- BetOnline favors Mets ace Jacob deGrom (+300) to win his third-straight NL Cy Young
- Max Scherzer (+400) went back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 and is looking to win the award for the fourth time in his career
- Jack Flaherty (+600) and Walker Buehler (+700) are both coming off impressive second-year seasons
Jacob deGrom isn’t your grandpa’s Cy Young winner. The Mets right-hander has claimed back-to-back awards while posting starting records of 10-9 and 11-8. (He’s practically trolling Michael Wilbon at this point.)
Can the 31-year-old darling of baseball’s analytics community become only the third pitcher in major-league history to capture three straight Cy Youngs — joining Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux who each won four in a row — or does three-time winner Max Scherzer have one more vintage season left in him?
Let’s look at the odds at BetOnline and analyze all the top contenders in the National League.
2020 NL CY YOUNG ODDS
|Jacob deGrom (Mets)||+300|
|Max Scherzer (Nationals)||+400|
|Jack Flaherty (Cardinals)||+600|
|Walker Buehler (Dodgers)||+700|
|Stephen Strasburg (Nationals)||+1400|
|Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)||+1800|
|Noah Syndergaard (Mets)||+2000|
|Yu Darvish (Cubs)||+2000|
|Aaron Nola (Phillies)||+2200|
|Brandon Woodruff (Brewers)||+2500|
|Luis Castillo (Reds)||+2500|
|Mike Soroka (Braves)||+2500|
JACOB DEGROM VS. MAX SCHERZER
Scherzer (+400) and deGrom (+300) have combined to win the past four NL Cy Young awards. After going 6-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 68 strikeouts last June, it was looking like Mad Max would cruise to his fourth-career award until back injuries plagued him the rest of the year.
Meanwhile, deGrom caught fire with a 1.44 ERA over the second half, including a 1.29 ERA in September and 23 consecutive scoreless innings to end the season.
On the first official day of spring training, Max Scherzer threw 56 pitches over 23 minutes, was covered in sweat, cursed after a poorly executed pitch and proclaimed himself “right where I need to be.” https://t.co/uW1wGGOvgl
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) February 13, 2020
While a lack of run support has clearly hurt the hurler’s career win totals, the Mets are expected to be at least on par with the World Series champion Nationals in 2020; Baseball Prospectus gives New York the second-best playoff odds (75%) in the NL.
Given Scherzer and his wonky back will turn 36 this summer, deGrom seems like the safer bet at this juncture among the favorites.
FLAHERTY, BUEHLER, AND CASTILLO
Jack Flaherty (+600) somehow had an even better second half than deGrom last year, giving up only 10 runs in 99.1 innings (0.91 ERA) to lead the Cardinals back into the playoffs.
The 24-year-old righthander finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting after leading the NL in WHIP (0.968) and there’s a chance he could top his 2019 numbers (11-8, 2.75 ERA, 231 Ks) if he can get off to a better start than he did last season.
“Once I found that it felt like I would just never let go of it.”
He was the best pitcher in baseball in the second half of 2019 and he’s looking for more of the same this year. Here’s how Jack Flaherty (@Jack9Flaherty) described being “In the zone” last year for the #STLCards pic.twitter.com/yPYr6VULaF
— Corey Miller (@corey_miller5) February 11, 2020
Also entering his third year is Dodgers ace Walker Buehler (+700), who went 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA and 215 strikeouts in 30 starts last year, recording a 1.042 WHIP. The 25-year-old should be buoyed by an offense that features Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger, two of the top-four favorites to win National League MVP.
Reds righty Luis Castillo also can’t be counted out after going 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA and 226 strikeouts in 2019. While his numbers are certainly comparable to both Flaherty and Buehler’s, the 27-year-old change-up artist is available at much longer odds (+2500).