During the All-Star break, most of SBR’s top sportsbooks post updated MLB award props for the season. Here, we look at the leaders on BetOnline for the AL & NL Cy Young Awards. There are no real surprises.
The biggest trade last winter was the Chicago White Sox sending their ace, lefty Chris Sale, to the Boston Red Sox. In the spring, BetOnline had Sale as a +200 favorite to win his first Cy Young Award – Sale had finished in the Top 6 of the AL voting the previous five years with the Pale Hose.
Sale, who started the AL All-Star Game for the second year in a row (that had never happened for a pitcher who switched teams) on Tuesday, is now the clear -250 favorite on the MLB odds. Sale leads the Junior Circuit in innings pitched (127.2), strikeouts (178), FIP (2.09), WHIP (0.901), hits allowed per nine innings (6.6), and strikeouts per nine innings (12.5). Sale is second in the league in wins (11) and ERA (2.75).
It’s hard to see Sale not winning the award for the first time, but I would caution you that in the past he has faded a bit in the second half. For example, last year he was 14-3 with a 3.38 ERA before the break and 3-7 with a 3.28 ERA after. In 2015, Sale was 8-4 with a 2.72 ERA before and 5-7 with a 4.33 ERA after. In 2014, 8-1 with a 2.08 ERA before and 4-3 with a 2.28 ERA after. The guy is 6-foot-6 and 170 pounds dripping wet so he might simply wear down.
Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel is the +650 second-favorite. The 2015 AL Cy Young winner was right there with Sale until Keuchel got injured. He was the AL Pitcher of the Month for April and is 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in 11 starts. He hasn’t thrown in the majors since June 2 but did have a bullpen session Sunday for the first time since reinjuring his neck from a pinched nerve. Astros manager A.J. Hinch has said Keuchel will need 1-2 rehab starts before returning to the big club. So maybe sometime next week he’s back.
The only other AL pitcher below +1000 is Cleveland’s Corey Kluber at +800. He was the +300 second-favorite back in the spring. Kluber struggled in April and missed most of May but has been fantastic since. He’s 7-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 0.99 WHIP in 14 starts.
How About A Tie In NL?
Also in the spring, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw was the +100 NL Cy Young favorite and Washington’s Max Scherzer was right behind him at +300. Not much has changed with Kershaw now -170 and Scherzer +130.
Kershaw (14-2, 2.18) leads the NL in wins and innings pitched (132.1). He’s second in strikeouts (159), ERA and WHIP (0.88). One moderate surprise has been his 18 homers allowed, which is already a career worst. Kershaw is looking to join Greg Maddux, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens as the only four-time Cy Young winners.
Scherzer (10-5, 2.10), who started opposite Sale in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, leads the NL in ERA, strikeouts (173), ERA+ (208), FIP (2.61), WHIP (0.779), hits per nine innings (5.1) and strikeouts per nine (12.1). Scherzer is second in the majors with a FanGraphs WAR of 4.4, behind only Sale (5.3). Kershaw is third at 3.7. Of course Scherzer won the Cy last year and also in 2013 in the AL with the Tigers. He looks to become the 10th player ever with at least 3 Cy Youngs.
The only other guy within a mile of Kershaw and Scherzer is the Dodgers’ Alex Wood at +500. He’s 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA that would lead the majors if Wood had enough innings to qualify. He started the season in the bullpen and has thrown 80.2 innings.MLB Free Picks: Sale & ScherzerBest Lines Offered: BetOnlineBet On MLB Futures At SBR's Top Sportsbooks