NY Studs deGrom, Cole Favored Early

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Updated: April 19, 2021

The 2021 season isn’t even a month old but it’s never too early to look at MLB Cy Young betting odds. With so many good pitchers dominating the game, the Cy Young odds race is sure to be a fun one to follow throughout the year. 

New York studs Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole are likely to be among the leaders as long as they stay healthy, but other Cy Young favorites like Tyler Glasnow and Trevor Bauer are already building early cases. 

Let’s take a look at the National League Cy Young odds and American League Cy Young odds as we inch closer to May. We’ll go through the deep fields and see who has the best value as we break down the pitchers who have the best odds to win the Cy Young. 

Odds to win AL Cy Young award

Player Odds to win 
Gerrit Cole +300
Shane Bieber +350
Tyler Glasnow +500
Lance Lynn +1,000
Lucas Giolito +1,200
Hyun-Jin Ryu +1,300
Jose Berrios +1,500
Kenta Maeda +3,000
John Means +3,500
Zack Greinke +3,500
Dylan Bundy +5,000
Eduardo Rodriguez +5,000
Jesus Luzardo +5,000
Lance McCullers Jr.  +5,000
Nathan Eovaldi +5,000
Shohei Ohtani +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of April 19, 2021.

Favorite to win the AL Cy Young award

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees (+300)

Cole delivered in his first season with the Yankees after signing a record-setting nine-year, $324 million deal, putting up a 2.84 ERA and striking out 32.4 percent of the batters he faced, good for the third-best mark in the AL. While the Yankees fell short of the World Series, Cole struck out 12 or more batters in three postseason appearances.

Although the Yanks are off to a sluggish start, the three-time All-Star has been dominant again this season. Cole is striking out a career-best 14.23 batters per nine innings through three starts, to go along with a microscopic 1.82 ERA. As long as the fireballer stays on the mound, he’ll be a good bet to win his first Cy Young award this season. 

The biggest threat to Cole will likely be Cleveland ace Shane Bieber, who claimed the prestigious award in 2020 and leads the majors in strikeouts through four starts (Cole is second).

Sharp bet to win the AL Cy Young award

Hyun Jin Ryu, Toronto Blue Jays (+1,300)

It didn’t take long for Hyun Jin Ryu to take command of the pitcher’s mound in Toronto after trading in his Dodgers digs for the Blue Jays. In Ryu’s first season with Toronto, the ace went 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA, striking out 72 batters across 67 innings. His strikeouts per nine innings rose by nearly two, from 8.0 to 9.7, which was on par with his sparkling 2018 season. 

Ryu, who placed in the Top 3 in Cy Young voting in each of the last two seasons (one with Toronto, the other with the Dodgers), has picked up where he left off, putting up a 1.89 ERA and 0.89 WHIP through three starts while punching out a batter per inning. 

Best value bet to win the AL Cy Young award

Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins (+1,500)

It’s hard to see anyone outside of this top-heavy group winning the award, but Twins righty Jose Berrios is an intriguing arm to look at while he’s still clocking in at +1,500 odds. 

The talent has always been there but Berrios hasn’t quite reached ace potential and may not even be the best pitcher on his own team, with 2020 AL Cy Young runner-up Kenta Maeda also calling Minnesota home. While Berrios struggled a bit during last year’s shortened season, we have to take those numbers with a grain of salt. The two years before that he logged 190-plus innings in each season, and was 3.1 WAR in 2018, per FanGraphs, and 4.3 WAR in 2019. 

At only 26 years old, another leap forward is not out of the question and so far he’s off to a strong start, with a 0.94 WHIP and career-best strikeout rate and FIP through three starts. If he continues on that path, he’s going to stay in the Cy Young mix.

 

Odds to win NL Cy Young award

Players Odds to win
Jacob deGrom +220
Corbin Burnes +550
Trevor Bauer +750
Walker Buehler +1,200
Aaron Nola +1,500
Brandon Woodruff +1,800
Clayton Kershaw +1,800
Max Scherzer +1,800
Yu Darvish +2,100
Jack Flaherty +2,200
Luis Castillo +3,000
Sandy Alcantara +3,000
Stephen Strasburg +3,000
Zack Wheeler +3,000
Blake Snell +3,500
Freddy Peralta +3,500
Joe Musgrove +3,500
Marcus Stroman +3,500
Michael Soroka +3,500
Zac Gallen +3,500
Dinelson Lamet +4,500
Dustin May +5,000
Ian Anderson +5,000
Max Fried +5,000
Sonny Gray +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of April 19, 2021.

Favorite to win the NL Cy Young award

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (+220)

Jacob deGrom is gunning for his third Cy Young award in four years and is so far the NL betting favorite to do so at +220 odds. While the Mets ace was unable to nab the award last season after a dominant campaign that saw him post a 2.38 ERA while striking out 104 batters in 68 innings, he looks as good as ever in 2021. 

The 32-year-old deGrom has struck out nearly 50 percent of the batters he’s faced through three starts, and sports a 0.45 ERA and 0.70 WHIP. He has no-hit stuff nearly every start and is the favorite for a reason. 

Sharp bet to win the NL Cy Young award

Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies (+1,500)

Aaron Nola slots in after the Top-4 arms on the board at +1,500 odds. The Phillies ace finished seventh in Cy Young voting last year and third in 2018, and at 27 years old there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in the mix again. 

Nola is an innings eater who has two 30-plus start seasons under his belt. The workhorse entered the year ranking second in innings pitched and sixth in punchouts across all of MLB since 2018, and is off to another strong start again this season. Through four starts, Nola has a 2.19 ERA (1.97 FIP, which is a Top-10 mark in the NL), 0.97 WHIP, and one of the best strikeout-to-walk rates in the game. If the improved control he’s flashed early on is for real, he could certainly put up similar value to his career-best 2018 season when he was 5.5 WAR, which will keep him in the Cy Young discussion.

Best value bet to win the NL Cy Young award

Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres (+2,100)

Following an excellent final season with the Cubs, in which Yu Darvish posted a career-best 2.01 ERA over 12 starts, the veteran finished second in Cy Young voting for the second time in his career. Now in San Diego with the Padres, Darvish is part of a stacked rotation that also features Blake Snell, injured Dinelson Lamet (who is nearing a return), and arguably the hottest pitcher in the game in Joe Musgrove, who threw a no-hitter in his second start with San Diego.

When he’s on, Darvish is as dominant as they come. He throws gas, has a deep repertoire, and has three 200-plus strikeout seasons to his name. Through his first four starts with the Padres, the right-hander has a 2.55 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and is striking out more than a batter per inning. On a World Series favorite team, there might not be better value in either league than Darvish at +2,100 odds.

 

Understanding Cy Young odds

Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. When Justin Verlander looked to have the AL Cy Young locked up last September, his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number. 

That means that a bettor in September had to wager $300 to win $100 by betting on Verlander. Before this year’s race even began, every candidate had a (+) sign in front of their number.

With Cole’s current odds, a bettor stands to profit $325 for every $100 wagered on him. 

If American odds aren’t your thing, simply use a tool like our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.

How to bet futures odds

Futures betting is different than betting on an individual game because you need to consider the long haul as opposed to a single event. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when betting futures odds.  

Change your strategy at different points in the season

While some futures bets must be placed before the season begins and are then removed off the board (such as team win totals), other wagers will change odds as the season goes on.

If you are wagering money on a futures bet with changing odds keep in mind that there is less variance at the beginning of the season (when more players and teams are still in contention) and more variance as the season goes on (when teams and players at the top separate themselves from those at the bottom). 

In the preseason and beginning of the season, betting on dark horses can prove very profitable. But as the season continues, expect to see odds tighten around the favorites. At that point it becomes wise to focus on the players near the top of the odds board and betting big underdogs is practically like giving your money away.

Look for value with underdogs

While the bigger names tend to be strong favorites, there are also live long shots that can provide tremendous value. Look at younger players on the verge of breaking out, or guys that have already been playing at a high level but could take the next step now that they are in an ideal situation with a new team, coach or system. 

Other players that can give a great payout are established stars coming off under-performing years due to injuries or other factors. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch them in a bounce-back year.  

Follow the narrative

When placing futures bets on individual awards, keep in mind that voters, not a scoreboard are often the deciding factor. Voters can be influenced by a variety of factors, including media coverage and public opinion. Consider what the media narrative is for a particular season and which players they seem to be rooting for and against. 

For example, in LeBron James’ first season in Miami he was viewed as a villain or heel by the media, and Derrick Rose – who ended up winning MVP – was the perfect foil for that. When Ron Dayne won the Heisman trophy back in 1999 it was viewed by many as a well-deserved reward for his entire career at Wisconsin.  

Research historical trends

Historical trends, especially recent ones, can give you a good idea of which way voters tend to lean. 

The NBA MVP, for example, almost always goes to a player on an elite regular-season team. While the Heisman trophy is almost exclusively given to a quarterback or running back – and over the last couple of decades has been overwhelmingly handed out to QBs. 

Identifying those trends is a good way to separate the true contenders from the pretenders.

Where can I bet on AL and NL Cy Young award odds?

Almost every online sportsbook and casino will provide MLB Cy Young Award futures odds. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live and see what MLB betting odds they currently have available.


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