Cy Young Futures

The Cy Young Award was first introduced in 1956, the year after Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young passed away. For a decade, it was only given to one pitcher in all of baseball.

That changed in 1967 when it was decided that a pitcher from both the National League and American League would win the award. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America now decides each league’s respective winner.

Odds to win the NL Cy Young Award and AL Cy Young Award are available at online sportsbooks year-round, but the market is dynamic. That means your Cy Young odds and possible rate of return change throughout the regular season.

Betting on a team to win the World Series is the most popular futures bet in baseball, but betting the Cy Young is right up there. Here’s a roadmap to betting on the Cy Young Award winners for the 2020 MLB betting season.

2021 Cy Young odds

Cy Young betting apps

DraftKings Sportsbook: Cy Young Award odds can move quickly after a big performance (or stretch of performances) so having access to the sportsbook app, where you can get a bet down at your preferred odds instantaneously, is ideal. DraftKings’ Flash Bet is also top-of-the-line for making in-game bets and props.

Use DraftKings Sportsbook online in: NJ, CO, PA, WV, IN, IA, TN, NH and IL  

FanDuel Sportsbook: The FanDuel app is widely known for its parlay insurance, odds boosts, and highly competitive odds. Fast payouts are another asset with deposits and withdrawals easily made via app alone.

Use FanDuel Sportsbook online in: NJ, CO, PA, WV, NV, IL, IA, TN and IN

How an MLB Cy Young futures bet works

A Cy Young Award bet is deemed a futures bet, which means you won’t know the result for a good amount of time. Normally, a baseball season is six months long. That means you’d have to be willing to be separated from your investment for at least that long.

Also, keep in mind that all bets made on the winner of the Cy Young are considered action—meaning the bet is locked-in regardless of whether the player is injured or the season is shortened/canceled. If none of that dissuades you from taking a shot, you’ll put yourself in a position to make some good coin should you pick the winner.

Every player has plus-money attached to them meaning you’ll take home more than you initially have to pony up should the BBWAA select them as the winner of the award. For example, Stephen Strasburg offers up a 12-1 return on investment meaning you’d win 12x whatever amount you ultimately decide to put down. Throw $100 on it, and you just made yourself $1,200 should he win it for the first time in his career.

Cy Young betting trends

There has only been one first-year player to win the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards in the same season; Fernando Valenzuela won it all back in 1981. In other words, don’t waste any beer money aligning yourself with any rookies when deciding on who to back on the Cy Young Award futures odds this upcoming baseball season.

Look for established power arms with:

  • High strikeout tallies
  • Low walks
  • Incredible ERAs

These guys are the ones you want to target when perusing the list of your sportsbook’s offerings.

Wins don’t carry nearly as much weight

Look at the National League wins over the last two seasons. Jacob deGrom amassed a total of 21 wins the last two seasons yet enters the pandemic-shortened 2020 season looking to put a third straight Cy Young Award on his mantle.

Dating back to the turn of the century, there has been one Cy Young Award winner in the National League to win the award with an ERA north of 3.00. The American League saw it occur five times during that same stretch, but you must take into account the extra bat AL pitchers are forced to deal with.

Rick Porcello’s 3.15 ERA back in 2016 represents the only 3+ ERA in the American League dating back to the 2007 season when C.C. Sabathia took home the honors. A total of 21 pitchers have won the award multiple times, so don’t be afraid to back someone that’s won it recently. Before deGrom won the last two, it was Max Scherzer that took two straight in 2016 and 2017. Before him, it was Clayton Kershaw in 2013 and 2014.

Other recent multiple winners of the Cy Young are Corey Kluber (2014/2017) and Tim Lincecum (2008-09).

2021 AL/NL Cy Young favorites

Gerrit Cole

It makes perfect sense to see the new Yankee atop the AL Cy Young Award futures odds. The dude was nothing short of a dominant force in Houston the last few seasons and enters the prime of his career. He went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 0.89 WHIP and racked up a 326:48 K/BB ratio as the Astros’ ace. He also proved to be a workhorse in racking up a career-high 212.1 innings pitched.

Mike Clevinger

A true wild-card no doubt, but one that certainly has the stuff and the moxie to cash in at 10-1. Clevinger has been electric throughout his time on the bump over his four-year career.

His problem, unfortunately, has been in the inability to avoid the injury bug. Yet in limited work, he’s been largely unhittable in allowing just 402 hits through 500.2 total innings to go along with 563 K!

Jacob deGrom

Will the third time be the charm for the Mets righthander who registered an impressive 11.3 K/9 en route to locking down successive NL Cy Young Awards?

No reason not to think he won’t be in the running this season even though he just got done throwing the most pitches of his career in a single season (3,297). deGrom simply knows how to miss bats and accrue outs, and that’s a winning formula when betting on the Cy Young Award winner.

Max Scherzer

“Mad Max” will be on the warpath in hopes of reclaiming his throne as best pitcher in the NL after deGrom beat him out each of the last two seasons.

While Scherzer was still on top of his game a season ago evidenced by his 2.92 ERA and 243:33 K/BB ratio, his ERA was close to 3.00 and he failed to log 30 starts for the first time since his rookie season back in 2008. There’s a ton of miles on his right arm that could finally be catching up to him.

Walker Buehler

With Kershaw’s stuff diminished, Buehler is now the next big thing within the Dodgers’ starting rotation. The kids have done nothing but impress through his first two full seasons in the Bigs, and he took a notable jump in innings pitched a season ago by logging 182.1 innings after putting forth 137.1 in his rookie campaign.

The sky’s the limit in 2020 with his ability to strike opposing batters out and not give up many freebies; Buehler’s walked 37 batters in each of his first two seasons – that’s an impeccable command!

2020-21 AL/NL Cy Young wild cards

Frankie Montas

“You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” Words to live by for Montas who experienced first-hand the pain of that lyric when his breakout campaign was cut short due to getting caught using PEDs last season.

Before the 80-game suspension was handed down, Montas was on his way to the All-Star game in accruing a 9-2 record with a 2.63 ERA and 103:23 K/BB ratio. Said to have learned a valuable lesson, Montas will be out to redeem himself in 2020 and has the stuff to cash in as a huge 40-1 underdog!

Brandon Woodruff

To say Woodruff’s insertion out of the bullpen and into the Brew Crew’s starting rotation was a success would be putting it very mildly. While it remains to be seen if his arm can withstand a full six-month regular-season schedule, it already showed it could handle 4+ months before bogging down last season.

He was one of if not the most dominant pitchers in the NL before succumbing to a strained oblique that saw him miss a bulk of the last two months. Now fully healthy and refreshed, this power arm will be tough to contend with evidenced by his 10.6 K/9 and impeccable 2.2 BB/9.

MLB Cy Youngs past 10 years

YearAmerican LeagueNational League
2019Justin VerlanderJacob deGrom
2018Blake SnellJacob deGrom
2017Corey KluberMax Scherzer
2016Rick PorcelloMax Scherzer
2015Dallas KeuchelJake Arrieta
2014Corey KluberClayton Kershaw
2013Max ScherzerClayton Kershaw
2012David PriceR.A. Dickey
2011Justin VerlanderClayton Kershaw
2010Felix HernandezRoy Halladay

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Cy Young Betting FAQ

Who votes for/how is AL/NL Cy Young determined?

Each league’s award is voted on by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). A weighted sum of votes ultimately selects the winner in each league.

Which player/team has won the most Cy Young awards?

Roger Clemens owns the most all-time Cy Young Awards (7), yet still hasn’t been enshrined into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Behind him are Randy Johnson (5), Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux who have each won it four times. Only six players have gone on to win the award in both leagues; Johnson and Clemens are two of them.

The Los Angeles Dodgers hold the record of most Cy Young Award winners (12).

What are the most controversial Cy Young picks of recent years?

Most baseball aficionados will flashback to Bartolo Colón winning the 2005 AL Cy Young award over Johan Santana as one of the most controversial decisions ever. Though wins normally don’t come into play when selecting the winner, it most certainly did this time around.

Colon finished his regular-season campaign with a league-high 21 wins. However, his counting stats paled in comparison to Santana’s whose ERA was nearly a run lower. On top of that, he racked up a 238:45 K/BB ratio compared to Colon’s 157:43 and also played to a 7.2 WAR compared to Colon’s 4.0. Santana was robbed; highway style!

Who has had the best Cy Young years?

Pedro Martinez’s 1999 and 2000 seasons were nothing short of magical. They were also near carbon copies of one another. What made both efforts all the more impressive leading to successive Cy Young wins was the fact that they occurred during the steroid era with guys like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds hitting balls out of the yard with relative ease.

He logged the lowest FIP since the end of the dead-ball era and set the record for strikeout rate that went unbroken until 2019. He also won the Triple Crown with a 23-4 record, 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts; can you say dominance?

Is it ever good to bet on a repeat Cy Young winner?

Yes, especially recently. A total of 21 pitchers have been multiple Cy Young Award winners. Of those hurlers, 11 of them won the award in back-to-back seasons. Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, and Randy Johnson have all pulled off the feat since the turn of the century.

When is the best time to bet Cy Young futures?

Of course, the best time to bet the Cy Young is before the hype train leaves the station for a particular player. That’s when you’ll receive the most line value at online sportsbooks of said player. Even so, it’s always fun to make these types of investments for the season just to keep things fresh and interesting.

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