The entire landscape of the National League Cy Young Award race changed when New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom went on the injured list before the season started.
Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers is bidding to become the fourth back-to-back National League Cy Young Award winner since the start of the 2014 season. Miami’s Sandy Alcantara and Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres were not the players expected to challenge Burnes for the honor heading into the season.
Among the seven pitchers with the best odds according to the MLB betting lines, perhaps the biggest surprise is Tony Gonsolin of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Here’s a look at the leaders at the current time according to the sportsbook.
Team: Miami Marlins
Top 5 Cy Young finishes: None
Alcantara deserved a better fate than a 20-34 record during his first four seasons with the Marlins. His ERA of 3.48 during that span is a better indication of the type of pitcher he is.
Alcantara still has some run-support issues as the Marlins have scored 15 runs in the six games they have lost when he gets the ball. However, with a 7-3 record and 1.95 ERA, Alcantara has jumped to the head of the class in the NL Cy Young race according to the MLB odds. He is currently at +250.
2022 NL Pitching WAR Leaders
Sandy Alcantara (4.2)
Max Fried (3.5)
Aaron Nola (3.3)
Tony Gonsolin (3.1)
All Leaders: https://t.co/ltaOkUUn8k
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) June 28, 2022
Alcantara has allowed eight runs over his last three starts as his ERA went from 1.61 to 1.95. Still, he is a deserving choice as the Cy Young front-runner.
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Top 5 Cy Young finishes: Won the Cy Young in 2021.
Burnes’ attempt to join Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and deGrom as recent back-to-back Cy Young winners did not get off to an impressive start. He walked three and gave up four hits in five innings in his 2022 season debut. He has also had some issues recently with a 3.45 ERA in five starts in June. Still, Burnes leads the National League with 119 strikeouts.
He has won each of his last three starts, with the Brewers going 7-2 in the last nine games started by Burnes. After coming into the season with +700 odds to win the Cy Young, he is now at +500 according to the MLB picks.
Team: San Diego Padres
Top 5 Cy Young finishes: None.
The move from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the San Diego Padres has certainly been good for Musgrove’s career. He established career highs with a 3.18 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 2021. He has taken things a step further in 2022.
Musgrove is 8-1 with a 2.12 ERA. He’s also had quality starts in 12 of his 13 outings. Musgrove is coming off his worst start of the season when he allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings against the Phillies. Before that, he allowed three runs over his last five starts.
Musgrove wasn’t receiving much Cy Young love coming into the season, but he is now tied for second at +500.
Team: Atlanta Braves
Top 5 Cy Young finishes: Finished fifth in 2020.
After posting an 0-2 record with a 5.73 ERA in his first two starts, Fried has pitched his way back into the Cy Young conversation by allowing one run or less in six of his last 13 starts. Atlanta has won the last seven games that Fried has started.
After Atlanta averaged three runs in the first six games started by Fried, he is starting to get some help when it comes to run support.
Fried had the seventh-best Cy Young odds at +1200 coming into the season. He is holding steady at +1200.
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Top 5 Cy Young finishes: Finished second in 2021.
Wheeler is another Cy Young candidate who has rebounded from a less than stellar first month of the season.
Since allowing one hit and no runs in six innings in a late-April start against Colorado, Wheeler is 6-1 with an ERA of 1.84 and 83 strikeouts in 68.1 innings. His record could be even better considering that the Phillies have scored 16 runs in the seven losses when Wheeler takes to the mound.
Wheeler was fifth in the Cy Young odds coming into the season. The odds have moved from +1000 to +1200.
Best of the Rest
It’s hard to know what else Tony Gonsolin of the Los Angeles Dodgers can do to move into the top five in the Cy Young odds. He leads the majors with an ERA of 1.58 to go with a 9-0 record. Los Angeles is 11-3 when Gonsolin starts, and the team scored three runs or less in each of those losses.
Carlos Rodon of the San Francisco Giants finally began to live up to the expectations with a fifth-place finish in the 2021 American League Cy Young voting. He ended his seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox with a 42-38 record and a 3.79 ERA.
After beginning his Giants career by allowing 11 hits and three runs over 23 innings in his first four starts, he has come back to earth just a bit. He is still tied for sixth in the National League with seven wins, is seventh with a 2.62 ERA and ranks third with 105 strikeouts. So, it is no surprise that those who bet online have been willing to take a chance on Rodon continuing to thrive during his first season in the National League.
There is no love for bullpen aces. Milwaukee’s Josh Hader is 23 for 24 in save opportunities. He has allowed nine hits and three runs in 23.2 innings. He is averaging 15.6 strikeouts per nine innings and yet good luck finding him among the Cy Young candidates. He is currently tied for 11th at +4000.