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Odds to Win the 2018 AL and NL Cy Young Awards

The Cy Young Award has been relatively predictable the last several years with many of the same names littering the ballot. However, this season feels different through the first month of the season.

Yes, the likes of Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale are all favored to win the coveted award per oddsmakers – but it is the lesser known pitchers who could offer some true value for bettors. Let’s take a look at both the favorite and the best dark-horse pick for both the National League and American League Cy Young Awards.

2018 NL Cy Young Odds

Only two pitchers in MLB history have won three consecutive Cy Young Awards – Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson. Max Scherzer is on the verge of joining that illustrious group, as the Washington Nationals ace is currently the +160 favorite to win the National League Cy Young.

And as hard as it is to believe, this season might be Scherzer’s best. He has allowed fewer hits, home runs and walks per nine innings than in either of his last two seasons and is 10th in all of MLB in WAR. Scherzer continues to be one of the most reliable workhorses in all of baseball and it seems like the 33-year-old is aging like a fine wine.

One dark horse who may pay off for bettors is Patrick Corbin (+1500). The Arizona Diamondbacks southpaw has stepped up in a big way with fellow starter Taijuan Walker requiring Tommy John surgery. Corbin changed his pitching repertoire from last season, ditching his often-terrible changeup for a slow, winding curve to great success – helping him post a ridiculous 12.4/1.6 K/BB ratio over nine innings.

NL Cy Young Winner Odds

Odds as of May 2 Bovada

  • Max Scherzer (WAS) +160
  • Clayton Kershaw (LAD) +260
  • Noah Syndergaard (NYM) +650
  • Carlos Martinez (STL) +850
  • Jacob deGrom (NYM) +850
  • Patrick Corbin (ARZ) +1500
  • Johnny Cueto (SF) +1600
  • Stephen Strasburg (WAS) +2000
  • Aaron Nola (PHI) +2500
  • Jake Arrieta (PHI) +3000

2018 AL Cy Young Odds

The AL Cy Young race is a dogfight early in the season with Chris Sale (+300), Corey Kluber (+300), Gerrit Cole (+450) and Justin Verlander (+450) all trying to outdo one another. But the leader – in my book and according to the statistics – should be Sean Manaea (+1200).

Manaea leads the AL in ERA, wins, hits per nine innings, WHIP and adjusted ERA. People will want to point to his no-hitter and say that an outing like that skews the stats in such a short sample size but the Oakland Athletics pitcher has not allowed more than two runs in an outing this season and has pitched at least seven innings in five of his first six starts.

After Manaea, I think that it is a contest between Cole and Verlander at this point. The two Houston pitchers both rank in the top five in the AL in ERA, strikeouts, hits per nine innings and walks per nine innings.

AL Cy Young Winner Odds

Odds as of May 2 Bovada

  • Chris Sale (BOS) +300
  • Corey Kluber (CLE) +300
  • Gerrit Cole (HOU) +450
  • Justin Verlander (HOU) +450
  • Luis Severino (NYY) +700
  • Carlos Carrasco (CLE) +1200
  • Sean Manaea (OAK) +1200
  • Rick Porcello (BOS) +2500
  • J.A. Happ (TOR) +2500
  • Shohei Ohtani (LAA) +3000
  • Trevor Bauer (CLE) +3000
  • Charlie Morton (HOU) +3000
  • Jose Berrios (MIN) +3300

Archived Articles

With spring training nearing its end, odds have hit the board for both American League and National League Cy Young awards. The top of the oddsboard for each league is stacked with the usual stud aces with some offering decent value, while others offer no value whatsoever.

A look at recent winners of the award indicates that you might not want to travel too far down the oddsboard to make your 2018 Cy Young pick. Yes, we do see the occasional surprise winner like Rick Porcello in 2016 or R.A. Dickey in 2012, but you’re better off sticking with a proven ace so hold off on that Kenta Maeda +10000 bet.

Here’s a look at the complete list of 2018 Cy Young odds and some of the standout candidates:

2018 National League Cy Young odds:

Max Scherzer (+225) will attempt to become the first man since Randy Johnson to win three straight Cy Young awards — Johnson won a ridiculous four straight with Arizona from 1999 to 2002. Despite winning the award in consecutive years, Scherzer is second to Clayton Kershaw in NL Cy Young odds. Scherzer will turn 34 in July and will be looking to make 30-plus starts for the 10th straight season and post an ERA under 3.00 for the fourth straight season.

Speaking of Kershaw (+175), he’s still on the right side on 30 but has shown durability issues the past few seasons as he hasn’t hit the 30-start mark since 2015. Still, he’s the favorite for a reason, most notably posting a sub-3.00 ERA in nine straight seasons, while going under 2.00 in three of those. He’s a two-time Cy Young Award winner and will be extra motivated as he’s expected to opt out of his contract at the end of the season and hit the open market.

NL Cy Young Winner Odds

Odds as of March 20 at Bovada

  • Clayton Kershaw +175
  • Max Scherzer +225
  • Noah Syndergaard +650
  • Stephen Strasburg +1500
  • Madison Bumgarner +1500
  • Carlos Martinez +1800
  • Jacob deGrom +2000
  • Yu Darvish +2000
  • Robbie Ray +3000
  • Jon Lester +3000
  • Zach Greinke +3000
  • Jose Quintana +3000
  • Aaron Nola +4000
  • Jon Gray +4000
  • Chase Anderson +5000
  • Gio Gonzalez +5000
  • Alex Wood +5000
  • Johnny Cueto +5000
  • Jake Arietta +5000
  • Kyle Hendricks +5500
  • Michael Wacha +6600
  • Julio Teheran +6600
  • Rich Hill +6600
  • Kenta Maeda +10000
  • Adam Wainwright +10000
  • Matt Harvey +10000
  • Kenley Jansen +10000

2018 American League Cy Young Odds

Last season’s winner and runner-up, Corey Kluber and Chris Sale, are neck and neck at the top of the AL oddsboard with the Red Sox ace being a slim favorite at +235. Many had Sale penciled in as the Cy Young winner by midseason last year, but he struggled down the stretch, paving the way for Kluber’s second Cy Young Award. Sale’s 2017 season was highlighted by dominating AL East opponents, most notably posting a 2.65 ERA and 50 Ks in five starts vs the Yankees, while Kluber’s five wins and 0.84 September ERA clinched the Cy Young for him. There’s no reason to expect either to not be in the running for the award in 2018.

However…

If you must place one bet on a pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, I’d recommend 2015 winner Dallas Keuchel at +1500. This is the best value in Cy Young odds betting and I think he has a much better shot at winning the award than many of the guys above him on the oddsboard. He posted a very respectable 2.90 ERA last season for the World Series champs, but was limited to just 23 starts due to injuries. He was on track to put up very similar numbers to his Cy Young season and likely would have been in the discussion for the award if it wasn’t for the injuries. Much like Kershaw, this is a very important season for Keuchel as he’ll become a free agent in the offseason, so don’t be surprised if he’s the best pitcher in the game in 2018.

AL Cy Young Winner Odds

Odds as of March 28 at Bovada

  • Chris Sale +235
  • Corey Kluber +260
  • Carlos Carrasco +800
  • Justin Verlander +800
  • Luis Severino +1200
  • Dallas Keuchel +1500
  • David Price +2000
  • Gerrit Cole +2200
  • James Paxton +2200
  • Masahiro Tanaka +3000
  • Jose Berrios +3000
  • Marcus Stroman +4000
  • Shohei Ohtani +4000
  • Cole Hamels +4000
  • Chris Archer +4000
  • Aaron Sanchez +4000
  • Garrett Richards +4000
  • Sonny Gray +5000
  • Danny Duffy +5000
  • Lance McCullers Jr +6600
  • Felix Hernandez +7500
  • Michael Fulmer +8000
  • Rick Porcello +8000
  • J.A. Happ +8000
  • Drew Pomeranz +10000
  • Craig Kimbrel +10000
  • Jordan Zimmermann  +10000

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