AL Cy Young Odds: Is It A Two-Horse Race For Pitching Award?

There might be some good value out there


Bettors who were confident that Shane Bieber would put together a stellar 2020 season came away with a pretty nice payday.

Bieber, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, entered last season with 12-1 odds to claim the prestigious pitching prize, per DraftKings. In other words, those who put $100 on Bieber to win the AL Cy Young claimed a cool $1,200 after the Cleveland Indians ace dazzled to the tune of an 8-1 record with a 1.63 ERA in the condensed 2020 campaign.

The 25-year-old righty now is saddled with a +330 price to repeat as the AL Cy Young winner. Gerrit Cole, who finished fourth in the voting last season, is pegged with the same odds ahead of his second season with the New York Yankees. While it might be difficult to bet against either Bieber or Cole winning the AL Cy Young in 2021, there might be a better value play out there.

Here is a list of the pitchers with the best prices — per FanDuel Sportsbook — to take home the honor.

Gerrit Cole +330
Shane Bieber +330
Lucas Giolito +500
Tyler Glasnow +1100
Hyun-jin Ryu +1500
Lance Lynn +1600
Jose Berrios +1700
Kenta Maeda +2000
Cory Kluber +3500
Jesus Luzardo +3500
Zach Plesac +3500
Dallas Keuchel +4000
Lance McCullers Jr. +4000
Chris Sale +4500
Eduardo Rodriguez +4500
Frankie Montas +4500
Zach Greinke +4500
Andrew Heaney +5000
Dylan Bundy +5000
Jameson Taillon +5000

Which pitcher do we believe presents the best bet? We can see the award heading to the South Side of Chicago for the first time since 1993.

Lucas Giolito +550
We admittedly like Bieber’s chances of going back-to-back, but we envision his record being impacted by a lack of offensive support. This probably won’t be a concern for Giolito, as the White Sox possess the bats to have one of the more potent lineups in all of baseball.

Giolito appears to be on track to establish himself as one of the best starters in the game. After truly coming onto the scene in the 2018 season, the tall righty finished in the top seven of AL Cy Young voting in each of the last two seasons. Giolito possesses the bulldog mentality you want to see from a top-of-the-rotation starter, and he clearly has set high expectations for both himself and his team for 2021.

“We need to try to kill other teams. We need to step on throats,” Giolito said back in mid-February, per The Washington Post. “We need to try to kill other teams until the very end.”

While many teams across the big leagues are trying to avoid having their starters rack up big innings, the White Sox don’t appear to be taking that approach with Giolito. Look for the 26-year-old to reach — and likely exceed — the 200-inning threshold in 2021, which could give him a leg up on the competition when AL Cy Young voters are making their picks.

We feel as though Giolito has multiple factors working in his favor. He seems primed for a breakout campaign, the White Sox are built to take over the AL Central and Chicago can’t be ruled out as a World Series contender.

So if you’re looking to cash in on a player future, consider placing a few bucks on Giolito.

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