- New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole still leads the way in the AL Cy Young odds at -125, almost one third of the way through the regular season
- John Means and Lance Lynn, who both have lower ERAs than Cole, have only the fifth and sixth-best odds of winning the award
- Read on for the updated odds, a look at the contenders, and the best bet to win the 2021 award
With every team in the American League having played at least 46 games – or almost a third of their seasons – the AL Cy Young odds are starting to work themselves out, with New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole currently leading the way at -125, just ahead of last year’s winner Shane Bieber of Cleveland, whose odds currently sit at +400.
Cole is certainly firmly in the mix statistically, with a 6-2 record and a 1.81 ERA – as well as being tied for second in WAR amongst all AL players at 2.8. However, the only player above him in that latter aspect is Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means, who has a WAR of 3.2, leads the league in WHIP, and is second in ERA at 1.79. All that, and he was one of four AL pitchers to register a no-hitter in this crazy season, back on May 5 against the Seattle Mariners.
2021 AL Cy Young Odds
|Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees||-125|
|Shane Bieber, Cleveland||+400|
|Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays||+650|
|Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox||+1200|
|Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox||+1500|
|John Means, Baltimore Orioles||+2000|
|Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox||+3000|
|Aroldis Chapman, NY Yankees||+3000|
|Zack Greinke, Houston Astros||+3300|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu, Toronto Blue Jays||+3500|
|Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins||+4000|
|Corey Kluber, New York Yankees||+4000|
|Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals||+4000|
|Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels||+5000|
|Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox||+5000|
|Cristian Javier, Houston Astros||+5000|
|Kenta Maeda, Minnesota Twins||+5000|
|Mike Minor, Kansas City Royals||+5000|
|Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics||+5000|
|Zach Plesac, Cleveland||+5000|
Odds as of May 26 at DraftKings.
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Means Means Business
Despite going 2-4 with a 4.53 ERA in 10 starts last year, the 28-year-old left-hander looks like a late bloomer who is starting to realize some of the talent the Orioles were hoping was there when they snagged him with an 11th-round pick in 2014.
A little something to pass the time with:
Here's all 27 outs of John Means' historic no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners, which was a thing that happened and was amazing. pic.twitter.com/lsbWLhfVZL
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 8, 2021
While he went 12-11 in 2019, he has pushed past a lackluster 2020 this campaign, and has shown consistency too. In addition to his no-hitter, Means has had four starts this year where he went at least six innings without giving up a run.
Not only does John Means have a no-hitter to his name, he's been dominant since last September.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 19, 2021
He is also just ahead of Cole in both ERA and WHIP, although the Orioles have lost his last three starts, with Means taking a no-decision in each case. The left-hander has a 2.79 ERA over those games – after he posted a 1.37 ERA in his first seven starts – so it will be interesting to see if his season is starting to trend in the opposite direction.
Glasnow’s Ray Of Hope
Tampa ace Tyler Glasnow is 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 10 starts, and has the third-best odds of taking home the Cy Young at +625. The 27-year-old has been overpowering batters this season, limiting them to a .176 average, and has struck out 10 or more batters in five of his starts.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 24, 2021
Glasnow has flirted with this kind of dominance before, going 6-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 2019, but he only made 12 starts that year, and has never made more than 13 starts in any of his six MLB seasons.
King Cole’s Crown To Lose?
The Yankees brought Gerrit Cole to the Bronx to contend for Cy Youngs and to help it win championships. But despite finishing in the top-five voting on four occasions, Cole has never managed to snag a Cy Young in any of his previous stops in Pittsburgh or Houston.
Chase to 300 strikeouts. I think it'll happen this year. Here are the current leaders. A couple of pitchers almost at 100 about 30% into the season. Let's go!#OurCLE #SquadUp #Dodgers #RaysUp #RingTheBell #GerritCole #ShaneBieber #TrevorBauer #TylerGlasnow #ZackWheeler pic.twitter.com/Hqn3sc1GV1
— Zach Wood (@zachwooddesigns) May 24, 2021
In his second year in pinstripes, Cole is second in the AL in strikeouts (92), wins (6) and WHIP (0.80), as well as being third in ERA (1.81). But if you take into consideration Cole’s consistent reliability and ERA+, which normalizes his ERA across the league and takes into consideration external factors like the ballpark and opposing teams, it looks even better.
Starting pitchers with 3.10 ERA or less and 3.00 FIP or less since 2018:
• Jacob deGrom
• Gerrit Cole
• Max Scherzer
• Brandon Woodruff pic.twitter.com/o2gVTXvgg7
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) May 25, 2021
Cole is on pace to pitch over 200 innings with an ERA+ of 226. Only two other pitchers have ever gone over 200 innings with an ERA+ or 225 or better: Pedro Martinez (2000) and Roger Clemens (2005).
Best bet: John Means (+2000)