Now that Massachusetts allows online sports betting, Cy Young wagers are sure to get a lot of attention at legal online sportsbooks, regardless of whether Chris Sale or Nathan Eovaldi are still wearing Sox uniforms.
The Red Sox have had several winners through the years — but is there one in the rotation this year? Who are the favorites to win the AL Cy Young or NL Cy Young? Here’s a roadmap to navigating the Cy Young odds at Massachusetts online sportsbooks.
2023 AL, NL Cy Young odds
With Massachusetts online sportsbooks finally legal and live, look below for up-to-date Cy Young odds direct from licensed MA online sportsbooks.
AL Cy Young
NL Cy Young
How do MLB Cy Young betting odds work?
MLB Cy Young odds come out during the offseason and are appealing for several reasons. For one, these types of bets can be a fun way to maintain a rooting interest throughout the season, be it for local talent or an ace on another team. Another reason is that they can provide solid value.
Like many futures bets, Cy Young winner odds come with some risks. Pitchers tend to have higher injury risks than position players, and any extended time on the shelf could derail your bet. However, Cy Young bets also come with high reward potential, as you’ll often get favorable odds. When you place your bet at MA sports betting sites, you lock in those odds regardless of how the market fluctuates.
Once the season begins, Cy Young odds (and all futures markets) will change to reflect how the candidates are playing. While betting midseason will give you more data to consider, the odds will also be significantly altered from where they were in the preseason. Many sportsbooks will periodically remove/modify Cy Young betting odds.
To view the sportsbook odds for the Cy Young and other awards, find the MLB section in your sportsbook and head to player futures. You can check this regularly throughout the season.
Cy Young betting trends
There is no clear-cut strategy for betting on Cy Young Award winners, but there have been some trends in the AL and NL over the past decade.
- Right-hand pitchers have won eight of the last 11 Cy Young Awards (as of 2022) in the AL and NL.
- Three NL pitchers (Clayton Kershaw, Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer) and two AL Pitchers (Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander) have won multiple Cy Youngs over the past decade.
- There have been three back-to-back Cy Young winners in the NL in the last decade and none in the AL.
Another essential thing to consider is key statistics. In the past, a pitcher’s wins and losses played an essential part in the voting process. Recent winners suggest these stats are no longer as vital. For example, Jacob DeGrom won the 2018 award with a 10-9 record.
ERA and strikeouts play a significant role in the voting process, while newer stats like WAR (wins above replacement) are looming increasingly larger. Here are some other stats to consider:
- FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching measures things that a pitcher has the most control over (strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches, and home runs).
- Strikeout-to-walk ratio: Measures how many times a pitcher strikes out the batter vs. giving up a walk.
- RE24: Measures expected runs and then calculates how many runs a pitcher saved based on that.
More MLB futures odds
In addition to betting on the Cy Young Award, there are other MLB futures bets to consider. Some of these bets are individual, while others are team-oriented. Here are the main ones:
- AL/NL MVP
- AL/NL Rookie of the Year
- AL/NL Manager of the Year
- AL/NL pennant winners
- Division winners
- World Series winner
- Batting champion (batting average leader)
- Hits leader
- Home run leader
- Red Sox AL East/pennant/World Series odds
Similar to Cy Young futures, many of these odds may periodically come down after the start of the season, while others might remain up and adjust throughout the campaign. See here for a full rundown of all your MLB player prop options.
Cy Young betting FAQ
Who votes for the AL and NL Cy Young awards?
Like other big awards such as the MVP, voting is by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
How is voting determined?
Voting participants select five pitchers and rank them in order from one to five, with each rank awarding a number of points (first-place votes award the most). The pitcher with the most points wins the award.
Who are the previous Red Sox Cy Young winners?
- Rick Porcello (2016)
- Pedro Martinez (1999, 2000)
- Roger Clemens (1986, 1987, 1991)
- Jim Lonborg (1967)
What are the most controversial Cy Young picks of recent years?
Red Sox fans may remember one notable Cy Young snub back in 2003 when Roy Halladay won the award over Pedro Martinez despite owning an ERA a run higher. That year, Martinez led the league in ERA, WHIP, and K/9 but only won 14 games to Halladay’s 22. Pedro Martinez might have done better in the voting using today’s metrics. (Or maybe not; Halladay slightly edged Martinez in Baseball-Reference WAR.) Two years later, in 2005, Bartolo Colon beat out Johan Santana for similar reasons.
Eric Gagne won the NL Cy Young in 2003 despite a WAR of just 3.7, while Mark Prior won 18 games with an ERA of 2.43 en route to a league-leading 7.3 WAR. As that stat has taken on far more significance in recent years, it’s unlikely Gagne would’ve won the award under today’s voting. Perhaps non-coincidently, he is the last relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award.
Who had the best or worst Cy Young seasons?
It is challenging to compare Cy Young Award winners across different eras, as statistics have taken on different values over the years. However, here are some candidates for the best/worst Cy Young winners of all time.
- Sandy Koufax (1966): 27-9, 27 complete games, 1.73 ERA, 317 strikeouts
- Bob Gibson (1968): 22-9, 1.12 ERA, 368 strikeouts, 13 complete game shutouts
- Pedro Martinez (1999): 23-4, 2.07 ERA, 313 strikeouts, 13.2 K/9
- Steve Bedrosian (1987): 40 Saves, 1.20 WHIP, 74 strikeouts, 2.3 WAR
- Pete Vukovich (1982): 105 strikeouts, 102 walks, 1.50 WHIP, 2.8 WAR
Who was Cy Young?
As you learn more about Cy Young odds, you may be interested in the award’s namesake hurler.
Cy Young was a Major League Baseball pitcher from 1890 to 1911. Throughout his illustrious career, Young notched 511 wins, a record that still stands today. He also accumulated an absurd 749 complete games out of his 815 career starts.