2014 AL and NL Cy Young Odds

After the varied degrees of success for Japanese pitchers like Daisuke Matsuzaka, Key Igawa and Yu Darvish, fans and analysts alike wondered aloud how Masahiro Tanaka would translate to the big league game. After posting a 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, the New York Yankees took a massive risk by rewarding the 25-year old right-hander with a 7-year contract worth $155 million.

That hefty investment was looking great early in the season with Tanaka posting a 12-4 record with a 2.51 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 129.1 innings. These numbers left Tanaka as the early front runner to win this year’s Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Award, however, the 6’2″ righty was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and subsequently placed on the disabled list. This caused Tanaka’s odds to drop from +400 to +900.

The table below compares the current Cy Young odds at BetOnline and Bovada:

Originally posted 6/16/14, Last updated 7/22/14

Player Team Sportsbk (7/22) Greek (7/22) Bovada (7/17) Bovada (6/4) BetOnline (6/4)
Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners -250 -250 +100 +500 +500
Chris Sale Chicago White Sox +300 +500 +500 +750 +750
Sonny Gray Oakland Athletics +500 +500 +1500 +800 +800
Scott Kazmir Oakland Athletics +700 +1000 +900 +1500 +1500
Garrett Richards Los Angeles Angels +900 +500 +1400 N/A N/A
Max Scherzer Detroit Tigers +1000 +800 +1500 +750 +750
Masahiro Tanaka New York Yankees +2000 N/A +900 +400 +350
Mark Buehrle Toronto Blue Jays +2000 +3000 +3300 +650 +650
Yu Darvish Texas Rangers +2500 +3000 +900 +650 +650
Rick Porcello Detroit Tigers +2500 +2500 +3300 N/A N/A
James Shields Kansas City Royals +2500 N/A N/A +1600 +1600
David Price Tampa Bay Rays N/A N/A +1200 N/A N/A
Jon Lester Boston Red Sox N/A N/A +3300 +3300 +3300
Corey Kluber Cleveland Indians N/A N/A +4000 +1400 +1400
Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers N/A N/A N/A +1200 +1100
Jesse Chavez Oakland Athletics N/A N/A N/A +3300 +3300

The current AL favorite, Felix Hernandez, is currently on a historic run. The 2010 AL Cy Young winner has thrown ten consecutive games with at least seven innings pitches and no more than two earned runs allowed. On the season Hernandez has gone 11-2 with a league-leading 2.12 ERA.

In the National League, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (8-3, 2.32 ERA) was listed as the favorite back when we first posted these odds back in early June. Although Wainwright has continued his dominance with a 1.83 ERA, Clayton Kershaw has been superhuman since his return from the disabled list on May 11th. On the year Kershaw has posted an 11-2 record with a 1.78 ERA and 126 strikeouts in just 96.1 innings pitched. That translates to an out-of-this-world 11.8 K/9.

Player Team Sportsbk (7/22) Greek (7/22) Bovada (7/17) Bovada (6/4) BetOnline (6/4)
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers -250 -175 -175 +700 +650
Adam Wainwright St. Louis Cardinals +150 +150 +175 +300 +300
Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds +500 +650 +1200 +500 +500
Zack Greinke Los Angeles Dodgers +700 +1500 +1200 +700 +700
Kyle Lohse Milwaukee Brewers +800 N/A N/A +900 +900
Julio Teheran Atlanta Braves +1200 +2000 N/A +1200 +1200
Alfredo Simon Cincinnati Reds +2000 +3000 +3300 N/A N/A
Tim Hudson San Francisco Giants +2500 N/A N/A +1200 +1200
Josh Beckett Los Angeles Dodgers +3000 N/A N/A +1600 +1600
Hyun-Jun Ryu Los Angeles Dodgers +3000 N/A N/A +2000 +2000
Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals N/A N/A +2500 +1200 +1200
Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants N/A N/A +3300 +1000 +1000
Cliff Lee Philadelphia Phillies N/A N/A N/A +2500 +2500
Craig Kimbrel Atlanta Braves N/A +2000 N/A N/A N/A
Francisco Rodriguez Milwaukee Brewers N/A +5000 N/A N/A N/A
Michael Wacha St. Louis Cardinals N/A N/A N/A +1200 +1200

Hot early starters like Tim Hudson and Julio Teheran have seen their numbers trail off and have been removed as a betting option. However, 33-year old Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon has emerged from nowhere and continues to perplex baseball fans across the nation.

Prior to this year, Simon had never thrown more than 115.2 innings in a season and has already set a new career high with 116.2. His last turn as a starter was in 2011 when he posted a 4.90 ERA for the Baltimore Orioles. Despite this lack of pedigree and a notoriously hitter-friendly home stadium, Simon currently boasts a 12-3 record, a 2.70 ERA, and 33/1 odds to win the 2014 Cy Young Award.

For those that are interested, ESPN does offer a Cy Young Predictor which lists Felix Hernandez and Adam Wainwright as the current Cy Young favorites.

As always, we’re interested in your take. Are there any players that should be added to this list? Which pitchers are offering value MLB to bettors? Can Kershaw win his third Cy Young in four years? Leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.

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David Solar

David Solar is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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