The Cy Young Award for the best pitcher in the American League has a tight race right now in the online sports betting odds, with five names clustered together at the top for consideration (sorry, Nick Martinez, but you’ll have to catch fire again to join the conversation).
In Depth Look at the MLB Odds Review on The Tight Race for the Cy Young Award
Right now the MLB odds are with the A’s Sonny Gray. He already has seven wins, with an ERA of 1.74 and a WHIP of 0.96. His K/BB is 3.59, his K/9 is 8.1 and his innings pitched per start is a robust 6.8. The last three weeks have been especially impressive, as he has gone 3-1 with an ERA of 1.33. Even in a start against Tampa Bay that was cut short when a comebacker to the mound hit him on the right ankle, sending him out of the game, he was having an impressive day to that point, limiting Tampa Bay to four singles on only 67 pitches through four innings plus. That game was just one of two in which he has not pitched at least six complete innings.
Houston’s Dallas Keuchel is also having an impressive start – along with the rest of the Astros. His record is 7-2, and his era is a Gibson-esque 1.90. His WHIP is 0.95, and his innings pitched per start is a very strong 7.3. The last three weeks haven’t been as kind to his record, although it may be a matter more of run support than anything else, as he has gone 1-2 but has lasted 7.5 innings per start and has a complete game shutout as his only win. He has yet to allow more than four runs in any of his starts, and he has not failed to complete six full innings in any start. He leads the league with 94 2/3 innings pitched, and his weapon is the ground ball out. This keeps his pitch count low and his innings total high.
The Tampa Bay Rays also have a strong Cy Young candidate in Chris Archer. His ERA is a minuscule 1.84, and he strikes out a larcenous 11.7 batters per nine innings. He lasts 6.4 innings per start and has a 5.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His last three weeks have simply been awesome, as he has gone 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA, frustrating the opposition by striking out 14.6 per nine innings and averaging 11.5 strikeouts for every walk. During this stretch, Archer became the first pitcher to have double-digit strikeouts and no walks in three consecutive starts in the past 100 years. In April, he had similar streak to this one, going 4-0 with an ERA of 1.09 and 58 strikeouts with only six walks. The only thing keeping him from being at the top of this list is an occasional lack of efficiency and an awful start against Texas in which he gave up five runs in just 3 1/3 innings.
After these three, the qualifications drop off a bit – at least for now. It’s true that Seattle’s Felix Hernandez has already won nine games and thrown two complete-game shutouts. However, his ERA is a little bit higher (2.51). He did have an awful start (4 2/3 innings, 7 runs) against the Yankees, but on either side of that start he had a shutout against Tampa Bay.
Corey Kluber from the Indians is another pick, although a bit of an outlier because of his 3-7 record. He does strike out 10.7 batters per nine innings, but his ERA is 3.53. However, his DRA (Deserved Run Average), a stat that Baseball Prospectus devised, has him at a slightly more competitive 2.65. That makes his season thus far look a little better.