This unique 2020 MLB season is moving along with the occasional bump in the road, but we’ve passed the two-thirds point for most of the teams in the league. As such, there has been surprisingly little shakeup in the odds to win the major 2020 awards. The page below looks at the updated Cy Young odds at DraftKings Sportsbook and highlights some of the most-interesting contenders.
Keep in mind with only half the season having been played – there’s plenty that can still change. Cy Young odds for favorites and longshots can still drop quite a bit, but some of the top contenders can still spiral in the wrong direction. Be sure to diversify your betting card with a wager at each tier of the odds board.
MLB Cy Young odds
Best Cy Young betting site(s)
Cy Young favorites and longshots
AL Cy Young
Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians (+200): Bieber is the betting favorite for the AL Cy Young while leading all qualified starters in the AL in ERA and K/9.
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees (+225): The preseason betting favorite ever since he signed a massive free-agent contract with the Yankees, Cole certainly has not disappointed. There’s even room for improvement, as he started the year with a career-worst flyball percentage and HR/FB rate.
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox (+880): Giolito pitched the AL’s first no-hitter of 2020 and was one walk away from a perfect game while striking out 13 batters. It’s the kind of resume checkmark that could very well prove the difference to voters in a shortened season.
Lance Lynn, Texas Rangers (+1080): Lynn has emerged as a Cy Young contender in 2020, allowing under six hits per nine innings pitched. He’s on track for career highs in both ERA and WHIP.
NL Cy Young
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (+450): The reigning back-to-back champ opened the 2020 season with better numbers across the board than he posted in 2019. An improved Mets offense needs to continue providing better run support.
Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs (+575): After a slight hiatus from the spotlight, Darvish is posting career-bests in ERA and WHIP while maintaining an impressive strikeout-per-nine mark and keeping his losses low.
Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds (+850): After being dealt from the Indians, Bauer has been on a tear with the other team from Ohio. Bauer is posting career-best numbers in ERA, shutouts, hits allowed per nine innings, and strikeouts per nine innings.
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves (+1100): When Fried starts, the Braves win. He’s yet to surrender a home run and is allowing a career-low in hits per nine innings. In fact, Fried has allowed less than one hit per inning pitched.
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies (+1350): Aside from a rough outing against the Braves, Nola has been solid, averaging 1.3 strikeouts per inning pitched. He’s also looking at career marks in ERA and WHIP.
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. 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. Before his first Cy Young win in 2018, his +2500 odds would have returned a profit of $2,500 on a $100 futures bet.
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|