2019 National League (NL) Cy Young Award: Predictions and Odds

What is the Cy Young Award?

Annually given to the best pitcher in both the American and National League, the Cy Young Award is the highest achievement that a pitcher can receive in Major League Baseball.

The award has tremendous weight when deciding the overall legacy of a pitcher and is part of the process to gauge the player’s career when it comes time for Hall of Fame voting.

How is the Cy Young Award Winner Decided?

Each Cy Young Award is voted upon a select group of baseball writers assigned to vote in just one league. Voters assign a place for the pitchers they believe are the best for the year.

A completed ballot will have a first through fifth place vote for the voter’s top five pitchers of the season in either the American or National League.

Once all the votes are in, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America uses a weighted formula to compile the final result.

If there is a tie among two pitchers, then both players share the award, although that has never happened since the award split into two winners in 1967.

Who Has Won the Most Cy Young Awards?

Roger Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards in his career spanning an 18-year period from 1986 to 2004. Clemens is not in the Hall of Fame, however, due to suspicion that he used performance enhancing drugs during his career.

Randy Johnson, who has won five Cy Young trophies, including four in a row from 1999 through 2002, made the Hall of Fame in his first opportunity in 2015.

Another player worth noting is the Braves’ Greg Maddux. Widely believed to be one of the best National League pitchers of the last three decades, Maddux won four straight Cy Young Awards from the 1992 season through 1995.

Who Are Recent Winners of the National League Cy Young Award?

There are two pitchers that have dominated the NL Cy Young voting since 2011. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer have stood apart from the pack with multiple wins.

Kershaw won the award three times over a four-year span, starting with a victory in 2011 and back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014.

Scherzer won in back-to-back years as well with wins in 2016 and 2017. He is also one of the rare pitchers to win Cy Young’s in both leagues as he also won in the American League in 2013 for the Detroit Tigers.

Last season, the New York Mets’ fireballer Jacob deGrom ran away with the award after posting a season with a 1.70 ERA and 269 strikeouts, despite just winning ten games.

Who Are the Favorites To Win the 2019 NL Cy Young Award?

If you are in New Jersey you can bet on the favorites to win the 2019 NL Cy Young Award by visiting 888Sport.

Max Scherzer

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Some may find it difficult to argue against the frontrunner, Scherzer, but some recent developments have made the hard-throwing righty less than a shoe-in for his fourth Cy Young.

Although Scherzer leads all of baseball in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) according to Fangraphs, recent troubles with his back have put him on the IL for the second time this season.

The just-turned 35-year old pitcher has been incredibly good for the past decade but after six straight seasons of over 200 innings, not counting postseason play, Scherzer’s body may be starting to defy him.

That said, in Scherzer’s 134.1 innings in 2019, he has struck out a whopping 189 batters and posted a 2.41 ERA. Those numbers are so impressive that even missing several starts might not derail his fourth Cy Young win.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

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The prime beneficiary of Scherzer’s injury will be Ryu who has had a spectacular season for the Dodgers in 2019.

The big lefty has several things going for him that Cy Young voters love.

Perhaps, most importantly, he’s pitching well for a team with a lot of wins as the Dodgers are running away in the race for the top spot in the National League playoffs.

Ryu has also posted some authentically jaw-dropping statistics. Through 21 starts, Ryu has posted a microscopic 1.66 ERA alongside just 16 walks in 135.2 innings.

What could hurt Ryu is his weak K/9 innings rate. In this modern era of home runs and strikeouts, voters could hold that against him and leave the pitcher empty handed come awards time.

Jacob deGrom

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deGrom, the 2018 NL Cy Young winner, is having another terrific season although not as spectacular as last season’s performance.

Through 22 starts, deGrom has thrown 136 innings and piled up 174 strikeouts. His ERA stands at 2.78 and he’s suffering again from poor run support with a record of 6-7 on the year.

For deGrom to spoil Scherzer’s and Ryu’s party, he’ll need to put together an undeniable August and September that incorporates dominance and a spot of luck.

deGrom has several things going for him that make back-to-back Cy Young Awards not a complete fantasy.

His WAR this season ranks third in all of baseball and second in the National League behind Scherzer.

Stephen Strasburg

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Around deGrom is the Nationals’ second ace, Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander has stayed healthy this season and that has given him a huge boost in the NL Cy Young race.

Strasburg has a record of 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA through his first 22 starts. In 140.2 innings, the Nats’ righty has posted 168 strikeouts.

Strasburg’s candidacy is hampered a bit by the season his fellow Nats’ teammate Scherzer is having, but that could change if MadMax has to miss additional time with his bad back.

Clayton Kershaw

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The three-time winner is a long shot to win his fourth Cy Young award, but the lefty has overcome early injuries to put together another terrific season.

Kershaw might not be as dominant as his teammate Ryu, but he’s striking out a batter per inning and posting a respectable ERA of 2.85.

With a 9-2 record, Kershaw will once again have an admirable final line of statistics, but probably nothing close to finishing at the top of the Cy Young voting.

Who Will Win the 2019 National League Cy Young?

As it stands, Scherzer is the favorite at -155 but his back injury continues to linger and the 35-year-old pitcher is showing signs of his advanced age.

Ryu presents strong value at the moment at +155 and if Scherzer continues to miss time, expect the lefty’s odds to drop to around even.

The NL Cy Young race is certainly between these two pitchers and it would be wise to monitor Scherzer’s health if you are looking to wait and see on this wager.

National League Cy Young Award – Winner Odds

If you are in New Jersey, go to 888Sport to bet on the winner of the National League Cy Young Award. Good luck!

Winner888Sport NJ
Corbin, Patrick+2500
Buehler, Walker+2800
Soroka, Michael+2800
Nola, Aaron+4000
Bumgarner, Madison+8000
Gray, Sonny+8000
Paddack, Chris+8000
Ray, Robbie+8000
Syndergaard, Noah+8000

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER