As the season winds down the competition for the AL Cy Young Award is heating up, let's review the MLB odds at Bovada and narrow down our choice for the best pitcher in the Junior Circuit this season.
Rick Porcello (Boston Red Sox) MLB Odds +200: 22-4, 3.11 ERA, 0.99 WHIP - Last season the Red Sox traded for Porcello and promptly signed him to a pricey four-year pact. It wasn't long before the baseball hotbed began collectively moaning, and then ultimately vilifying Porcello for the high price the Sox paid for his subpar performance.
Fast forward to this season and the $82.5 million Boston spent looks like a bargain as Porcello has adjusted to his new surroundings and has absolutely dazzled in 2016. A case can even be made that Porcello is the primary reason why the Red Sox have gone from worst to first, and they are also top MLB picks. Yet, at the very least, his turnaround has mirrored his team's resurgence, and an unlikely postseason for both is now very much a reality.
Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) MLB Odds: +300: 46 Saves, 0.56 ERA, 0.84 WHIP – The only thing preventing Britton from being the MLB oddsmakers choice to win the AL Cy Young is that closers don’t traditionally win this award. However, exceptions have been made, though rarely, as Dennis Eckersley took home the hardware in 1992 and Eric Gagne in 2003 are the most recent examples. In addition, Britton has not blown a save all season – amazing!
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J. A. Happ (Toronto Blue Jays) MLB Odds +900: 20-4, 3.20 ERA, 1.16 WHIP – The Blue Jays de facto ace gets the nod over teammate Aaron Sanchez who owns a stellar 14-2 record but will not hit the magical 20 wins that have often been the litmus test for many of the previous winners. The Jays will enter the postseason most likely as a wildcard entry and Happ has been a big part of that.
Corey Kluber (Cleveland Indians) MLB Odds +1500: 18-9, 3.14 ERA, 1.06 WHIP – Kluber’s stock has plummeted as he is out with a quad strain which will in all likelihood prohibit him from being a 20-game winner. Nonetheless, he has been the undisputed ace on an Indians team that captured a division title and could be the AL entry into the World Series.
Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox) MLB Odds +1900: 17-9, 3.21 ERA, 1.03 WHIP – The 5-time All-Star’s chances of winning the AL Cy Young has evaporated over his last two starts. It would have been hard enough for him to wrest the award from either Porcello or Britton, to begin with as he will not be a 20-game winner and he is the captain of a sinking ship on the Southside of Chicago. But his last pair of performances has been subpar and that will cost him.
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The choices are down to Rick Porcello of the Red Sox and Baltimore’s lights-out closer Zach Britton. If the Orioles can cop a spot in the postseason, even if just for one wildcard playoff game, it will enhance Britton’s chances. He should be a lock to win but the dearth of relievers capturing this award gives me cause for pause. Nevertheless, we will go with Zach Britton over Rick Porcello in our MLB picks to win the 2016 AL Cy Young Award being dealt at Bovada.