MLB Player Futures: Odds to Win the NL Cy Young Award

The National League Cy Young Award is given to the best pitcher in the NL 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 National 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.

Jacob DeGrom was the NL Cy Young Award winner for the Mets last year and is currently listed second behind the Nationals Max Scherzer for the best odds to win the award this year.

Below you will find the latest odds to win the NL Cy Young along with some advanced metrics for each player last year. We have included Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average (SIERA) as well as Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Below the odds you will find more detailed information about these metrics. A player with a DNQ (Did Not Qualify) for their SIERA last year simply means they did not have enough innings pitched to accurately assess their performance.

The final column represents the implied probability of each player winning the award given the current market odds.

Cy Young Odds courtesy of BetOnline

Updated Vegas Odds to Win the 2019 NL Cy Young

Player Team 2018 SIERA 2018 WAR Odds Change Cy Young
Max Scherzer Nationals 2.71 8.1 +250 New 21.81%
Jacob DeGrom Mets 2.78 9.4 +400 New 15.27%
Aaron Nola Phillies 3.4 5 +900 New 7.63%
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers DNQ 4 +1200 New 5.87%
Noah Syndergaard Mets DNQ 4.2 +1400 New 5.09%
Kyle Freeland Rockies 4.35 3.9 +2000 New 3.63%
Madison Bumgarner Giants DNQ 1.5 +2000 New 3.63%
Jack Flaherty Cardinals DNQ 2.5 +2500 New 2.94%
Miles Mikolas Cardinals 3.93 4.6 +2500 New 2.94%
Patrick Corbin Nationals 2.91 6.2 +2500 New 2.94%
Stephen Strasburg Nationals DNQ 2.3 +2500 New 2.94%
Walker Buehler Dodgers DNQ 3.2 +2500 New 2.94%
Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 3.6 3.7 +2500 New 2.94%
Alex Reyes Cardinals DNQ 0.0 +3300 New 2.25%
Yu Darvish Cubs DNQ 0.2 +3300 New 2.25%
German Marquez Rockies 3.31 4.9 +4000 New 1.86%
Zack Wheeler Mets 3.87 4.5 +4000 New 1.86%
Chris Archer Pirates DNQ 2.5 +5000 New 1.50%
Cole Hamels Cubs 3.99 2.3 +5000 New 1.50%
Jon Lester Cubs 4.57 1.9 +5000 New 1.50%
Jose Quintana Cubs 4.39 1.3 +5000 New 1.50%
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 4.03 3.2 +5000 New 1.50%
Mike Foltynewicz Braves 3.77 3.3 +5000 New 1.50%
Robbie Ray Diamondbacks DNQ 0.7 +5000 New 1.50%
Kevin Gausman Braves 4.28 2.3 +10000 New 0.76%

SIERA Explained

SIERA (Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average) tries to eliminate in-game factors that are beyond a pitcher’s control. It also factors in things like walk rate and ground and fly ball rates. SIERA is considered a better indicator of a pitcher’s overall ability than ERA, because ERA doesn’t account for these ball in play factors that can many times inflate a player’s ERA despite a strong pitching performance. The players with the best SIERA will be those that strikeout a lot of batters, induce grounders and popups, as well as limit their walks.

SIERA Formula

6.145 - 16.986*(SO/PA) + 11.434*(BB/PA) - 1.858*((GB-FB-PU)/PA) + 7.653*((SO/PA)^2) +/- 6.664*(((GB-FB-PU)/PA)^2) + 10.130*(SO/PA)*((GB-FB-PU)/PA) - 5.195*(BB/PA)*((GB-FB-PU)/PA)

WAR Explained

WAR is something of a catch-all statistic that evaluates how many wins a player is worth to their team compared to a replacement player.  WAR basically says, if this player did not play for this team in this season and their backup was at best and average player, how many wins would that team be expected to lose? What is great about WAR is that it also factors in a player’s fielding contributions, not just their hitting statistics.

WAR is a bit more complicated for pitchers since they have less control over how the team around them will perform in the field, but using a metric called Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) helps give a better idea of how to fairly compare pitchers to league averages.

WAR Formula (Position Players)

(Batting Runs + Base Running Runs +Fielding Runs + Positional Adjustment + League Adjustment +Replacement Runs) / (Runs Per Win)

WAR Formula (Pitchers)

[[([(League “FIP” – “FIP”) / Pitcher Specific Runs Per Win] + Replacement Level) * (IP/9)] * Leverage Multiplier for Relievers] + League Correction

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