At some point it seems likely that the Cy Young Award, at least in the National League, will just be renamed the Clayton Kershaw Award. He has already won three and is very well positioned to add another this year. Freak. In the A.L. it is a different story as guys seem to come from relatively nowhere to grab the award, but then they stay relevant for years to come. It means, inevitably, that the AL Cy Young race is infinitely more interesting than the NL one. As spring training gets fired up, though, it's a good time to look at both ( Odds are from BetOnline ):
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Chris Sale, Boston (+200): It is interesting that new Red Sox ace Sale is solidly favored, while defending winner Rick Porcello is an afterthought at +3300 on the same rotation. Sale isn't the flashiest pitcher in the world, but he is consistently excellent and now he's on the best team he has been on in years. I'm concerned somewhat about vote splitting in Boston, but he is a deserving favorite. No value at all in this price, though.
Corey Kluber, Cleveland (+300): He won the Cy Young in 2014, was ninth in voting the next year, and was probably better than 2014 when he finished third last year. He has a pattern of excellence, and there is no real reason not to expect that again. Like Sale, he deserves to be here on this list, but he offers no value.
David Price, Boston (+550): Price needs to be better than he was last year, and he is obviously capable of that. I just expect him to get overshadowed by Sale, and that will make a campaign tough. That being said, this is something of a more reasonable price. I will pass, but I wouldn't argue with you if you bet on him.
Justin Verlander, Detroit (+1000): The biggest thing Verlander has going for him is that voters might pick him just so they don't get yelled at by Kate Upton again. Verlander should have won it last year, but I don't trust him to stay healthy and be consistent given his age and the couple of seasons that preceded last year. I don't love the Tigers right now, either.
Aaron Sanchez, Toronto (+2000): Sanchez was on a strict pitch limit last year in his first year as a starter, but he posted a gaudy 15-2 record in his time on the mound. There was some luck involved, but his team should be solid around him again, and he is young enough that he will still progress. He's a strong pitcher, and there is value in him as a long shot at this price. You can make a similar argument for teammate Marcus Stroman (+5000), who is coming back from injuries and a year that was inconsistent last year but who has massive upside. I would also make a long shot argument for Sonny Gray (+5000) if he didn't play on such a hopelessly awful team.
Andrew Miller, Cleveland (not listed): Miller, or any other reliever, is not listed in the odds right now. That's not fair. Increasingly, starters are expected to do less, so relievers do more. Miller is a game-changer every time he comes in, and he puts fear in opposing teams. He is tough to judge for casual bettors because he chases neither wins nor saves, but that's just a shame. I don't think MIller should win, but if he pitches like he can then he really should get a shot. Same goes for Zach Britton, too.
Clayton Kershaw, L.A. (+100): We don't really need to spend too much time talking about the National League because it's just not that interesting. Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet, and if he stays healthy he will be well positioned to win this award. You just can't bet him at this price, though. He had a back injury last year that derailed him, and that's a little concerning. He's optimistic, though, and still young enough to bounce back well. And remember, even a derailed season was good enough to finish fifth in Cy Young voting. He's just too good.
Max Scherzer, Washington (+300): The defending champ is currently dealing with a knuckle injury that is limiting his ability to throw fastballs. That shouldn't be a factor long term, but it's a reason to have doubts about a guy who is already up against it in a race against Kershaw. He has a lot going for him, injury aside, but probably not enough for a back-to-back, though Washington should be better this year than last year.
Noah Syndergaard, New York (+800): He throws ridiculously hard and is on a solid team. My biggest concern with him is his durability. Throwing like he does rips arms apart, and the last couple of years the Mets have proven that they are just awful at protecting the arms of their staff.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco (+900): The Giants will be better than last year, and that will have an impact on what he will do. If the award was given for playoff performance then he'd be very tough to beat, but as it is this price is no more than just fair.
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