The landscape is becoming more clear by the day in Major League Baseball. We know which teams are ripe for a lengthy playoff run and which players are in the mix for MVP. As for the Cy Young award, the two favorites now are the two favorites we had at the start of the season. The odds boards have been dominated by New York pitchers this season as the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom have consistently been at the top. Cole remains a favorite in the AL, while deGrom is still a huge favorite in the senior circuit despite his recent injury.
The page below looks at the updated Cy Young odds at sportsbooks and highlights some of the favorites and potential darkhorse candidates.
MLB Cy Young odds
Best Cy Young betting site(s)
Cy Young Futures Report: AL
Lance Lynn, White Sox (): Lynn is having a July to remember, having given up just 1 ER per game over his last four starts. The right-hander certainly has the guile, veteran savvy and stalwart offense backing him up, so like Rodon, he’s likely to be a serious contender down to the wire. His 1.91 ERA is the best in the AL at the moment.
Gerrit Cole, Yankees (): Cole is looking like Cole again as he struck out 12 Astros on July 10 and 11 Red Sox on July 17. The Yankees righty allowed just 1 ER total in those games. Cole remains entrenched at the top of the AL leaderboard and has a fighting chance at his second 20-win season.
Carlos Rodon, White Sox (): Rodon, like Cole, has been excellent recently. The White Sox southpaw has given up just 3 ER total in his last three starts and sports a 2.24 ERA on the year. Rodon is currently lower than +200 at most books.
Robbie Ray, Blue Jays (): Ray saw a nice five-start run (4-1 record, 1.65 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 11.3 K/9) come to an end against the Red Sox on Wednesday, but the hard-throwing southpaw has still made a nice move up the ranks in recent weeks. Ray also gets out of hitter-friendly Sahlen Field for the rest of the season now that the Jays have permission to return to Rogers Centre, which could help boost his chances of keeping his ERA and WHIP down the rest of the way.
Nathan Eovaldi, Red Sox (): Eovaldi is another recent riser, even though he allowed five earned runs earlier this month against the Angels. However, he’s been excellent against the rival Yankees this season. His last two starts came against his former team, and Eovaldi coughed up just 3 ER total.
Sean Manaea, Athletics (): Manaea’s career-high 13 strikeouts against the Mariners on July 22 gave him the final push up the ranks, but he’s progressively been making a case for himself since late May with a 2.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 0.9 HR/9 across his last 10 starts. The veteran left-hander’s pedestrian 7-6 record could conceivably hold him back if it continues to hover around .500, but as Manaea’s 3.16 season ERA and 26.5 percent strikeout rate indicate, he’s doing a good job limiting the damage.
Cy Young Futures Report: NL
Jacob deGrom, Mets (): All eyes are on deGrom at the moment, considering he’s on the injured list with a forearm issue and could be out into early-to-mid August. The right-hander headed to the IL with a 7-2 mark, 1.08 ERA, 0.55 WHIP and massive 45.1 percent strikeout rate. However, it’s at least worth noting he looked almost human in his last three starts, pitching to a 3.15 ERA and actually allowing three home runs in the 20 innings covering that stretch.
Kevin Gausman, Giants (): Gausman is the most serious contender to deGrom the rest of the way, but he did himself no favors on July 24 when the Pirates slammed him for 6 ER in a 10-2 Giants loss. Gausman is now 9-4 with a 2.21 ERA on the year.
Corbin Burnes, Brewers (): Burnes is on a roll as July heads to a close, as he’s shot back up the odds boards. His latest effort, a win over the contending White Sox, as a performance in which he allowed just 1 ER on 4 hits in 6 IP. Burnes’ 146 Ks on the season is tied for third most in the NL.
Walker Buehler, Dodgers (): The Dodgers’ right-hander has ascended to the role of ace on his staff, as he now sports a 10-1 record, 2.31 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with the help of a six-start stretch where he’s gone 5-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 0.7 HR/9. With Trevor Bauer’s availability the rest of the way uncertain and Clayton Kershaw still on the injured list due to a forearm issue, Buehler could well continue serving as the face of the defending champion’s rotation for the foreseeable future.
Brandon Woodruff, Brewers (): Woodruff is keeping right up with his rotation mate Burnes, as he owns a 7-5 record, 2.14 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. He’s given up just one earned run apiece in four of his last six turns.
Zack Wheeler, Phillies (): Wheeler bounced back nicely on July 23, after allowing four earned runs apiece in consecutive starts, as he produced a seven-inning quality start against the Braves during which he allowed just one earned run and struck out eight. The right-hander had actually produced scoreless efforts of at least six innings in four of the five starts prior to his pair of stumbles, a caliber of performance that helped keep his W-L record (8-5) and ERA (2.37) at impressive levels.
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. Bieber, who won last season’s AL Cy Young Award, opened with +330 odds at FanDuel for this season. This would return a profit of $330 on a $100 bet if he were to go back-to-back.
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|
|2020||Shane Bieber (CLE)||+1200||Trevor Bauer (CIN)||+2000|
|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|