Odds to win the 2017 National League Cy Young Award
By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
One of our favorite types of bets in all of sports is MLB futures bets. And one of the best among that lot is to pick who you think will win the Cy Young Award. The benefits are multifold in making such a bet. The rewards can be handsome, as we pick from a large field of contenders. We can even make more than one bet and still stand to profit handsomely if our guy/s win.
Beyond the financial rewards this bet offers is the sheer amount of action. Making this bet will have you "in the action" for the entire season. And it's a long one—a 162-game regular season. And every time the pitchers you select grace the mound, you are in there with a vested interest. That's a hard wager to match in terms of overall action. In fact, there aren't many bets on the whole board that pack this much action into one bet.
Another element of appeal to this bet is the viability of underdogs. With a lot of bets, the underdogs serve as mere window dressing. But a look at recent history shows that very often, a pitcher comes from nowhere to win this award. In 2016, Max Scherzer was not a surprise, as he was among the favorites. But the season before that, Jake Arrieta was a surprise winner. And so was R.A. Dickey when he won the award in 2012. In other words, it happens enough to warrant not being scared to pick someone from a bit down the list if you're so inclined.
It helps to see what kind of pitcher generally wins the Cy Young. We obviously know it's a great pitcher, but beyond that, what should we look for? While it's not as dependent as an MVP award in terms of playing for a good team, it definitely makes a pitcher's annual performance resonate more if he did it on a winning team. It's just something to ponder if you're torn between a few pitchers. Being on a better team makes that pitcher more visible and gives greater meaning to his season. And while the NL Cy Young Award has been recently more kind to relievers than the AL, who hasn't crowned a relief pitcher in over 30 years, Eric Gagne is the only reliever to win this award since Mark Davis won it in '89.
We see a lot of top contenders on this list, including three-time winner Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, who sits atop the odds chart at +160—the lowest of any pitcher in the majors. He is always a threat and needs to be considered. Also on the list are former winners Max Scherzer and Jake Arrieta, along with steady contenders like Madison Bumgarner, Jon Lester, Zack Greinke, and others. We also see young up-and-comers like Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and a slew of others who could conceivably upgrade their form to become big factors in this category.
Let's take a look at the odds to win this award. Following the list of odds of pitchers to win the NL Cy Young will be our best picks, including some favorites, but also some middle-of-the-road selections that could really pay off. Take a look!
NL Cy Young Award Odds:
Tanner Roark +3300
Favorites We Like:
Clayton Kershaw (+160): With injuries being a concern, the 3-time Cy Young winner might not offer the most exceptional value at +160. But if he gets on one of his rolls, he might actually look like a good value by the time September rolls around. Even in a season interrupted by injury, he still compiled a 1.69 ERA over 21 starts last season. A healthier campaign would make him the clear frontrunner.
Max Scherzer (+350): He has won the award in both leagues, including last season when he was 20-7 for the Nationals. Clearly one of the elite pitchers in the league, Scherzer is now on a good team getting a lot of support and should continue putting up big seasons. Should be in the thick of it again this season.
Middle-of-the-Road Picks We Like:
Jake Arrieta (+1600): He may not have lived up to his 2015 Cy Young season, but was still 18-8 last year. He's the kind of pitcher that can get on a big roll and playing on a team this good in the Cubs, he should have another big season. We think +1600 is actually pretty strong value for a hurler of Arrieta's caliber.
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Zack Greinke (+2500): Still just 33, Greinke won this award in the AL back in 2009. Following a 2015 season where he was 19-3 with a microscopic ERA of 1.66, he went to Arizona and labored a bit in his first season. A full return to form could have him back in the Cy Young argument at +2500 odds.
Long-Shot Picks We Like:
Gerrit Cole (+3300): Last season was a disappointment for the Pirates ace, as injuries and inconsistency led to a rough 7-10 mark. He's still only 26 and some rocky moments will occur. When he hits his stride, the power pitcher is one of the best in the league. He will be looking to repeat his 2015 performance when he won 19 games with a 2.60 ERA.
Kyle Hendricks (+3300): The Cubs hurler might not have had the biggest name in the rotation, but showed in 2016 that he's ready to be an elite arm. He led the NL in ERA last season at 2.13 with a WHIP of 0.979. At 27, he might have yet another gear and is still on one of, if not the best teams in the league. Not bad for a 33-to-1 shot.