MLB Cy Young Odds
As another season comes, more awards must be handed out.
I’ve already previewed where the value lies for this season’s MVP awards, but the Cy Young futures market offers value as well.
Max Scherzer and Corbin Burnes headline the favorites for the NL award, while Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber have the shortest odds for the AL award.
After both the AL and NL Cy Young award winners were first-timers last season, you have to wonder if we’ll see two more breakout winners in 022.
There are plenty of options to pick from, so let’s dive into the best bets for the Cy Young award in 2022.
All odds are current as of April 7, 2022, and are provided by DraftKings.
Cy Young Odds 2022
The Favorites for AL Cy Young
For the second straight year, Cole is the betting favorite to take home this award.
However, he has yet to win the award, finishing second in voting last season after a lackluster post-All-Star Break.
Cole is still an elite pitcher, perhaps the best in the league. But I don’t show a ton of value on him for this upcoming season. Projections have him accruing over 5.0 fWAR, but his ERA and FIP projections vary wildly (2.82-3.41 ERA, 2.77-3.99 FIP).
Plus, the odds are too short. Unless the last name is deGrom, you’ll never catch me betting on a Cy Young candidate with odds under 5-to-1. Good luck to Cole and the Bronx Bombers this season, but I’ll pass.
I’m very interested in Bieber’s outlook this season.
He’s pitched just a total of 174 innings over the last two years, because of the shortened 2020 season and injuries last year. During that time, he’s struck out almost 13 batters per nine innings with an xFIP around 2.5. He’s been as good as pitchers come.
But can he stay healthy this year? Will he see regression over a full season? What’s the outlook in Cleveland for the team as a whole?
Too many question marks for me to be confident in Bieber for the upcoming season.
But, if we could get some better odds, I might take a look at Bieber. At anything better than 11-to-1, I will be betting Bieber to win this award. He’s still clearly the second-best pitcher in the AL.
The Favorites for NL Cy Young
Going to be fun watching Scherzer in a Mets uniform this season. But we’re going to half to wait, as he was scratched from New York’s Opening Day start and we’re unsure when he’ll take the mound again.
But it should be soon, as the market still believes he’ll log the innings to take home the award for the fourth time. He’s only short of Roger Clemens (7), Randy Johnson (5), Greg Maddux (4), and Steve Carlton (4).
While he probably won’t ever catch Clemens, he should be in the race all season in 2022.
But does he offer value at 5-to-1?
Probably not. Projections have Scherzer accruing 4.0 fWAR with a low-3.00 ERA. That’s not enough dominance to bet on such a short favorite.
There’s better value on the board.
For the sake of full transparency, I’m watching Burnes pitch his first start of the season against the lowly Chicago Cubs. Through two innings, Burnes has allowed two doubles, two more hard-hit balls, and walked two guys.
In April 2021, Burnes struck out 49 batters before issuing a walk.
Does that mean he’s broken? Probably not, and I’m likely overreacting to the first game of the MLB season.
Three pitchers have repeated as Cy Young winners in the last decade. That list consists of Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom, and Scherzer.
Is Burnes worthy of being placed on that list?
He’ll have to put together another dominant season to be mentioned in the same sentence as the other three. I’m not ready to commit to him yet, especially at 6-to-1 odds.
Top Value Picks
Sandy Alcantara for NL Cy Young
Say hello to the new Face of the Fish.
Alcantara will be making his third consecutive Opening Day start for the Marlins, joining Florida legends Josh Johnson and Josh Beckett. He’s officially the ace Miami has been looking for.
I’m also ready for him to reach new heights this year. He should break the 200 IP and 200 strikeout plateau again, and I’m expecting him to lead the league in starts for the second consecutive year. Plus, in his final 10 starts last season, he posted a 2.55 FIP with an 80:9 K/BB ratio. He also threw a whopping 69 ⅓ innings during the stretch.
Alcantara is an innings eater and strikeout machine with a triple-digit fastball and a whiff-inducing slider. He was outstanding on the mound last season, finished the season building momentum, and still has potential to tap into.
He’s my favorite bet for this award at 25-to-1.
Nathan Eovaldi for AL Cy Young
Eovaldi led all AL pitchers in fWAR last season (5.6). He had more than Cole.
It was likely due to his incredible performance in the true three outcomes. He posted a K/9 over 9.6, a BB/9 under 1.8, and a HR/9 under .75 – the third was good for second in the majors.
As a result, Eovaldi posted a 2.79 FIP last year.
Projections have Eovaldi regressing slightly this season, but I’m still very high on him. He’s the one true ace on the Boston staff with Chris Sale sidelined, and the success of the Red Sox will be squarely on his shoulders.
Eovaldi is ready for that challenge, and he looked pretty good in Spring Training this year. It’s worth sprinkling him at 40-to-1 to be 2022’s first-time Cy Young award winner.