The expected frontrunners have stumbled and that is throwing the Cy Young Award picks into the realm of uncertainty as the Major League Baseball regular season enters its final week of play.
Jacob de Grom was the heavy favorite in the opening National League Cy Young Award odds. However, inflammation in his right elbow has kept the New York Mets ace and 2018-19 NL Cy Young Award winner off the pitcher’s mound since July, eliminating him from contention.
In the American League, Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees has held forth in the betting odds as the Cy Young Award pick for the majority of the 2021 season. It hasn’t been a banner year for Cole, however. It’s not that he’s pitched poorly. It’s more a case of the Yankees right-hander not being his usual dominant self, and that’s opened the door to the chance that another AL hurler could slip in there and slip ahead of Cole in the Cy Young Award picks.
In fact, in the latest AL Cy Young Award betting line, it’s Robbie Ray of the Toronto Blue Jays who has overtaken Cole as the betting choice to win the award. Ray is listed as the -175 favorite in the AL Cy Young Award picks.
Just like the American League MVP battle, the AL Cy Young chase is a two-player race. And one of them plays for the Blue Jays.
|Max Scherzer (Dodgers)||-250|
|Corbin Burnes (Brewers)||+225|
|Walker Buehler (Dodgers)||+800|
|Zack Wheeler (Phillies)||+1800|
|Brandon Woodruff (Brewers)||+5000|
Looking at the latest betting odds on the NL Cy Young Award, it’s three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer of the Los Angeles Dodgers who is favored. He’s the odds-on -250 pick in the Cy Young Las Vegas line.
If he wins the NL as the Cy Young Award picks are suggesting, Scherzer will make baseball history. He’d be the first pitcher to be traded during the season and win the Cy Young.
Scherzer was pitching well when he was with the Washington Nationals. He was 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA. However, the 37-year-old right-hander has been otherworldly on the mound since he was picked up in an August deal by the Dodgers.
In nine starts for LA, Scherzer is 7-0 with an 0.78 ERA. He’s allowed five earned runs during 58 innings on the bump while striking out 79. His WHIP is 0.66, and he’s held opposing hitters to a .150 batting average.
Overall, he’s 15-4 with a 2.08 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 147 strikeouts in 111 innings. Scherzer’s ERA, WHIP, and hits per nine innings (5.43) are all NL-leading totals.
Good luck to anyone who thinks they can beat those numbers.
Naturally, Milwaukee Brewers fans will beg to differ. They’re happy to make a Cy Young case for Corbin Burnes to those who are willing to listen. Burnes does have one number working in his favor win it comes time to be considering the NL Cy Young Award picks. He’s posted a league-leading 221 strikeouts.
Burnes is also atop the NL in most strikeouts per nine innings (12.38) and the fewest home runs allowed per nine innings (0.34). His strikeouts to bases on balls ratio of 6.90 is also No. 1 in the league.
It could be that Yankees right-hander Cole is one of those steady, reliable pitchers who is just destined to never get his hands on a Cy Young Award. He’s consistently very good every year. But there always seems to be someone who’s just a bit better.
Last year, it was Cleveland’s Shane Bieber. In 2019, his last season with the Houston Astros, Cole lost out to teammate Justin Verlander, even though Cole didn’t lose a game after May and led the league in strikeouts.
This season, Cole is the AL leader in wins (15), complete games (two), strikeouts per nine innings (12.27), and strikeouts to bases on balls ratio (6.07).
Will be enough to finally make Cole the AL Cy Young Award pick?
As the Blue Jays make a passionate charge for an AL Wild Card playoff position, it’s been Ray who’s been pointing them in that direction.
Overall he’s just 12-6 but Ray’s lost just once since the end of July. The left-hander has allowed less than three earned runs in 16 of his past 21 trips to the mound.
Ray leads the AL in ERA (2.72), WHIP (1.03), WAR (6.8), strikeouts (238), hits per nine innings (7.07), games started (30), and innings pitched (182). In the AL Cy Young picks, the award is his to lose.
Interestingly, both Scherzer and Ray were teammates with the 2014 Detroit Tigers. Three other pitchers on that staff – Verlander, David Price, and Rick Porcello – are also Cy Young Award winners.
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