2021 MLB Cy Young Betting Odds: Robbie Ray Becomes Favorite After Gerrit Cole Shelled
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Robbie Ray.
Below we break down the updated odds and races for both AL and NL Cy Young.
American League Cy Young Odds
Odds via FanDuel
September 20 AL Cy Young Odds Update
Gerrit Cole lost control of the AL Cy Young race after getting shelled by the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Cole allowed seven earned runs in 5.2 innings, raising his ERA from 2.75 to 3.08 and losing the spot as betting favorite to Robbie Ray.
Ray starts on Monday against the Rays and will come in as the -280 favorite.
September 15 AL Cy Young Odds Update
Gerrit Cole’s odds have lengthened from -200 to -125 after a few lackluster starts since the beginning of the month.
Robbie Ray has seen his odds go from +3000 in August to +115 as of Sept. 15 after dropping his 3.04 ERA to its current mark of 2.69. He is the only major competitor to Cole for this race and the Blue Jay has a higher bWAR (6.3 v. 5.9).
Lance Lynn’s +250 odds have lengthened all the way to +480 after a poor August in which he had a 4.67 ERA over five starts. He was then placed on the IL in late August.
September 3 Cy Young Update
Lance Lynn had been the odds-on favorite at -140 in early August but a recent stint on the injured list has helped vault Gerrit Cole into a firm -200 favorite spot.
Cole has thrown for a 0.51 ERA over 17.2b innings and three starts since our last update. His odds shortened from a +250 second-best underdog.
Lynn threw for a 4.67 ERA over the month of August before landing himself on the injured list.
Robbie Ray, their only major competitor, had a solid 1.76 over 41 innings in the month of August, but his overall numbers don’t quite compete with Cole’s.
Carlos Rodon, who had third-best, +410 odds in August, only pitched twice in August due to injury.
August 3 Cy Young Update
Gerrit Cole finds himself in a two-month rut — at least by his standards — and it’s been enough to slide him off the top spot on the board.
After posting ERAs of 1.43 and 2.18 in April and May, respectively, Cole’s posted ERAs of 4.65 and 4.71 in June and July. On top of that, Cole was scratched from his Aug. 3 start due to COVID-19. That’s opened the door for two Chicago White Sox to jump into the competition.
Lance Lynn is now the betting favorite with Carlos Rodon third before a major drop-off to Robbie Ray and Sean Manaea. Lynn leads the AL in Baseball Reference’s WAR with 4.2. His 2.07 ERA also leads the league.
July 1 Cy Young Update
Gerrit Cole solidified his lead in the American League, lengthening his odds from -134 to -175 with more than three months to go in the season.
Carlos Rodon rocketed up to second-best favorite after starting June at +1800 odds. He had a 2.25 ERA in the month of June with 8.25 strikeouts per game.
Shohei Ohtani is now tied for eighth after being off the board at the start of June. The two-way superstar had a 2.35 ERA with eight strikeouts a game in June.
Tyler Glasnow’s odds fell from +650 to +3000 after he suffered a partial tear of his UCL earlier this month. He is out indefinitely.
Zack Greinke, Corey Kluber and Danny Duffy are completely off the board following lackluster starts to the season.
June 1 Update
While Gerrit Cole still commands the top spot in the American League, what a month it was for Baltimore’s John Means who came from off the board in May to now having the sixth-best odds in the American League.
Danny Duffy, Aroldis Chapman and Nathan Eovaldi all join Means as pitchers who were previously off the board in May but now have odds.
Trending downward, however, is Chicago’s Lucas Giolito who had one of the biggest drops, falling from the fourth-best odds at +1200 to now where he stands in ninth with +4000 odds.
May 1 Update
The biggest movement is behind Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber, who are still tops in the American League.
Lucas Giolito’s subpar start to the season has moved him from +450 to +1200, while Tyler Glasnow has moved right behind Cole and Bieber at +500 after starting the season +950.
Glasnow’s 1.67 ERA through six starts is backed up by his 1.67 FIP. He has gone deep into games, averaging more than six innings per start while striking out 56 batters over 37 2/3 innings. At this point, he might be the frontrunner.
It’s hard to believe at this point that that Gerrit Cole hasn’t won a Cy Young award. After finishing runner-up to this then-teammate Justin Verlander in 2019, he came in fourth in 2020, and has four top-five finishes without a win.
He’s a short favorite over the reigning Cy Young winner in the American League, Cleveland’s Shane Bieber, as well as White Sox ace Lucas Giolito.
Among the longer odds are former perennial contenders Chris Sale and Zack Greinke. The bottom of the list is littered with youngsters with breakout potential, including Toronto’s Nate Pearson and Detroit’s Casey Mize.
National League Cy Young Odds
Odds via FanDuel
September 20 NL Cy Young Odds Update
Scherzer lengthened his lead, moving to -210 after he shut out the Reds on Saturday. That marks five consecutive scoreless outings for Scherzer — 36.2 innings in those starts without allowing an earned run. Throw in 48 strikeouts during that stretch and it’s tough to see someone catching him.
Corbin Burnes will try, and in any other year a 2.34 ERA with 221 strikeouts in 158 innings would be enough to do it.
September 15 NL Cy Young Odds Update
This race is wide open after former favorite Walker Buehler put up a dud against the San Francisco Giants in which he gave up six runs over three innings pitched.
That game mattered immensely in the NL West divisional race because it gave the Giants a 10-9 win in the season series, which means San Francisco now holds the tiebreaker over Los Angeles.
Buehler’s odds are now +350 after they were -120 at the beginning of the month.
Teammate Max Scherzer has emerged as the favorite. The three-time Cy Young winner has thrown for an absolutely ridiculous 0.88 ERA over eight starts since he was traded. He’s averaged nine strikeouts in those starts.
Scherzer had been a +1500 underdog as recently as a few weeks ago.
Corbin Burnes has seen his odds shorten from +200 to +155. Burnes has just a 1.76 ERA since August and threw eight innings in a combined no-hitter last week against the Indians.
September 1 Cy Young Odds Update
Walker Buehler has emerged as the soft favorite (-120) in this very tight race after having been the +350 favorite in August.
Zack Wheeler had been the second-best favorite in early August with +380 odds but has since thrown for a 4.81 ERA over 43 innings. He is now a +1100, fourth-best underdog at FanDuel.
Corbin Burnes had been the third-best favorite in early August with +400 odds and he put up a solid 1.64 ERA over 33 innings in that month.
But, Buehler pulled away with a 1.56 ERA month over more innings.
Burnes is now the second-best favorite at +200.
August 3 Cy Young Odds Update
What a difference a month makes.
A month ago, deGrom was -500 and in consideration for not just a Cy Young but the NL MVP as well. Now on the IL with a return potentially pushed back until September, he’s fallen six others and is now +1000 to win.
Current favorite Walker Buehler was +3300 a month ago. He’s second in the league with a 2.19 ERA, sixth among pitchers in WAR but falls outside the top-10 in strikeouts.
WAR leader Zack Wheeler is second on the oddsboard. He’s fifth in ERA and leads the NL in strikeouts with 165.
Brewers teammates Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff are just ahead of Giants starter Kevin Gausman and newest Los Angeles Dodgers acquisition Max Scherzer.
July 1 Update
Jacob deGrom has further cemented his grip on his third Cy Young Award. His odds at the beginning of June were -143 and have lengthened all the way to -500. He had a 0.67 ERA with 12.5 strikeouts per game over five June starts. DeGrom’s total ERA is an unworldly 0.69 over his first 13 starts.
Patrick Corbin’s odds are now third-best at +1300 after having been off the board, which frankly makes no sense given his 5.33 ERA and -0.9 WAR. This one’s probably a mistake.
Jack Flaherty and Clayton Kershaw’s odds were among those who have precipitously declined since June. Pretty much every pitcher besides deGrom has seen their odds significantly shorten as a result of the Mets ace’s dominance.
June 1 Update
Jacob deGrom has further cemented his grip as the top option in the Nation League, even while spending time in May on the injured list and in the minors on a rehab start.
Some of the biggest movers up the board were Jack Flaherty for St. Louis and Max Scherzer for Washington who both stand tied with the fourth-best odds at +1800.
Joe Musgrove’s odds lengthened the most of the pitchers on the board, going from +2500 in May to +3300 in June, likely cooling down from public sentiment after his no-hitter at the beginning of the season.
May 1 Update
Corbin Burnes’ ascension early on may be halted by what appears to be a COVID-19 diagnosis, but he was more than +4000 to start the season and now rivals Jacob deGrom.
Burnes had a 1.53 ERA through his first five starts of the season, having struck out 49 without a single walk. His 0.55 WHIP was unheard of through five starts and easily paced the majors entering May.
deGrom, meanwhile, has actually been better. His 0.51 ERA, 0.79 FIP and 0.57 WHIP are incredible, and his 747 ERA+ was the best in the majors coming into May. There’s a reason he’s almost even money to win a third Cy Young Award.
It’s hardly a surprise to see Jacob deGrom at the top of this list, as the Mets’ ace won back-to-back awards in 2018-19, and had a strong case in 2020 when he came in third to Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish.
Speaking of Bauer, the brand-new Los Angeles Dodger checks in with the second-lowest odds. The ageless Max Scherzer is up there, as is last year’s runner-up and new National Leaguer Blake Snell.
Further down on the list includes the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg, as well as intriguing young aces like Sixto Sanchez and Mike Soroka. The only reliever to show up on either list is Milwaukee’s Josh Hader, who is 50-1.