This unique 2020 MLB regular season will come to a close soon, and shortly after 2020 MVP award winners and Cy Young award winners will be named. There has been surprisingly little shakeup in the odds to win the award in the AL with Shane Bieber looking like a lock. The NL is more jumbled with several candidates. The page below looks at the updated Cy Young odds at sportsbooks and highlights some of the most-interesting contenders.
MLB Cy Young odds
Best Cy Young betting site(s)
Cy Young favorites and longshots
AL Cy Young
Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians: Bieber has had a lock on this thing for weeks, having gone 8-1 with 112 Ks and a 1.74 ERA (as of Sept. 23). Those 112 strikeouts are easily the most in the American League and Bieber’s Indians are headed to the MLB Playoffs.
NL Cy Young
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets: Can deGrom make it three in a row? It’s not looking great as his ERA is higher than Bauer’s and the Mets ace was dealt a loss in his most recent outing (Sept. 21 loss against Tampa Bay). His record is now 4-2.
Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds: The problem with Bauer is that his record is just 4-4 with the Reds’ lineup unable to provide him with great run support. But then there’s that gorgeous 1.80 ERA. Bauer was one of the early season favorites as he allowed a grand total of two earned runs in his first four starts.
Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs: Darvish is the sentimental favorite here as he has had a bounce-back campaign and has reinvigorated the Cubs. Darvish has been a workhorse as he has seven wins in the shortened season and a 2.22 ERA.
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves: When Fried starts, the Braves win. He’s a perfect 7-0 (as of Sept. 23) and has a sparkling 1.96 ERA. His strikeout numbers (50) are the only thing holding him back.
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers: Burnes has the best ERA of the lot (1.77), but he has started just eight games this year and sports a record of 4-0. The sample size probably just isn’t there to garner enough votes.
How to bet on the Cy Young
Placing an MLB futures bet on the AL or NL Cy Young award is all about mixing risk with reward. Your bet of choice will need to stay healthy and approach both 30 starts and 200 innings in a normal 162-game season. This is made more complicated by needing to target pitchers likely to rack up more than 200 strikeouts.
Preseason odds are assigned based on past pitcher and team success, and they’ll be regularly updated throughout the season based on current performance, as well as the public’s betting action. The favorites, as seen above, generally are the aces of teams expected to get to the MLB Playoffs. Getting top value means bettors need to correctly predict who’ll be the best pitcher on the team that will best exceed their expectations.
As mentioned earlier, many teams are stocked with two or even three “aces” in their starting five. This means that come voting season these pitchers will be sharing, or splitting, votes among themselves. It’s wise to target the more proven commodities on these teams, as they’re viewed as the de facto No. 1 option by those who aren’t true fans of the team.
The odds are best before the season, and they’ll become less and less profitable as the favorites emerge mid-way through the season. deGrom, who went back-to-back last season, opened with +350 odds. This returned a profit of $350 on a $100 bet placed in March.
Where can I bet on the Cy Young Award?
To access these odds, head to the primary MLB/Baseball tab at your online book of choice. From there, select Futures from a drop-down menu and proceed to Player Futures or Awards. The American and National League Cy Young contenders will be displayed on separate lists or charts. The betting options will include all pitchers (starters and relievers) the books view as viable Cy Young candidates. Emerging contenders will be added throughout the year and injured or struggling pitchers may be dropped from the options.
How the Cy Young Award is decided
As discussed above, players from the same team often need to split votes. This is because the Cy Young voters from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America are chosen from each MLB city. The local BBWAA chapter chairman of each city recommends two beat writers from daily newspapers, magazines or select websites. Writers from National League cities then vote for the NL Cy Young award and writers from American League cities vote for the AL Cy Young award.
Each writer is able to submit a ballot of five players for the Cy Young award. These ballots must be submitted prior to the start of the postseason and votes are then tallied based on a points system. A first-place vote is worth 7 points. Second-place is 4 points, third is 3 points, fourth is 2 points and a fifth-place vote is worth a single point.
Unlike with the MVP awards being open to the writer/voter’s interpretation of what Most Valuable Player may mean, the Cy Young simply goes to the best pitcher from either league. To be regarded as a top contender, pitchers must remain relatively healthy all season, and reach the desired statistical milestones of each voter.
The most hotly-debated issue when it comes to who’s worth a vote is “pitcher wins”. Some writers will discredit a hurler for finishing with a win-loss record below .500, or at least below another comparable pitcher. Others base their vote(s) purely on more individual pitcher statistics such as ERA, xFIP, and strikeout and walk rates.
Cy Young betting history: recent winners
|Year||AL Winner||Odds||NL Winner||Odds|
|2019||Justin Verlander (HOU)||+1500||Jacob deGrom (NYM)||+350|
|2018||Blake Snell (TB)||+10000||Jacob deGrom (NYM)||+2500|
|2017||Corey Kluber (CLE)||+4000||Max Scherzer (WAS)||+350|
|2016||Rick Porcello (BOS)||+20000||Max Scherzer (WAS)||+10000|
|2015||Dallas Keuchel (HOU)||+15000||Jake Arrieta (CHC)||+4000|
|2014||Corey Kluber (CLE)||N/A||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||+500|
|2013||Max Scherzer (DET)||+2000||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||+600|
|2012||David Price (TB)||+700||R.A. Dickey (NYM)||N/A|
|2011||Justin Verlander (DET)||+1000||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||+1500|
|2010||Felix Hernandez (SEA)||+500||Roy Halladay (PHI)||+250|