2019 American League Cy Young Award Betting Odds & Picks

Date | AuthorAdam Burke

Last Updated: 2019-03-05

The American League Cy Young vote stirred up some controversy last season. Well, one player who felt he was wronged stirred up controversy. Trevor Bauer was hit on the leg by a comebacker and suffered a fracture that took away his chances of winning the award in the minds of voters. The award wound up going to Blake Snell, who, ironically enough, only threw 5.1 more innings than Bauer.

One thing remained the same in the Cy Young voting, though. Strikeouts matter. And they matter a lot. The top six in the voting all had well over 200 strikeouts. Blake Treinen tied for sixth with Bauer and had 100 strikeouts in 80.1 innings as the league’s most proficient closer with a 0.78 ERA.

Aside from Rick Porcello, who had no business winning the Cy Young in 2016, this award has been dominated by starters that strike out a lot of dudes. Cliff Lee is the only other pitcher since 2005 to win the award with less than 200 strikeouts. It does appear that wins matter more for AL voters than NL voters, as every pitcher since 2011 not named Corey Kluber to win the award has had at least 20 wins.

Jacob deGrom won the award with 10 wins in 2018. Felix Hernandez won with 13 wins in 2010. Sometimes voters get it right in spite of the win totals. Sometimes they don’t, like with Porcello in 2016, when he won the award solely because he won 22 games.

That leaves us with a lot to think about as we look at the AL Cy Young odds from Bookmaker Sportsbook as of March 5:

Corey Kluber +350
Chris Sale +450
Luis Severino +850
Justin Verlander +1503
Gerrit Cole +1646
Carlos Carrasco +1804
Blake Snell +1804
David Price +2004
James Paxton +2004
Trevor Bauer +2004
Jose Berrios +3008
Masahiro Tanaka +3008
Rick Porcello +3512
JA Happ +5000
Nathan Eovaldi +5000
Andrew Heaney +6000
Charlie Morton +6000
Kyle Gibson +6000
Marco Gonzales +8000
Marcus Stroman +8000
Mike Clevinger +8000
Danny Duffy +8000
Eduardo Rodriguez +8000
Michael Fulmer +8000
Collin McHugh +10000
Jakob Junis +10000
Mike Leake +10000
Mike Minor +10000
Shane Bieber +10000
Tyler Glasnow +10000
Tyler Skaggs +10000
Aaron Sanchez +15000
Brad Keller +15000
Carlos Rodon +15000
Dylan Bundy +15000
Jake Odorizzi +15000
Jesus Luzardo +15000
Matthew Boyd +15000
Mike Fiers +15000
Reynaldo Lopez +15000
Wade Miley +15000
Yusei Kikuchi +20000
Brent Honeywell +20000
Daniel Mengden +25000
Ervin Santana +25000
Ivan Nova +25000
Justus Sheffield +25000
Lucas Giolito +25000
Ryan Yarbrough +25000
Yonny Chirinos +25000
Aroldis Chapman +30000
Blake Treinen +30000
Felix Hernandez +35000
Lance Lynn +35000

This list is unnecessarily long. This is the CVS receipt of betting odds. Over 85 percent of these guys have no chance at winning the Cy Young. The last AL reliever to win the Cy Young was Dennis Eckersley in 1992. I just mentioned about strikeouts and the vast majority of these guys have no chance at getting there.

Chris Sale is the best pitcher in baseball to never win a Cy Young and this could very well be the year, but +450 doesn’t really leave a lot of meat on the bone for me, especially with a guy that has some injury concerns.

With all that in mind, here are my favorite picks for the Cy Young:

Carlos Carrasco (+1804), Trevor Bauer (+2004), Mike Clevinger (+8000) – Full disclosure, I am an Indians fan, but let’s look at this logically. The AL Central still blows. The Tigers, Royals, and White Sox are all bad teams. The only good offense in the division is the Twins. Last season, Indians starting pitchers posted a 2.66 ERA against division competition. While that may rise a little bit this season, the Indians should still lead all teams in division ERA for starters.

Furthermore, these guys check all the boxes. They’ll have the chance at a lot of wins. Carrasco had 231 strikeouts, Bauer had 221 strikeouts, and Clevinger had 207 strikeouts. Kluber is the Cy Young favorite overall, but his K% fell down last season. He worked 215 innings, which was 13 more than Carrasco and 49.2 more than Bauer and only had 222 strikeouts. I would expect the others to take a step forward or stay in the same place while Kluber falls off a bit.

Honestly, I’d bet all three of these guys. Carrasco has proven that he can stay healthy. Bauer missed time because of a freak thing, but he added a changeup this season that he expects to be a really effective pitch. Clevinger is the least likely to win, but he’s also 80/1 with a lot of upside and a very good set of division opponents. These guys are all worth a look.

Gerrit Cole (+1646) – Both Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander had career years last season. Now that Verlander is 36, I’d be a bit worried that he can sustain that pace. Cole, on the other hand, won’t turn 29 until September. Cole certainly has the chance at wins with the Astros and he’s coming off of a season in which he struck out 276 batters in 200.1 innings of work.

Cole struck out over 35 percent of batters in the first half and mostly sustained that spike with a 33.5 percent K% in the second half. His second-half FIP was actually much better than his first half, even though his ERA jumped by almost a full run.

The concern here is that Verlander can steal votes based on reputation, but I would expect him to take a step back, while Cole could very well take a step forward or at least stay at the same level. At 16/1 and change, he’s got an excellent shot.

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2019 MLB Betting Guide

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(905) WASHINGTON @ (906) MIAMI | 7:10 pm 9/20/2019

Play Line: MIAMI 218
BTB PowerLine: MIAMI +167

Edge On: MIAMI 51Bet Now
(919) CHI WHITE SOX @ (920) DETROIT | 7:10 pm 9/20/2019

Play Line: DETROIT 129
BTB PowerLine: DETROIT -102

Edge On: DETROIT 31Bet Now
(925) LA ANGELS @ (926) HOUSTON | 8:10 pm 9/20/2019

Play Line: LA ANGELS 313
BTB PowerLine: LA ANGELS +194

Edge On: LA ANGELS 119Bet Now