2020 MLB American League Cy Young Odds: Gerrit Cole Takes Top Spot
Pictured: Gerrit Cole. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Last season, the Astros’ Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole went tit for tat down the stretch battling for the American League Cy Young award. Come November, we’d learn that it was the grizzled vet Verlander that got the nod.
This year, it’s the new ace of the Yankees that oddsmakers are expecting to continue his dominance as he enters his age-29 season.
At +250, Cole is one of the biggest AL Cy Young preseason favorites of the decade. While the move from Houston to the Bronx could potentially lead to a rocky start, that doesn’t appear to be factored into his price. Nope, you’re not going to get any benefit of the doubt on this fella — +250, take it or leave it.
2020 American League Cy Young Odds
Verlander, soon to be 37 years old, doesn’t even get the second place spot on the odds list. That belongs to Chris Sale, who began his stint in Boston with two near-Cy Young campaigns before having an ugly 2019. At just 5-1 odds, I wouldn’t expect him to get a ton of action given his health woes at the end of the season. When a wiry southpaw with his delivery has an elbow issue, err on the side of caution.
Verlander along with Cole’s new teammate, Luis Severino, are next at +800 a pop. Despite having the same odds, the two are nearly polar opposites:
- Verlander: age 37, won the Cy Young last year
- Severino: age 26, started three games last year
It’s possible Verlander’s odds would be slightly better if the whole Astros cheating scandal did not come to light, but then again, +800 odds for someone approaching 40 isn’t bad at all.
The +1000 to +2000 range features a wide variety of arms, including household names and ex-winners like Corey Kluber and Zack Greinke, as well as guys who broke out last year — Tyler Glasnow, Shane Bieber and Lucas Giolito.
Glasnow’s sub-2 ERA and K/9 north of 11 were certainly Cy Young-worthy last year, but he pitched just 60.2 innings thanks to injuries.
The Biebs finished fourth in AL voting last year in his first full season, posting impressive K/9 (10.9) and BB/9 (1.7) marks, the latter of which led the American League.
Giolito, a former top prospect, had struggled mightily in the majors from 2016 to 2018, posting a 5.81 ERA over 240 innings. However, he flipped the switch in a big way last year. His ERA fell to 3.41, while his K/9 shot up exponentially from 6.4 over his first three seasons to 11.6 last year. ERA can be a fickle statistic thanks to batted-ball variance, but an elite strikeout rate like Giolito’s helps limit potential outcomes.
Shohei Ohtani, who ranks high on the AL MVP odds list, can also be found at 20-1. That could be a risky/unwise pick, though, since he’s reportedly not going to pitch more than once a week.
Another pitcher coming back from Tommy John surgery like Ohtani is Michael Kopech. The ChiSox flamethrower has hardly pitched in the MLB, logging just 14.1 innings in 2018. In fact, he stills holds prospect status, ranking 20th in the MLB on MLB.com. At 80-1, he’s still a bit of a longshot, but oddsmakers give him a better shot than last year’s NL runner-up, Hyun-Jin Ryu (100-1).
Stay tuned for more baseball futures, value plays and more as we exit the football season and approach Spring Training.