Last season, Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young despite opening at 200/1 at BetOnline in February. Those were the longest preseason odds this decade, and the second consecutive year the AL winner was longer than 100/1 before the season (2015 winner Dallas Kuechel opened 150/1).
The table below displays the past seven Cy Young winners for each league along with their preseason odds. (Odds via SportsOddsHistory)
|Year||AL Winner||Preseason Odds||NL Winner||Preseason Odds|
|2016||Rick Porcello||+20,000||Max Scherzer||+1,000|
|2015||Dallas Kuechel||+15,000||Jake Arrieta||+4,000|
|2014||Corey Kluber (CLE)||N/A||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||+500|
|2013||Max Scherzer (DET)||+2,000||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||+600|
|2012||David Price (TB)||+700||R.A Dickey||N/A|
|2011||Justin Verlander (DET)||+1,000||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||+1,500|
|2010||Felix Hernandez (SEA)||+500||Roy Halladay (PHI)||+250|
As they did last February, BetOnline was the first major offshore sportsbook to post odds for both the AL and NL Cy Young Award. Roughly two weeks later, Bovada posted their own odds with a few notable discrepancies. Another two weeks later, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook posted their own Cy Young odds with several additional players listed.
The table below compares the latest odds from BetOnline, Bovada and the Westgate. It will be continually updated as the season progresses.
|Player||BetOnline (6/26)||BetOnline (6/6)||Westgate (5/8)||Westgate (4/24)||Westgate (3/20)||Bovada (3/8)||BetOnline (2/26)|
June 26th Update
The season is almost half-way over and I am sure that the Red Sox are pretty happy with how Chris Sale has performed for them. The preseason Cy Young favorite has lived up to the bill and has been routinely lights-out on the hill. His 12+ K/9 ratio and low number of walks suggest that his 2.85 ERA should be substantially lower than it already is.
Dallas Keuchel is not too far behind, but he is in danger of falling out of contention if he can’t stay healthy— his 11 starts are four fewer than Sale has pitched. If Sale’s numbers don’t falter, voters will have a hard time giving Keuchel the award purely based on his ERA (1.67 compared to Sale’s 2.85) considering his lack of innings pitched.
The section below was originally published on March 8, 2017
The favorites this season actually stack up almost the same as they did last year. Chris Sale was the favorite at +250 last year, followed by David Price at +275 and Corey Kluber at +325. This season, Sale’s odds are a bit better with his new color socks, while Kluber has overcome Price, who has some redeeming to do, for the number two spot.
I believe that betting on pitchers is too risky to take such big favorites, which is why I feel value lies in players at +1000 or higher.
The Indians’ number two and three starters are both choices I like for the upcoming season: Carlos Carrasco at +1000 and Danny Salazar at +4000. The Indians are playing in perhaps the weakest division in the MLB and both of these starters will get to face rebuilding teams like the Twins and White Sox several times. Even though award voters are beginning to factor advanced statistics into their voting process, traditional stats like wins still play a big role (see Rick Porcello). If both of these pitchers stay healthy, they should be able to pick up 15+ wins. Both have also averaged more than a strikeout per inning over their past two seasons so look for them to rack up 200+ Ks this season.
Another name I like is Lance McCullers of the Houston Astros. This young right-hander has impressed since arriving in the bigs in 2015. In 36 career starts, he’s posted an ERA of 3.22 with a K/9 of over 10, which is very impressive for a starting pitcher. The Astros are expected to break out this season and could win the AL West with over 90 wins. As I said before, the voters like players on winning teams and pitchers that win games, which McCullers is set up to do this season.
As the season continues to approach, we will update the odds list when numbers change or new players are added.
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