2020 American League (AL) Cy Young Award: Predictions and Betting Odds
American League Cy Young Award Odds
The odds for the winner of the AL Cy Young 2020 are provided by BetMGM.
For the full list head to BetMGM.
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What Is the Cy Young Award?
Awarded to the best pitcher in each of the MLB’s two leagues, the American and National, the Cy Young Award is the crowning success that a pitcher can obtain in Major League Baseball.
The award is special because it is a symbol of excellence that holds significant weight when a pitcher’s legacy is gauged by voters for the Hall of Fame at the end of the player’s career.
Read also: 2020 National League (NL) Cy Young Award.
How Is the Cy Young Award Winner Decided?
The Cy Young Award is determined by a collection of baseball writers that each represent one team in the league they are assigned to vote.
These voters cast their selections by assigning a place for the pitchers they feel are worthy of the award.
Once their ballot is completed, voters have chosen a first through fifth place pitcher for the award in either the American or National League.
The votes are then tallied by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who uses a weighted system to come up with the final totals and eventual winner of the award.
Although it has never happened since the award was given to each league beginning in 1967, if a tie should occur among two pitchers, then both hurlers will share the Cy Young Award for that season.
Who Has Won the Most Cy Young Awards?
Roger Clemens leads all of baseball with seven Cy Young Awards for three different American League teams. Clemens won Cy Young trophies for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and New York Yankees.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, most of the pitchers with multiple wins of the Cy Young Award, such as Randy Johnson (5 wins), Greg Maddux and Steve Carlton (4 each), all come from careers spent in the National League.
In the American League, Jim Palmer won three Cy Young Awards for the Baltimore Orioles. Pedro Martinez won three overall Cy Young titles but only two came with the Boston Red Sox.
Who Are Recent Winners of the American League Cy Young Award?
Unlike the National League, the AL has seen a wide distribution of the Cy Young Award over the past decade. Only the Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber has won the award multiple times, taking the trophy home in 2014 and 2017.
A good indicator for the ultimate winner of the AL trophy is reaching the plateau of 20 wins as six of the last eight winning pitchers have reached the threshold.
Surprisingly, the only pitcher not to win 20 or more games over that span was Kluber who won 18 games in each of his award-winning seasons.
Best Bets for 2020 AL Cy Young
If you like stability with your future bets, then the AL Cy Young race has plenty of highly recognized pitchers to lay your hard-earned money on this year.
The last two AL Cy Young winners, Justin Verlander (2019) and Blake Snell (2018) are among the top five pitchers that bookmakers feel have the best shot at taking the 2020 trophy home.
Unlike the AL MVP that has a clear frontrunner in Mike Trout, the AL Cy Young race has five pitchers fairly close in odds, with New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole as the leader to open the season at +275.
The award for the biggest signing of the 2019-20 offseason went to the New York Yankees and their free-agent agreement with starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.
Last year’s runner-up for the AL Cy Young award, Cole put together two straight seasons for the Houston Astros with ERAs under 2.90, more than 275 strikeouts, and 200 innings pitched.
Last year, Cole lost the trophy to his teammate Justin Verlander, but this year the three-time All-Star won’t have to share the spotlight with the soon-to-be Hall of Famer under the bright lights in the Bronx.
There are some obvious detriments to Cole’s case for the 2020 AL Cy Young, the biggest of which is playing under the scrutiny of the sizable $324 million contract over nine years in one of the rowdiest baseball environments, New York City.
At +265, Cole is the clear frontrunner for the crown of the American League’s best pitcher, but he comes with some sizable risk despite the gaudy numbers over the last two seasons.
At +650, Boston’s ace, Chris Sale, represents the biggest risk versus reward bet on this list. Last year, Sale struggled with injuries to his pitching arm and his 6-11 record was coupled with a career-worst 4.40 ERA.
Over the last two seasons, Sale hasn’t thrown for more than 158 innings after three straight seasons pitching over 208 innings in each year.
At his best, Sale is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, and even with the injuries in 2019, he posted his seventh straight season of 200 strikeouts or more. If Sale shows some of the old magic, and velocity, in spring training, then he could be a sneaky good bet for AL Cy Young this season.
If you look at a list of Justin Verlander’s accomplishments, then you know that the Hall of Fame is eagerly awaiting his inclusion. Not only has Verlander won two AL Cy Young awards, and an ALCS MVP, he’s also one of a small group of starting pitchers to win an actual league MVP award (2011).
Verlander’s 2019 campaign was the stuff of legend. The 37-year old pitcher threw 223 innings, posting a 2.58 ERA with 300 strikeouts and a league-leading 21 wins.
The fact that Verlander is slightly behind Sale in the odds has to be attributed solely to age and not performance. The right-hander has been one of the five best pitchers in baseball over the last 15 years and although turning 37 years old doesn’t help his shot at a repeat Cy Young, it would be unwise to count him out.
Mike Clevinger & Blake Snell
Two intriguing pitchers lurking in the shadows are the Cleveland Indians’ Mike Clevinger and the 2018 AL Cy Young winner, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Blake Snell.
Both pitchers do come with their fair share of knocks and caveats, however.
Clevinger opened camp with the surprising news that he needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The right-hander hasn’t lost his place among oddsmakers because it is quite possible that he only misses a start or two to start the season.
The Cleveland ace was considered one of the top ten starting pitchers for 2020 but the injury to start the year coupled with his injury-riddled 2019, certainly gives a better pause, even with the +1000 odds.
At +1000, someone who bets on Snell is hoping for a bounce back after he struggled with injuries in 2019 and only started 23 games.
There is no denying that the left-hander has absolutely filthy stuff that can pile up the strikeouts and bring home his second AL Cy Young trophy in the last three years.
How Do I Find the AL Cy Young Bets Online?
For sportsbooks like BetMGM, bettors looking for MLB Awards bets, like AL Cy Young, must first click on the A-Z SPORTS tab. Under the heading of BASEBALL, you’ll see MLB and you should click that link.
Next, click MLB AWARDS, and underneath that banner, you’ll see six choices to click, including AL Cy Young.
How Do I Bet on the AL Cy Young?
If you are unsure how to make an AL Cy Young winner bet, then here’s a quick tutorial.
Under the AL Cy Young tab, the frontrunner Gerrit Cole has +265 odds. If you click the highlighted +275 to the right of the name, you’ll be taken to a virtual betting slip that allows you to wager on Cole winning the AL Cy Young at his current odds. A $100 bet at +275 odds will pay $275 dollars (plus the return of your original $100 bet) if Cole wins the AL Cy Young after the season is over.