Odds taken from BetMGM sportsbook
|Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins||-400
|Max Fried, Atlanta Braves||+1000
|Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers||+1000
|Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks||+1500
|Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers||+1500
|Max Scherzer, New York Mets||+6600
|Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves||+6600
|Edwin Diaz, New York Mets||+8000
|Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers||+10000
|Carlos Rodon, San Francisco Giants||+12500
|Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies||+15000
|Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies||+25000
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Without even looking at the odds, true baseball fans could probably name the top two National League Cy Young candidates. They’ve been the front runners for the better part of a decade and now they’re teammates – Jacob deGorm and Max Scherzer.
But they’re not a lock. Last year’s winner (Corbin Burnes) has the third shortest odds, and pitchers 4-10 on the list are all easy to justify as good bets. We’re going to talk about our three favorite bets and then identify a longshot (15:1 or longer odds) who we think will play a role in this award race.
If you missed Jacob deGrom’s spring debut, here’s what you need to know about it. He struck out the side in his first inning back from his 2021 injury and his entire team was literally standing atop the dugout steps watching with true intent. That’s how important he is and how much he means to the team.
There’s two ways to look at this. He’s coming off an injury and so there’s no way to know how he will respond. Or, after throwing more than 200+ innings every season from 2017-19, deGrom has been taxed for just 160 total innings over the past two years.
deGrom’s win totals has always been extremely low because his team has been quite bad (not that it’s stopped him from winning two Cy Young awards before) but now with a better offense, his win-loss record should reflect his true dominance.
For the first time in his career, Walker Buehler will get the ball for Opening Day for the Los Angeles Dodgers. That’s not insignificant.
Not only does he have top-of-the-rotation stuff (duh), but the organization has embraced his importance – even beyond one of the two best pitchers to ever wear Dodger blue in Clayton Kershaw.
Last year he had a very compelling case to win the award: Buehler went 16-4 overall with a 2.47 ERA, microscopic 0.97 WHIP, and 212 strikeouts in 207.2 innings pitched. For my money, I would have voted for Buehler over Burnes (and would have done it without hesitation) and at 10:1 odds, he’s a great bet for the value.
Zack Wheeler has been surprisingly solid for seven years in a row. The Phillies Ace (alongside Aaron Nola) has had an ERA of 3.54 or better in five of seven years and that’s only gotten better in his two campaigns in Philadelphia.
Wheeler comes off the best season of his career, where he made his first All-Star game and finished as the Cy Young runner-up. He started a career-high 32 games, posting a 14-10 record, with 247 strikeouts, 2.78 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in a career-high 213.1 innings.
Wheeler not only proved his durability with his inning count but showed he can go deep in games at any point, throwing three complete games in 2021, two of which were shutouts.
Perhaps his greatest asset is his accuracy while still having swing and miss stuff. Wheeler had a 5.4 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio and if he can repeat that again, the Phillies will be in great shape to make the playoffs and Wheeler could be hoisting some hardware.
Max Fried is a World Series champion. Three of his five postseason starts were quality starts and he’s no longer an up-and-comer – Fried is ready to emerge as a top-end starter in the National League.
A year ago he was very solid: 14-7 overall, with a 3.04 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 158 strikeouts in 165.2 innings. His 3.9 K/BB ratio is elite and his 4.7 WAR was tied for 14th among all pitchers in baseball.
The next step for Fried is to pitch deeper into games and should he figure out how to be just a bit more efficient, Fried could take the step from borderline All-Star to someone you don’t want your favorite team to have to face.
|Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers||2021|
|Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds||2020|
|Jacob deGrom, New York Mets||2019|
|Jacob deGrom, New York Mets||2018|
|Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals||2017|
|Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals||2016|
|Jake Arrieita, Chicago Cubs||2015|
|Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers||2014|
|Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers||2013|
|R.A. Dickey, New York Mets||2012|
|Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers||2011|
|Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies||2010|
|Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants||2009|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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