Free MLB Betting Predictions: American League Cy Young Award Odds
If there is a lesson that recent history has taught us about the American League Cy Young award, it is that literally anyone can win it. Johan Santana won it in 2004 and again in 2006. Since the we have had 11 different first-time winners of the award - Corey Kluber, in 2014 and again in 2017, is the only repeat winner - and more than one of them certainly were not on the radar at this time in the season. Heck, Blake Snell was about as far from a household name as a guy could be last February, with a career 11-15 record and an ERA of about four. And now the Tampa hurler is a Cy Young winner. So, looking at AL Cy Young futures is basically like throwing darts, but we still might as well take a look at the odds on offer at BetOnline to see what is interesting. Maybe this year will be more predictable. It can't be any less.
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Corey Kluber, Cleveland, +250: Besides his wins in 2014 and 2017, Kluber has also finished third in voting in 2016 and 2018. The guy can pitch. He's about to turn 33, so his dominance isn't going to go on forever, but the end isn't necessarily near. He is on a solid enough team that is going to win a division almost by default, and he will get some run support. He had a career-best in wins last year and is always going to be a factor here. I have to bet against him just based on this price, but it's not really a confident thing to do.
Chris Sale, Boston, +350: It seems so impossible that Sale has not yet won a Cy Young that I felt the need to triple check to make sure I wasn't just missing one he had won. His issue, though, has been closing out seasons. In 2017 he seemed to have the award locked down, but he got ice cold in the second half while Corey Kluber, the eventual winner, got hot. And last year he was again the virtual first-half winner, but then he got hurt and missed most of the second half. Can this year be different? He obviously has no shortage of talent, and he's still in his prime - he turns 30 at the end of March - but this recent trend is troubling. Too troubling to like this price.
Luis Severino, New York, +600: This price is just ridiculous. Let's ignore the fact that the only Cy Young winner from the Yankees since 1978 was Roger Clemens in 2001, so the franchise doesn't give their ace a boost in this race. Severino faces serious health uncertainty. He has had an MRI to look at rotator cuff soreness and will, at the very least, be out of action to start the season. For the guy who throws the hardest fastball in the league among starters, a sore arm is a major concern. No value here.
Justin Verlander, Houston, +1400: Verlander has won the award only once, but he has finished second three times since 2012, including last year. His runner-up finish in 2016 behind Rick Porcello was one of the bigger shams in the history of the award - and it spawned one of the great Tweets in history from Verlander's wife, Kate Upton. Verlander is 36-years-old, but we still can't write him off. He looked like he was done as recently as 2015, but he has been a whole new guy since. And he is on a great team this year. He's certainly a contender - he usually is - but this price, though fair enough, isn't value packed.
Blake Snell, Tampa Bay, +1600: I just don't see how you can really evaluate Snell with any accuracy. After two pretty forgettable seasons, the guy just exploded last year. It was a truly impressive season, and to his credit he was able to maintain his pace through the season despite the massive increase in attention he received. But doing it once is much different than doing it twice, and a lot of times it seems like a guy who rises up to grab the award struggles to maintain quite the same level. They aren't able to sneak up on anyone anymore, and scouting reports are much better for them. At this price it's an easy pass.
Gerrit Cole, Houston and Trevor Bauer, Cleveland (both +1600): These two are interesting because they would be clear aces on two-thirds of the teams in the league but are matched up with the favorites in this race. You can make the case that both stand a good chance of success because they are on strong teams and because people will already be paying attention to their teammates. Of the two I much prefer Cole, who has that incredibly dangerous curve ball that is only improving. But both of these guys offer probably the best value of any guys we have looked at here.
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