Kershaw, Scherzer a two horse race for NL Cy Young Award

Jul 11, 2017 3:12 AM

One of the most exciting races to watch in the second-half of the baseball season is seeing what National League pitcher takes his game higher in the race for the Cy Young Award, which the Westgate SuperBook has been updating odds to all season.

Clayton Kershaw opened as the 8-to-5 favorite to win the award for the fourth time and his odds have dropped along the way down to 1-3.

Max Scherzer won the Cy last season for the second time in his career. He was the second choice to win the award at 5-1, but he’s closed in fast on Kershaw and is currently 2-3. Both aces have their teams in first place with a collision course expected during October. But who will be crowned the best pitcher in the NL? It’s tight.

Scherzer leads the league in several categories such as a 2.10 ERA, strikeouts (173 in 128.1 innings) and WHIP (0.779). Kershaw is second in ERA (2.18), but leads baseball with a 14-2 record and the Dodgers have won 17 of his league-leading 19 starts.

It’s unusual for a starter who is continually a -200 favorite to show such a large profit for bettors over the course of the season, because one loss takes away two wins, but Kershaw is No. 1 in baseball at +12.8 units. Scherzer is only at +1.0 units as the Nationals have gone 12-6 behind him. I’ll take Kershaw to get the trophy.

As for the races involving contenders, the Dodgers are 7-2 favorites to win the World Series, just ahead of the Astros at 9-2 who have the second best record (60-29), best batting average (2.89) and score the most. The Dodgers and Astros both lead MLB in margin of victory at 1.8 runs. That would be a fantastic fall classic.

Boxing bets

The fight of the year scheduled for Aug. 26, likely at the T-Mobile Arena, which still has Big 3 basketball scheduled, is still getting one-way action on Conor McGregor, putting sportsbooks in a situation they’re already uneasy with knowing they’ve only seen a small bit of the overall action.

“If McGregor wins, the fight outcome has the potential to be the biggest loss in William Hill Nevada history,” WH sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said.

Almost every book operation is in the same situation. No one is betting Floyd Mayweather to win because most casual bettors like to bet a little to win a lot. Mayweather opened at William Hill as a -1100 favorite (bet $11 to win $1) with McGregor set at +700 (bet $1 to win $7). So far, 95 percent of the tickets written at WH have been on McGregor, which has moved the price down to -700 and +500.

The bulk of the expected action will happen on fight night and that’s when we’ll start to see Mayweather action show up at the books. The books will be at their most desperate situation with risk, with most staring at a seven-digit loss should McGregor pull off the upset.

The big question is how low does the price go with the best boxer on the planet who won all 49 of his bouts?

Could there really be the possibility at some point of laying -400 with Mayweather? It’s certainly possible. Most book bosses like to set themselves up a risk model and stick to the plan while keeping the senior executives involved on what they’ll need to be rooting for so the loss doesn’t throw them for a loop. If the money keeps coming it’ll keep dropping.

I’ll wait until fight night to make my wager to get the best value, and it will be a bet on “Money” Mayweather. Why would I bet on something to happen that never has happened against a mixed martial artist fighting out of his element? Too much speed and skill.