The American League Cy Young Award is given to the best pitcher in the AL for that year. The members of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America vote on the award with one representative from each team. Each member places a vote for first, second, third, fourth and fifth among the pitchers in the American League. The formula used to calculate the final scores is a weighted sum of the votes. Obviously, the pitcher with the highest score wins the award.
In one of the biggest surprises of the season last year, Corey Kluber actually took down the AL Cy Young Award. He really came out of nowhere considering he was 11-5 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.26 WHIP during the 2013 season. Kluber took his game to a whole new level in 2014, going 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 34 starts. He also struck out 10.27 batters per nine innings, which was among the best marks of all starting pitchers.
Kluber (4/1) entered the season with the second-best odds to repeat as the winner in 2015. However, it was Felix Hernandez (13/5) who was the favorite, and I would argue that he should have won it last year. He went 15-6 with a 2.14 ERA and 0.92 WHIP with 248 strikeouts over 236 innings pitched. Those were better numbers than what Kluber posted aside from the wins and K/9.
Now that we are two months into the season, the odds have changed. Hernandez (3/2) is still the favorite, but next in line is Dallas Keuchel (5/2). He has been the biggest surprise in the American League up to this point because he didn’t even have odds listed on him to win it at the start of the season.
Sonny Gray opened the season at 12/1 odds and is now the third betting choice at 4/1. However, he will have a hard time winning the award considering how poor the A’s have been this season. Kluber (15/2) is now the fourth betting choice with Michael Pineda (10/1) fifth. Chris Sale (33/1) appears to be the best value bet right now because he has been coming on strong of late and entered the season at 5/1 odds.