AL Cy Young Odds 2023: Framber Valdez, Shane McClanahan the New Favorites is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company when you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

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When the Major League Baseball season commenced almost three months ago, veteran New York Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole and Texas Rangers RHP Jacob deGrom were co-favorites at +700 to win the award for the 2023 American League season.

In the ensuing months, though, much has changed.

The new frontrunners on the oddsboards at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet, and many other sites are Houston left-hander Framber Valdez and Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan, also a lefty. They are running a close one-two.

Cole, a right-hander, is right up there, too, but deGrom is literally off the charts.

Earlier this month, he had Tommy John surgery and naturally will be lost for the rest of the season. He worked only 30.1 innings for his new team after spending nine years with the NY Mets, which included Cy Young seasons in 2018 and 2019.

As for who will win this year’s award, what seems to attract the eye of Baseball Writers’ of America voters are win totals. At least that’s been the case in the AL for the past 12 years when the pitcher who had the most victories or tied for the most took home the honor.

The last player to receive the award with a less-than-glitzy record was Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in 2010. He was only 13-12 but excelled for a miserable Mariners team that finished last in the AL West at 61-101. It also was impressive that he had a league-best 2.27 ERA.

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Odds for American League Cy Young 2023

Gerrit ColeYankees+175+180+160
Framber ValdezAstros+400+350+350
Shane McClanahanRays+450+380+380
Kevin GausmanBlue Jays+600+550+550
Nathan EovaldiRangers+750+800+800
Luis CastilloMariners+1200+3500+1200
Shohei OhtaniAngels+1700+2500+4000
Sonny GrayTwins+6500+9000+12000

Favorites to Win AL Cy Young in 2023

Shane McClanahan is the new favorite to win the AL Cy Young award.
Rays’ Shane McClanahan is the new favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In a preseason analysis, Valdez and McClanahan were identified in this spot as Cy Young contenders with the strongest betting value… along with Chicago White Sox righty Dylan Cease.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Valdez opened at +2000 and now is at +300 (DraftKings, PointsBet) despite having a pedestrian-looking 7-5 record through 15 starts compared with his 17-6 mark last season. His ERA is 2.27, second-best in the majors (right behind McClanahan). His strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2023 is a sterling 5.0. In 2022, his ERA was 2.82, and his K/BB ratio at 2.9.

One reason for his lesser record is the fact he’s had fewer runs to work with, as the Astros have scored a norm of 3.80 in his starts. Houston provided him with 5.08 runs per outing in 2022.

Pennant-race pressure shouldn’t affect him. In last year’s postseason run to the championship, he was 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts. Two of the victories were in the World Series against Philadelphia.

As for McClanahan (+360 FanDuel), he’s got the most victories in the majors (11-1) and the lowest ERA at 2.23. But bettors might want to keep a wary eye on him.

He opened the season with Cy Young odds of +1600 and was the wagering favorite only a week ago at +250, but on Thursday, he left his start against Kansas City in the fourth inning with back tightness. Uh-oh!

His odds promptly lengthened to +410 since it wasn’t immediately known how serious the injury was and if he’d need to go on the injured list.

The number has since shortened with news that he would not be going on the IL and will start Friday’s game against the Mariners in Seattle.

Cease, meanwhile, opened at +1000 but now is at +10000 thanks to a 3-3 mark and 4.22 ERA.  His earned run average last season was 2.20, the third-best rate in the majors.

So, hands off this guy who’s on a team that’s 11 games under .500 entering Monday’s play and has the third-worst record in the AL.

Other Favorites to Consider for AL Cy Young in 2023

Cole and Toronto right-hander Kevin Gausman are both available at +550 (DraftKings), tied for third. That number seems right for Cole but maybe too short for Gausman.

By far the best thing the Yankees have going for them is Cole, who’s 8-1 (2.78 ERA) for a squad that’s otherwise 35-34 and not getting much production on offense since slugger Aaron Judge went on the IL with a toe injury.

One of the improvements Cole has made has been the reduction in homers yielded. He’s given up 10 in 103.2 innings in 2023. Last season, that number was 33, second most in the majors, in 200.2 innings. And he gave up three more in 18.1 innings in the postseason.

Unless the Yankees make a serious run at Tampa Bay for the AL East lead, he may need an absurdly strong season to catch the voters’ eyes.

As for Gausman, he’s 7-3 but with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He is a workhorse with an average of more more than 100 pitches in his 16 starts.

During a six-start stretch from May 10 to June 6, covering 40 innings, the Blue Jays’ ace had an ERA of 1.35. But in his past three outings, he’s allowed 10 earned runs in 16.2 innings as his ERA rose from 2.63 to that 3.10 mark. Hmm.

On the positive side, though, it has been reported that he’s gained about 2 mph on his fastball since April.

Longshots Worth a Look for AL Cy Young in 2023

It would not be wise to disregard long shots when digging for the next Cy Young winner, for there have been some nice payouts in recent years.

Two years ago, Robbie Ray, then with Toronto, won the award after his odds ballooned to +30000 in mid-April after a slow start. In 2017, Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell won the AL award at +10000.

So, why not give all the names listed at least a cursory glance?

Minnesota RPH Joe Ryan (+2000, PointsBet)

These are nice odds for a staff ace on a first-place team (AL Central).

Ryan is 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA and an incredible WHIP of 0.91, second-best in the majors. He’s also got the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio at 6.7 (100 Ks, 15 walks) and doesn’t put himself in trouble.

For bettors tempted to take a shot betting on Ryan, it might be a good idea not to waste any time. Oddly his number didn’t shorten after pitching a complete-game three-hit shutout against Boston last Thursday.

Texas RHP Jon Gray (+15000, FanDuel)

Sure, Nathan Eovaldi is the ace with deGrom gone, but Gray isn’t far behind with a 6-3 mark and 2.98 ERA.

Impressively, in seven of his past eight starts, all covering at least five innings, he’s allowed no more than one earned run.

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AL Cy Young Odds FAQ

Who was the first rookie to win a Cy Young?
In the 1981 season, which endured a 50-day midseason strike, the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela took the NL honor.
Has there ever been a tie in the voting for the Cy Young?
Yes. In 1969, Baltimore’s Mike Cuellar and Detroit’s Denny McLain shared the AL honor.
Who was the first player to win a Cy Young?
In 1956, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Don Newcombe, when there was only one recipient in the majors.
About the Author
Bob Christ

Bob Christ

Bob Christ, based in New Mexico, is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. He has been a gaming writer (primarily for the NFL) for more than four decades, with his work appearing in publications and websites across North America. Christ is a big fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies, and the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

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