettors will certainly roll their eyes towards traditional metrics, but many voters still value them. Still, the market already reflects these individual accomplishments.

Enter Dylan Cease (), making an under-the-radar case to win AL Cy Young. The 26-year-old opened the season at +1600, so his price tag hasn’t seen a massive shift — especially at BetMGM.

Scouting Cease’s Profile

StatisticAL Ranking
12.90 K/9#1
2.68 xERA#2
2.15 ERA#3
2.67 FIP#3
2.90 fWART-3

Related: 2022 World Series Odds

Per the table, Cease’s strikeout rate certainly aids his fWAR a bit. Nevertheless, his pitch deception is no fluke.

The Milton, Ga., native’s four-seam fastball spin ranks in the 97th percentile (via Baseball Savant) — among the best in baseball. His opponent’s expected batting average (xBA) finds itself in the 94th percentile as well.

Incredibly enough, Cease is one of two pitchers in MLB history with 140-plus strikeouts and an ERA less than 2.50 in the “first half” left off an All-Star roster. The other? Pedro Martinez (2001) — a Baseball Hall of Famer.

Looking ahead, Chicago finds itself in line for either the AL Central title or one of the league’s three wild-card spots. Don’t expect Tony La Russa & Co. to hold his innings back, as the White Sox’s playoff hopes will likely be decided near the end of the regular season.

Even though he threw a career-high 165.2 IP in 2021, his refined stuff (particularly with his increased slider usage) has allowed him to pitch deeper into games this go-around.

While Cease’s command (11% walk rate) represents his most glaring individual kryptonite, his ceiling come late July and onward is high enough to make his AL Cy Young odds worth considering.

Assessing Other AL Cy Young Odds

There’s a case to be made that McClanahan, Verlander, Ohtani and Cole could all have their respective starts spaced out before season’s end — unlike Cease.

For one, McClanahan hasn’t pitched more than 123.2 innings in his abbreviated career, and he’s already at 110.2 IP. Even if the Rays remain in the thick of the American League wild-card hunt, they could still employ an innings limit or even shut him down if long-term plans are at risk.

In regards to Verlander and Cole, the Yankees and Astros could also disperse their final outings if the teams have locked up their respective divisions. Verlander holds more risk at 39 years old, but the two have dealt with their fair share of injuries in recent seasons. The Astros’ veteran hurler is in the conversation for 2022 Comeback Player of the Year, too, after missing last season because of Tommy John surgery.

Then, there’s Ohtani, the favorite among AL MVP odds (). Voters could eye a different direction for AL Cy Young if Ohtani wins the league’s MVP honor, along with the fact that the Angels could restrict his starts come September. Keep in mind, Los Angeles finds itself 10.5 games out of a wild-card spot.


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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich
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