Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM
2020 American League Cy Young Award Odds
Gerrit Cole is the Prohibitive Favorite to Win the AL Cy Young Award in 2020
The Houston Astros rode their two aces all the way to the World Series last season. Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander were both 20-game winners, and the two pitchers split all 30 first place votes in the AL Cy Young Award voting last year. Verlander edged Cole for the award by grabbing 17 of the votes, but Cole is the favorite coming into this season after an incredible postseason.
It’s been two decades since an AL pitcher has won the Cy Young in consecutive seasons. Pedro Martinez was the last player to accomplish the feat, winning the award in 1999 and 2000, so Verlander knows the challenge that awaits him as he looks to win his third Cy Young Award.
2020 American League Cy Young Betting Online Odds at FanDuel
Gerrit Cole +280
Justin Verlander +800
Chris Sale +950
Blake Snell +1100
Shane Bieber +1100
Charlie Morton +1500
Mike Clevinger +1500
Tyler Glasnow +1600
Carlos Carrasco +2500
Jose Berrios +2500
Lucas Giolito +2500
Corey Kluber +3000
Frankie Montas +3500
Lance Lynn +3500
Zack Greinke +3500
All Others at +5000 or More
2020 AL Cy Young Odds Overview
Cole’s incredible postseason performance in 2019 is one of the major reasons why he is such a sizable favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook. He allowed just one run in three starts during the AL playoffs, and although he wasn’t at his best against the Washington Nationals in the World Series, he finished the postseason with a 4-1 record. He posted a 1.72 ERA and an 0.87 WHIP, and he struck out 47 batters in 36.2 IP.
Verlander did not have the same success in the postseason. Last year’s Cy Young winner was 1-4, and he finished the playoffs with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. He continued to allow the long ball at a prodigious rate, giving up eight home runs in 35.1 IP after allowing 36 home runs in the regular season.
Playing on the best team money can buy will only help Gerrit Cole in 2020. Cole signed a massive $324 million contract with the New York Yankees this offseason, and he will immediately become the undisputed ace in the rotation. He should pick up more wins than he would with Houston, as the Yankees are likely to have the best offense in baseball behind him. That will help him with more traditional voters, who continue to value wins and losses for pitchers in the analytics era.
According to the analytics, Cole (not Verlander) was the best pitcher in the AL last year. Cole finished the season with an ERA+ of 185, and he posted a 13.8 K/9 rate. He was able to get over half his outs from strikeouts, and that’s incredibly valuable in the juiced ball era.
Verlander has the second lowest Cy Young odds in the AL. He has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last dozen years, but he just turned 37 in February, and he has pitched a lot of innings over the last two seasons. His postseason struggles may portend trouble on the horizon for the eight-time All-Star, so it’s wise to stay away at this price.
Chris Sale had the worst season of his 10-year career in 2019. Sale went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA, but he was very unlucky if you dig into the numbers. He continued to strike out batters at a prodigious rate (13.3 K/9), and he exhibited great control with a low walk rate, but he had an uncommonly high BABIP and his 1.5 HR/9 rate was much higher than in any previous season. Boston’s ace finished in the top five in voting for the AL Cy Young for six straight seasons from 2013 to 2018, so don’t be surprised if he makes a resurgence in 2020.
Every other pitcher in the AL is at least 11-1. Among the longer shots, the best value lies in 6’8 Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow was lights out in 12 starts with Tampa Bay in 2019, posting a 1.78 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with 76 strikeouts in 60.2 innings. He missed four months of the season due to injury, but he has had the whole offseason to get healthy, and he is playing for the best organization in baseball when it comes to developing young pitchers.