MLB spring training games have begun and with the regular season just around the corner, sportsbooks are coming out with more and more props and futures. As they did last February around this time, BetOnline has posted their odds for both the AL and NL Cy Young Award.
Last season, Rick Porcello won the award in the American League despite opening at 200/1 at BetOnline in February, the biggest long-shot this decade that actually had odds posted.
|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|
(Odds via SportsOddsHistory)
This season, there aren’t any pitchers listed that high (perhaps due to getting burned on Porcello), but there are still a few players offering value. The table below compares the latest odds from BetOnline and Bovada.
|Player||Bovada (3/8)||BetOnline (2/26)|
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 to 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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