MLB Cy Young Odds, Picks: Best Bets for American League, National League Awards
Pictured: Luis Garcia, Logan Gilbert and Sandy Alcantara.
- The Cy Young races in both leagues are filled with intrigue ahead of MLB Opening Day 2022.
- Our analysts have several bets to recommend, particularly further down the odds boards.
- Continue reading for our staff's best bets for Cy Young ahead of the start of the season.
The 2022 MLB season is nearly upon us, which means its time to take a good, long look at the futures market and see where we can extract value.
The Cy Young races in both leagues are headlined by your usual cast of candidates, such as Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer and more. However, an unpredictable race that saw the likes of Robbie Ray — who wasn’t even listed at most books in the preseason — win last year means there’s plenty of value further down the odds board.
Here are our four best bets to take home the AL and NL Cy Young awards for the 2022 MLB season.
American League Cy Young Best Bets
Luis Garcia (+7500)
Odds via Caesars.
Nick Shlain: While Justin Verlander (+2000) has some buzz in his return from injury, I’ll go with one of his rotation-mates as a longshot selection.
Verlander returns as the unquestioned ace with a Cy Young pedigree for a likely division winner. However, we don’t really know how much gas he has left in the tank at this point, and with the Astros likely playoff-bound, we have to assume that they won’t exhaust him before October.
Enter: Luis Garcia.
Garcia, 25, finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting last year after posting a 3.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 167 strikeouts and 11 wins in 155 1/3 innings over 28 starts. He also pitched the Astros to the World Series in the playoffs, when he shut out the Boston Red Sox for 5 2/3 innings in Game 6 of the ALCS.
Garcia can dominate when his fastball velocity is there as we saw on a big stage in the playoffs. His cutter has the highest recorded Swinging Strike Percentage (23.4%) of any cutter thrown at least 500 times in the last three seasons, according to Alex Chamberlain. Garcia’s changeup is also an elite pitch.
Last year, there was a question about how many innings Garcia would throw after throwing only 12 innings during the 60-game 2020 season. Then the Astros let Garcia throw 155 innings during the regular season before continuing to start in the playoffs, which puts him in line as one of the few starters to potentially throw 200 innings during the regular season this year.
He typically pitches deep into games as he failed to reach five innings in only six of his 28 starts last year. The innings, strikeouts and wins will likely be there for Garcia – he just needs to take another step with run prevention, and that isn’t out of the question.
Garcia is mispriced at 75/1 to win the American League Cy Young award. He’s as low as 40/1 at other sportsbooks. Grab the value at Caesars.
Logan Gilbert +7500
Odds via Caesars.
Collin Wilson: When looking for a longshot to win Cy Young, look no further than Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners.
The 24-year-old is quickly moving up fantasy charts thanks to a blistering 97-mph fastball and improvement in the rest of his arsenal. Gilbert is now throwing a slider at 90 mph along with improved speed on his change-up.
With his dependency on the four-seam expected to come down from 60% as the cutter, slider and change have more velocity, Gilbert is ready to challenge reigning Cy Young Robbie Ray as the lead in the rotation for the Mariners.
There were some sleepless nights in Seattle a year ago as Gilbert entered the season with shoulder inflammation, but now he has manager Scott Servais’s full attention in the Cactus League.
With half of his games in T-Mobile Park along with a schedule that includes plenty of cavernous pitcher parks, expect Gilbert’s excellent command of four different pitches to shine for a contending Mariners team this season.
National League Cy Young Best Bets
Sandy Alcantara (+2500)
Odds via Caesars.
D.J. James: Sandy Alcantara ranked just behind Walker Buehler, Adam Wainwright and Zach Wheeler in innings a season ago. His durability should propel him up the futures market for the National League Cy Young award.
Alcantara has an elite arsenal. His fastball averages around 98 mph, and his chase rate ranks in the 98th percentile in all of baseball. That’s a combination for insane strikeout production, and he eclipsed the 200-K mark a season ago.
Alcantara uses his fastball about 52% of the time while moving to a curve/slider and changeup the rest of the time. Since he does not bank solely on throwing fast, he can be compared to the best in the league.
Finally, Alcantara does not issue free passes. His walk rate has plummeted over the last three seasons and ended up around 6% last year with a strikeout rate increasing each season in conjunction.
The sky’s the limit with him, and the fact that he does not allow much hard contact (sub-40%) while throwing as hard as he can is extraordinary. If he can maintain those attributes while improving his K rate and walk rate again, he should easily be in a top-five pitcher in the National League.
Tanner McGrath: This Friday, Sandy Alcantara will become just the third Marlin to make consecutive Opening Day starts, joining Josh Johnson and Josh Beckett.
He deserves it. He’s a workhorse and innings eater, and he was just one of three National League pitchers to cross the 200 IP/200 strikeout mark last season. His companions were Walker Buehler and Zack Wheeler, who both earned Cy Young votes last season.
But past the peripherals, Alcantara is an elite starter who should be valued higher in the market. His odds have dipped across the market since open, as I grabbed him on Caesars at 30-to-1 just last week.
Alcantara throws a five-pitch mix if you include his junk curveball, but things center around his sinker and slider. He throws the sinker 98 MPH on average but often hits triple-digits, and opponents whiff 38% of the time against the latter.
Consequently, he ranks above the 95th percentile in both Chase Rate and Fastball Velocity. He’s a weapon. Plus, it helps that he’s dropped his Walk Rate year-over-year for four straight seasons, hitting a career low at 2.19 BB/9 in 2021.
While he’s already broken out and solidified himself as the Marlins’ new ace, I’m expecting the Face of the Fish to reach new heights this season.
Alcantara should be closer to +1300 than +3000, so I’ll grab the value and bet on him to shove this season.