AL Cy Young Odds: Cole and Verlander Among Top-3 Favorites, But Did They Cheat?

  • BetOnline lists NYY’s prized free-agent acquisition Gerrit Cole (+300) as the favorite to win the 2020 AL Cy Young
  • The Yankees, Indians, Astros, and Rangers all have multiple pitchers contending for the award
  • Shane Bieber (+1200) and Tyler Glasnow (+1600) are both in line for career seasons

Imagine moving out of your apartment into a brand new penthouse across the street, and then only a month later your old place burns to the ground.

That’s the situation Gerrit Cole finds himself in after signing a record nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees in the offseason.

While his former employers in Houston continue to issue pathetic apologies that only serve to make everyone madder about their cheating ways, Cole is the American League Cy Young favorite on a club that most expect to be the best in all of baseball.

Let’s check the odds at Bet Online and discuss what pitchers have a chance to win the award over New York’s new ace.

2020 AL CY YOUNG

Players Odds
Gerrit Cole +300
Chris Sale +700
Justin Verlander +1000
Blake Snell +1200
Shane Bieber +1200
Mike Clevinger +1400
James Paxton +1600
Mike Minor +1600
Tyler Glasnow +1600
Zack Greinke +1600
Corey Kluber +1800
Luis Severino +1800

GERRIT COLE AND JUSTIN VERLANDER

Gerrit Cole, the AL Cy Young favorite at +300, had a 20-5 record with a 2.50 ERA and a MLB-leading 326 strikeouts last season, finishing second in voting to his 36-year-old teammate. Justin Verlander (+1000), who captured the award for the second time, went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts while recording the second-lowest WHIP (0.80) in the last 100 years.

Before you roll the dice with either, however, you have to ask yourself, did these guys cheat too? Cole said he wasn’t aware of his teammates’ illegalities while Verlander — the same guy who was outspoken about juiced balls just last year — admitted to knowing exactly what was happening at the time, saying he wished he would’ve done more to stop it.

Back in 2018, the always-outspoken Trevor Bauer took to Twitter to question how Houston was able to turn around the careers of Cole, Verlander and Charlie Morton, essentially accusing the team of doctoring baseballs to increase spin rate.

While shellacking one’s fingers with pine tar is certainly more in line with the fun, old-school cheating methods that baseball fans are comfortable with, you have to exercise caution before betting on any former or current Astro to win an individual award.

OTHER AL CY YOUNG CONTENDERS

Chris Sale (+700) seems oddly overvalued given his performance last summer (6-11, 4.40 ERA) and the fact that he plays for a suddenly frugal Red Sox club that likely won’t contend. Blake Snell (+1200) is also coming off a miserable, injury-riddled season in which we went 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA just one year after winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

A pair of Indians teammates — Shane Bieber (+1200) and Mike Clevinger (+1400) — are next on the board. It was just announced that Clevinger will miss six-to-eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee, but the 24-year-old Bieber is a good bet to follow-up a breakout campaign that saw him go 15-8 with a 3.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts in 214.1 innings.

James Paxton (+1600) and Luis Severino (+1800), with Cole, give the Yankees three Cy Young contenders on their staff, along with four of the top-ten favorites for AL MVP. Mike Minor (+1600) is also in the mix after throwing 200 strikeouts for Texas last year, along with the Rangers’ newest acquisition Corey Kluber (+1800)

And don’t forget about Tyler Glasnow (+1600) who got off to a 6-0 start last year with a 1.47 ERA and 46 Ks over 43 innings before missing four months with a right forearm issue. The 6-foot-8 Rays right-hander got rocked in the playoffs (against the cheating Astros mind you), but the 26-year-old has seemingly put it all together after a slow start to his major-league career.

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.