Four previous winners of the NL Cy Young Award are among the pitchers vying to claim that honor again this season.
Miami’s Sandy Alcantara (2022 winner), Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes (2021), and the NY Mets’ Max Scherzer (2016-17 with Washington and 2013 with the AL’s Detroit Tigers) are all listed with odds of +800 or shorter on the boards at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and the Westgate SuperBook.
The LA Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw is a three-time winner (2011, and 2013-14) but is at a distant +6000 (Westgate), behind teammates Julio Urias, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin on the betting boards. In each of his Cy Young-winning seasons, Kershaw never opened with odds of more than +1500.
There also are a pair of past American League winners on the NL boards: the Mets’ Justin Verlander (+700 Westgate, FanDuel), who signed in the offseason after winning the AL honor with Houston in 2022. Also, San Diego’s Blake Snell (+3500 across the boards), who was the winner of the award in 2018 while with Tampa Bay.
Odds To Win 2023 NL Cy Young Award
Here are the odds to win the 2023 NL Cy Young Award at FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings.
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Corbin Burnes, RHP, Milwaukee (+550 odds DraftKings)
He’s the consensus favorite, narrowly, to win the award coming off a season in which he had the best WARP rating (Wins Above Replacement Player) according to Baseball Prospectus.
Batters also had the league’s highest swinging-strike percentage against him as he had 243 Ks, which was the second most in the majors. He went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA.
It would help his cause if he received a little more help from his hitters to boost his win total. In 2022, the Brewers had the league’s 22nd-ranking batting average at .235. But then again, in his Cy Young year, Milwaukee hitters were even less effective, ranking 27th and batting .233. He also gave up 23 homers in 2022, which was 16 more than in 2021.
Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Miami (+600 SuperBook)
He took over from Trevor Rogers as the Marlins’ ace last season and continued to be a workhorse, throwing a league-high 228.2 innings and having an ERA of 2.28, which was the second-lowest in the NL.
A concern for him this season is the edge given to base stealers. Alcantara gave up five more stolen bases than any other pitcher in 2022 (24) and this year will have to deal with a limit on pickoff attempts and the larger bases, which will reduce the distance for base stealers by 4.5 inches. In a game of inches, everything counts.
Max Scherzer, RHP, NY Mets (+800 FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings)
Scherzer will be hoping to rebound from an injury-prone 2021 season (oblique) in which he struggled in the clutch at season’s end.
But he did flourish in July and August with a 2.10 ERA in 11 starts.
Betting Favorites To Win 2023 NL Cy Young
Naturally, a past Cy Young winner appears to be a logical choice to win again in 2023.
Justin Verlander, RHP, NY Mets (+700 FanDuel, Westgate)
Verlander had one of the most dominant seasons in decades when he won last year’s AL Cy Young with Houston, going 18-4 with a career-best 1.75 ERA for the World Champion Astros. He even got his first World Series game victory versus Philadelphia at age 39.
He proved last season in 28 starts he still can overwhelm batters and be a dependable starter a year after Tommy John surgery, which wiped out his 2021 season.
Spencer Strider, RHP, Atlanta (+1100 BetMGM)
One under-the-radar contender is the second-year player on the Braves who was only 11-5 last year (2.67 ERA) and finished 10 wins behind teammate Kyle Wright (+6000 FanDuel), but Strider dominated until missing the final two weeks of the regular season with an oblique injury.
He returned to the playoffs versus Philadelphia in the NLDS (likely before he was 100 percent) and was KO’d in the third inning against a pennant-winning team that he went 4-0 against in the regular season.
Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles (+1600)
Urias, third in Cy Young voting last season, surely will benefit greatly from the edge afforded lefties who likely won’t be nearly as negatively affected by the outlawing of the infield shift as right-handers. Plus, he’ll have a built-in edge in holding runners on first.
He was 17-7 last year with a 2.16 ERA, which was the second-best in the majors. With second-team All-MLB catcher Will Smith on his side, all the better.
Longshots To Win 2023 NL Cy Young Award
As mentioned previously in the AL Cy Young forecast, longshots have frequently been named the top pitcher.
Alcantara opened at 50-1 last season and a year earlier, Seattle’s Robbie Ray earned the AL honor after being listed at +30000 in mid-April.
Here are three players who have attractive long odds and deserve attention:
Edwin Diaz, RHP, NY Mets (+10000 Westgate)
The NL Relief Pitcher of the Year had an ERA of 1.31 and WHIP of 0.84 in 2022 and had the home fans going bonkers when his intro song played over the loudspeakers at home games.
If he won the Cy Young, he’d be the fourth reliever to do so, following the LA Dodgers’ Mike Marshall in 1974, Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and then the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne 20 years ago. And with Scherzer and Verlander setting him up, Diaz should have a bundle of save opportunities.
Joe Musgrove, RHP, San Diego (+10000 Westgate)
These odds are enormous for a solid Padres starter who broke the big toe on his left foot early in spring training. That caused his odds to soar from +2500 at the Westgate.
After there were rumors of him missing a good portion of the early season while healing, he recently said he’s preparing to make a start in the team’s first road game on April 6. He had a team-best 2.93 ERA for Padres starters last year and rates as a high value as long as these odds stick.
Zack Wheeler, RHP, Philadelphia (+1800 Westgate)
He’s not nearly as big an underdog as Diaz and Musgrove but certainly has nice odds considering he’s coming off the two best seasons of his eight-year career and playing for the NL pennant winners.
He had a 2.78 ERA in 2021 (2.82 last season) and benefits from playing with one of the best catchers in the league, J.T. Realmuto, who has had a good handle on flustering the running game. Wheeler also is well-known for keeping hitters off-stride.
Read more: 2023 AL MVP odds | 2023 NL MVP odds | 2023 World Series odds
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NL Cy Young Odds & Predictions 2023 FAQ
Roger Clemens won seven while playing for four teams — Boston, (1986-87, 1991), Toronto (1997-98), the NY Yankees (2001) and Houston (2004).
Greg Maddux won four in the NL with Atlanta from 1992-95 and Arizona’s Randy Johnson won the NL honor from 1999-2002 while with Arizona.
In 1985, 20-year-old Dwight Gooden of the Mets took home the NL award.