MLB Picks: Handicapping the 2015 American League Cy Young Race

Kevin Stott

Thursday, April 23, 2015 5:54 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 23, 2015 5:54 PM UTC

Two very unique but potentially valuable Futures Bet marketplaces are the American and National League Cy Young Winners, markets where decent odds evaporate quickly before Memorial Day. Let’s look at them both, starting with the Junior Circuit—the American League—and provide a logical pick or two.

Introduction and the Best Serious Candidates For Decent-Sized Wagers
A very seldom discussed and bet sports gambling marketplaces for serious MLB bettors are the American League and the National League Cy Young Award winners, usually only found offshore or in one of the sportsbooks across the proverbial pond in the United Kingdom. Here, prospective bettors can select Pitchers who they think will be voted on by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America as the best Pitcher—for the most part usually a Starting Pitcher and not a Relief Pitcher, although any pitcher can be voted the winner—who they think may win this award in both the American League (AL) and/or National League (NL). Last year, the winners of this award in the two respective MLB divisions were the Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber (18-9, 2.44, 269 Ks) in the AL and the Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (21-3, 1.77 ERA, 239 Ks) in the NL. The Baseball Writer’s Association of America has one member for each team of the 30 currently in the league who place votes for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th best Pitchers in that league in his or her mind.

This season, the Indians’ Corey Kluber has really earned the respect of the MLB odds makers (9/1, Paddy Power), but money bet on the Cleveland hurler this season seems like a big waste in my mind and odds closer to 20 to 30 seem more accurate for him. Kluber winning back-to-back Cy Youngs? C’mon man. Kluber even winning another Cy Young? Exactly. So, on to some real Cy Young award-winning candidates like the Seattle Mariners (16/1 to win World Series, Sky Bet) long-time ace Félix Hernández (2-0, 2.37 ERA in 2015) and Oakland A’s newfound star and Vanderbilt product, Sonny Gray (33/1, William Hill), both right-handed Aces of pitching staffs expected to contend for the AL West crown. The 29-year-old Hernández—a product of Valencia, Venezuela—has simply been one of the most dominant and consistent pitchers in MLB for quite some time, and at 6/1 odds, appears to potentially hold some real value at This Moment In Time (April 22). And, at 25, the 5-11, 185-pound Gray (1-0, 2.11 ERA, 12 Ks, 0.98 WHIP) is a player to really keep your eye on (both if you have two), and if Oakland (33/1 to win World Series, William Hill)—which often gets hot from June to August—can somehow make a pennant or even World Series run this season and Gray can hit or get near that 20-win mark, than writer’s may vote for this athletic, Athletics youngster.  

Other guys worth mentioning and following in the AL Cy Young race this season are the Detroit Tigers David Price (6/1 to win Cy Young, 1-1, 3.28 ERA) and Kate Upton-boyfriend Justin Verlander (14/1); Gray’s A’s teammate southpaw starter Scott Kazmir (2-0, 1.33 ERA);  Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka (16/1) of the New York Yankees; last year’s recipient, last year’s aforementioned winner of the award, Corey Kluber (9/1) of the Tribe; Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim right-handed starter Jered Weaver (14/1); Chicago White Sox right-hander starter Chris Sale (11/1); and Yordano Ventura (16/1) of the upstart Kansas City Royals (25/1 to win World Series, Sky Bet).

Check a Pitcher Win Totals Predicition here

Some Long Shot Cy Young Award-Winning Candidates to Mull in the Junior Circuit
In terms of placing more moderate- or small-sized wagers on a perceived Long Shot to win this year’s Cy Young Award in the American League, Edinson Vólquez (33/1, Paddy Power) of the Kansas City Royals and Chris Archer (75/1) of the Tampa Bay Rays (66/1, William Hill) look like two pretty decent hurlers to potentially take a shot or shots on, with both starting for teams that should be in the thick of their respective divisional races and potentially AL Playoff teams this season. The Royals 31-year-old right-hander Vólquez—a real journeyman who has pitched for the Texas Rangers (2005-2007), Cincinnati Reds (2008-2011), San Diego Padres (2012-2013), Los Angeles Dodgers (2013) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2014)—has started off the season very nice for the defending American league champion Royals (12/1 to win American League, Paddy Power)—who are tied for the best mark in MLB right now at 11-3 with their AL Central counterparts, the Tigers and the NL’s surprise New York Mets—with Vólquez going 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his three starts so far. And the imposing Vólquez—a 6-0, 225-pound product of the Dominican Republic—has the added benefit of having the Royals magnificent Bullpen to mop up his starts. Some luxury. And Archer, a 26-year-old north-paw from Raleigh, NC, has started this season off 2-2 with a 1.07 ERA, a 0.83 WHIP and 30 Ks in four starts for Tampa. But there’s a reason these two are priced the way they are, and this is probably the best value and highest odds you might see on these two right-handers.


AL CY Young Winner Conclusions
This is an extremely neat and hidden marketplace, seldom talked about (and probably bet) by most Sports Bettors, but the professionals and those baseball fans in the know. Although there will only be one winner (in each league) of this award, there definitely could be some money to be made here in this marketplace and the odds (here from UK bookmaker Paddy Power) are more than fair and offer a chance for fair speculation for the intelligent Sports Gambler. One problem though, the near 7-month wait to collect your Money should you actually win. And, of note: There were no odds posted here on either AL hot-starters Shane Greene (3-0, 0.39) of the Detroit Tigers (14/1 to win World Series, 32Red Bet) or Trevor Bauer (2-0, 0.95 ERA, 26 Ks) of the Cleveland Indians (30/1 to win World Series, bet365), and, there was no ’Field’ bet listed, so take that into serious consideration and look for other sportsbooks offering this rare Cy Young Award Futures bet and shop around for the best odds, as always, if you can while making your MLB picks. Should Bauer or Greene win the Cy Young and you knew of this current reality, you would not be happy. And it is still just the month of April, after all, Cappy.

And, why Félix Hernández? (6/1 (Paddy Power) you ask? Could I get a “C’mon Man” in honor of the late, great ESPN announcer Stuart Scott? We’re talking Félix Hernández man. The King. A veteran. A losing-streak stopper. Félix friggin Hernández, bruh. And, more importantly, the type of guy the writers (who decide and vote for this award as mentioned above) know of, love, respect and have been covering for all of these years. If Hernández has a great or even just a good year, he gets the vote. And his Mariners are in the MLB Playoff race, or if he has a solid, 20+-win season with Seattle just falling short, he will get the “He Kept Them In It Vote.” Or if there is a clump of guys close to the perception of being the best, the writers likely give Old Boy Hernández the nod. I certainly would if that were the case. and, when all is said and done as a Sports Gambler, you know exactly what to expect from the Mariners just-turned 29-year-old (April 8) right-hander and would feel better having a Futures bet on him through the grueling MLB months of May-June-July-August-September than any of the other names in this marketplace, with no disrespect to the talented Price or Gray, who would also make potentially make for wise wagers at their respective current market prices (6/1, 13/1).

Next up here at Sportsbook Review, we will take a look at the NL Cy Young Award marketplace, where pitchers like the aforementioned Dodgers’ future HOFer Clayton Kershaw (21-3, 1.77 ERA, 239 Ks) and St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38 ERA in 2014) rule the Diamond. Until then my friend, tootleoo and drink plenty of Water (0 calories), because after all you’re like 75% Water despite the misleading appearances in the mirror.

AL CY YOUNG PICK: Félix Hernández, 6/1 (Paddy Power)

AL CY YOUNG LONG SHOT PICK: Edinson Vólquez, 33/1 (Paddy Power)

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