Making MLB predictions on end-of-the-season awards is a waiting game. But one that can be very profitable if you make the correct MLB picks. The 2023 American League Cy Young Award race is one such award that provides profitable odds with no player listed as shorter than +600 to take home the trophy.
The MLB odds list seven players with odds of +1000 or shorter to win the AL Cy Young in 2023, including front-runners Jacob deGrom (+600) and Gerrit Cole (+700). Let’s dig into a few candidates and make our bet online for the best of the bunch.
Jacob deGrom +600
After leaving the New York Mets and signing with the Texas Rangers, it’s a bit surprising to see deGrom leading the preseason AL Cy Young race. But it’s more about the destination and his durability than deGrom’s talent. DeGrom has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last five seasons with a ridiculous 2.05 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.
The reason for my uncertainty regarding deGrom is his injury concerns. He will be 35 this season and made less than 40 starts in his previous three seasons combined. To win a Cy Young, one has to miss as little time as possible, and I believe this will be deGrom’s downfall in Texas. There are better options to bet on MLB end-of-year awards this offseason.
Gerrit Cole +700
Will 2023 be the year that Gerrit Cole finally breaks through and wins his first Cy Young Award? Cole is always the bridesmaid and never the bride, with two second-place finishers in Cy Young voting. Last season he ranked third in the majors with a K/9 rate of 11.5 and led the league with 257 strikeouts. However, he also coughed up a career-worst 33 home runs after surrendering 24 in 2021.
The New York Yankees’ offense is so good that Cole doesn’t have the pressure on him to pitch a tight enough season for Cy Young consideration. Cole will be among the AL’s best pitchers in 2022, but he isn’t a great bet online to win the Cy Young.
Shohei Ohtani +1000
There is no denying that Shohei Ohtani is one of the best baseball players we’ve ever seen. I think he’s better than Babe Ruth and will argue that point with anyone who has the time to waste. But I’m not sold on his chances of winning the Cy Young in 2023 after finishing fourth in 2022.
His pitching was the best in 2022, with a 15-9 record, 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 166 innings. But I’m still not sold on him winning the Cy Young in 2023. Let’s not forget he won the 2021 MVP and almost again in 2022 as the only true two-way player in the majors.
I believe it will hold him back from winning the Cy Young while in Los Angeles because he is so good at hitting and pitching. It sounds strange, but he lacks time to focus only on pitching to put him from the top four into the group of AL Cy Young finalists.
Bet: Shane Bieber +1000
The 2020 AL Cy Young award winner finished sixth in voting last season with just five points. But Justin Verlander ran away with the award, so what the rest of the AL accomplished didn’t matter much. With Verlander in the National League, it leaves the door wide open for Bieber to return to his 2020 form.
In 2022, Bieber finished 13-8 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He struck out 198 hitters in 200 innings pitched with a K/BB ratio of 5.5. He was particularly impressive in the second half of the season with a 9-3 record and an ERA of 2.48.
The Guardians have played it safe with Bieber so far in the spring, with just two innings of work. Despite the light workload, Bieber looked good with a strikeout and a walk without allowing a single hit or run.