Kershaw Leads Arms Race In NL Cy Young Betting

Willie Bee

Sunday, March 26, 2017 9:34 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 26, 2017 9:34 PM UTC

Plenty of big arms are part of the MLB futures odds for NL Cy Young props, but Clayton Kershaw rises above them all as the Los Angeles ace looks for his fourth trophy.

What if I told you Mike Trout wasn't the best player in the game? Neither are Mookie Betts, Kris Bryant, etc.? What if I told you the best player in the game only plays every five days, has one career homer and a .154 lifetime average?

It's just, like, one man's opinion, man, but this old dude thinks that player is Clayton Kershaw, and MLB futures odds are firmly behind it, at least as far as the 2017 NL Cy Young goes. The Los Angeles lefty is runaway chalk fetching a +150 to +200 price at some of SBR's top sports books, and it's hard to argue against him winning for a fourth time (2011, 2013-14).

Baseball bettors understand just how valuable Kershaw is on MLB odds boards; the 2014 NL MVP was the favorite in all 25 of his starts last year, closing -300 or higher five times during the regular season. That's nothing new since you have to go all the way back to July 2012 to find the last time the Dodgers were an underdog with Kershaw on the hill. Dude's definitely a threat to win it, and I can't fault anyone for betting him.


History Lesson, Children, History Lesson

Until 1978, no pitcher had won the Cy Young in both leagues. Gaylord Perry, who was 40 at the end of that season, broke the no-no up with a 21-win season for San Diego. The Padres have no Cy Young candidates this time, by the way. Since 1999, five more pitchers have done it -- Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Roy Halladay and, now, Max Scherzer, the Washington ace carrying a +350 price to repeat. Having picked the Nats to win the NL East, he should be a big reason why. 

If pitchers could ever help their Cy Young causes with their own bats, those pitchers might be Madison Bumgarner (+1000) and Jake Arrieta (+1600). Let's start with the latter if for no other reason than he's already won a CY. That Arrieta is considered to have had a down year in 2016 when he went 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA, well, it should tell you exactly how strong 2015 was. He's one of three strong contenders for the Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester 16/1, Kyle Hendricks 33/1), and also in the walk year of his contract, something to think about.

I love Bumgarner, and have from the start. With any offense behind him, he'd have won at least one Cy Young by now. Four straight years of sub-3.00 ERA's and 100 wins in his first 214 starts, yeah, he's special.


New York Arms Should Be Players In Award

Like the Red Sox in the AL and the Cubs here in the Senior Circuit, the New York Mets are overloaded with Cy Young contenders. Personally, I think any of six arms that get 30+ starts could win it, that's how deep this rotation is. Still, on a 25/1 price, some sports books are being too kind to Matt Harvey, who's the most likely of the half-dozen to fail.

Jacob deGrom at 25/1 is a very tempting play; yes, he petered out towards the end of 2016 when the club was monitoring his workload, but that shouldn't be the case this time and he's got the potential for a big K column. Know who else has the potential for a lot of strikeouts? Noah Syndergaard. The big Texan should be ready to really cut loose, and that's why I like Thor at 10/1 for my free baseball picks.

Free MLB Pick: Noah Syndergaard +1000
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