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, it looked like two New York pitchers were locks to win the respective AL and NL awards early in the season as the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom each got off to torrid starts. Cole is again one of the favorites in the AL after a bumpy middle of the season, but deGrom’s season was derailed by 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 (Oct. 1)
Robbie Ray, Blue Jays (): Ray was -600 to win AL Cy Young at DraftKings Sportsbook on Sept. 30 but was -475 Friday morning after a mediocre outing against the Yankees during a key playoff race. Ray allowed 5 ER on 4 hits in 5.1 innings on Sept. 30. Prior to the loss to New York, Ray had not allowed more than 3 ER in a game since July. The performance was not bad enough to knock Ray from his perch as AL favorite, but it does open the door slightly for Gerrit Cole.
Gerrit Cole, Yankees (): Cole was the favorite in the AL throughout most of the season and throughout much of September but two ugly starts recently have bumped him down the odds board. The Yankees ace coughed up 7 ER to Cleveland on Sept. 19 and in a crucial game against the Blue Jays on Sept. 29, he allowed 5 ER in a 6-5 Yankees loss.
Cy Young Futures Report: NL (Oct. 1)
Corbin Burnes, Brewers (): Burnes has been sensational down the stretch as he has given up just 7 ER total in four starts in the month of September. The Brewers righty has fanned 41 batters in his last four starts.
Max Scherzer, Dodgers (): Scherzer was absolutely sensational in the first month and a half of his Dodgers tenure but the veteran has struggled – by his standards – in the past week. The 37-year-old has allowed 10 ER total in his past two starts.
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|