The NL Cy Young Award has been essentially a two-man show for the past four years. Washington’s Max Scherzer won it from 2016-17 and the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom last year and in 2018. They are the two favorites entering 2020 on Mybookie’s MLB odds, with deGrom at +300 and Scherzer at +500. However, everyone knows about those two. Let’s look at a few guys are who better wagering value and could steal the award. Check the Odds to win the Cy Young for the National League.
NL Cy Young Winner Odds & Prediction
Another Washington National, Stephen Strasburg is +1000 to win his first Cy Young and he may have replaced Scherzer last season as the team’s clear ace. Strasburg sure did in the playoffs when he was fantastic, capped by winning World Series MVP.
Strasburg started and won Games 2 and 6 for the Nationals. In Game 2, he threw six innings and allowed two runs in the World Series vs. Houston. He was even better in Game 6, when he tossed 8 1/3 innings and also gave up two runs. Combined, he accumulated 14 innings, 12 hits, four runs, three walks and 14 strikeouts, finishing the series with a 2.51 ERA. He also became the first pitcher to finish a postseason 5-0 following the Nationals’ title win.
Strasburg was the first pitcher to win the MVP honor since the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and the 29th overall. For his postseason career, the 31-year-old Strasburg has a 1.46 ERA that stands as the third lowest in postseason history among those with at least 40 innings, trailing only Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera (0.70) and Sandy Koufax (0.95). Last regular season, Strasburg was also very good, going 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts. This offseason, the team re-signed him to a seven-year, $245 million contract.
One of the most underrated pitchers in the National League is Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo, who is +1400 on this prop. Castillo, 27, had a breakout season in every way last year. He was 11-4 with a 2.63 ERA in early August before fading down the stretch of his most challenging season. He finished 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA and 226 strikeouts in 190 2/3 innings.
The first-time All-Star had career highs in wins, innings and strikeouts, relying on a changeup that Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon likened to a “Bugs Bunny change-up” because of the way it complements his fastball. Castillo plans to use his changeup more strategically this season.
Expect big things from Phillies ace Aaron Nola, who is +2000 to win his first Cy Young. Nola tied first in the NL last year with 34 starts, was fourth in innings pitched (202.1) and tied for seventh in strikeouts (229). His 229 strikeouts were a career high, 7th-most ever by a Phillies right-hander and 14th highest ever by any Phillie in a season
Nola became just the ninth Phillie (and the youngest of them at age 26) to have multiple 200-strikeout seasons in his career. He has two of the four 200-strikeout seasons by Phillies age 26 or younger since 1912, joining Cole Hamels in 2010 and Brett Myers in 2005. At 25 years, 297 days, he became the youngest Phillie to make consecutive Opening Day starts since 1963 (Art Mahaffey) and only the ninth player who began his career with the Phillies to make consecutive Opening Day starts.
Nola’s 1.60 Interleague ERA was the 2nd-lowest in baseball behind Tanner Roark (1.54) and highest by any player to make five Interleague starts or more. He finished the season with an active 11-game streak allowing two or fewer runs in Interleague starts, tied for the second-longest streak in MLB since Interleague began. Finally, Nola had a 2.91 ERA (38 ER, 117.1 IP) in 19 starts at home.
Our value pick is Atlanta’s Mike Soroka at +2200. Last year, he made 29 starts during his rookie season, going 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA (52 ER/174.2 IP), 142 strikeouts and a .236 opponents’ average. Soroka ranked fifth in the majors and third in the NL in ERA. Only Hyun-Jin Ryu (2.32), Jacob deGrom (2.43), Gerrit Cole (2.50) and Justin Verlander (2.58) were better.
Soroka’s 2.68 ERA was the lowest by a rookie in the majors, and the lowest by any rookie pitcher since Miami’s Jose Fernandez pitched to a 2.19 ERA over 28 starts in 2013. His mark was third lowest by any Braves rookie in the live-ball era (since 1920), trailing just a 2.38 ERA by Jim Turner in 1937 and a 2.57 mark by Nate Andrews in 1943, both of which came when the franchise was still in Boston. Soroka also went 7-1 with a 1.55 ERA (17 ER/98.2 IP) over 16 starts on the road.
NL Cy Young Expert Pick
Atlanta’s Mike Soroka at +2200 to win his first Cy Young.