Gerrit Cole is far and away the richest pitcher in baseball, thanks to his $324 million contract. And he is clearly one of the best pitchers in baseball. But is he your best bet in the A.L. Cy Young race?
Odds to win A.L. Cy Young
- Gerrit Cole +280
- Justin Verlander +800
- Blake Snell +1100
- Shane Bieber +1100
- Charlie Morton +1500
- Mike Clevinger +1500
- Tyler Glasnow +1600
- Carlos Carrasco +2500
Gerrit Cole – New York Yankees (+280)
Gerrit Cole has yet to win a Cy Young award, although you can make a strong case that he should have won it last year. He had a better ERA and more strikeouts than winner Justin Verlander, but one less win. Ironically in MVP voting he finished ahead of Verlander.
It was his third top 5 finish in Cy Young voting, and he will breakthrough at some point. In New York, he is the unquestioned leader of the staff – something he wasn’t in Houston – and that may be the difference. He’s the clear favorite to win, although at only +280 the bet feels a bit risky.
Justin Verlander – Houston Astros (+800)
The defending Cy Young winner – his second such award – is the ace of a team expected to win close to 100 games. So of course Justin Verlander will be in the mix. He’s always in the mix. But he did throw more than 250 innings last season (when you add in his October work) and he just turned 37.
Because of that I would feel more comfortable if he was paying at +1100. At just +800 I’m a little more cautious about this bet.
Blake Snell – Tampa Bay (+1100)
Your 2018 American League Cy Young winner took a step back last season largely due to injury. First there was a broken toe suffered carrying things around at his home, then there was elbow surgery to clear out “loose bodies.” He missed a lot of time, and when he was there he wasn’t very effective.
The assumption is that he’ll rebound now that he’s healthy. But before placing a bet on Snell, it’s worth noting that in four full seasons only his Cy Young-winning campaign in 2018 can even be considered good.
Shane Bieber – Cleveland Indians (+1100)
At just 24 Shane Bieber is the youngest of the Cy Young favorites. He has great command and has continued to add MPH to his fastball, making him a really interesting pitcher to watch.
Bieber still has lots of room to grow and improve on last year’s fourth place finish in Cy Young voting. I think he’s a better play here than Snell.