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Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw Co-Favored to Win NL Cy Young Award

A smiling Max Scherzer
One sportsbook lists Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw as NL Cy Young Award co-favorites. Photo by Corn Farmer (flickr) [CC License].
  • One sportsbook lists Max Scherzer of the Nationals and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers as 2019 NL Cy Young Award co-favorites
  • Scherzer won back-to-back NL Cy Youngs in 2016-17
  • Kershaw has won the award three times

To National League Cy Young Award voters, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw are like that old sofa you settle into while watching the tube following a hard day’s work. They’re comfortable, reliable. You know what you’re going to get.

Eventually, though – and almost always reluctantly – there comes a time to go shopping for a new sofa, one that’s newer, brighter, and able to deliver more than just the comfort of old faithful.

It could be that we’ve arrived at that time in the NL Cy Young Award race. After a stumbling three-game losing streak toppled reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets from the favorite’s chair, one sportsbook turned to  a couple old standbys.

The sportsbook lists Scherzer and Kershaw as co-favorites in the latest NL Cy Young Award odds.

2019 National League Cy Young Award Odds

Pitcher 2019 NL Cy Young Odds
Max Scherzer +500
Clayton Kershaw +500
Luis Castillo +600
Zach Greinke +650
Jacob deGrom +1000

*Odds taken 05/02/19. Click on the link in the table above for all available pitchers.

Scherzer won the NL Cy Young Award in 2016 and again in 2017. He also won the 2013 AL Cy Young Award with the Detroit Tigers. Kershaw owns three Cy Youngs from 2011, 2013, and 2014.

Is Scherzer Maxed Out?

You have to give Scherzer a tip of the cap in terms of the fact that he’s a workhorse. He answers the bell. Whatever he’s got in the tank, you get every drop he has to give.

He leads the league in strikeouts (62) and in innings pitched (46.1) and is tied for the lead in games started with seven.

At the same time, Scherzer has also surrendered the most hits (47) of any NL pitcher and shares the league lead in losses with four.

Kershaw on Rebound

Beginning the season on the injured list due to left shoulder inflammation, Kershaw has looked impressive in three starts since returning to action. He’s gone at least six innings in all three outings, posting a 1-0 record and 2.25 ERA.

Those are Cy Young-worthy numbers. But that was his third stint on the injured list in less than a year. At 31, can Kershaw still be counted on to be a full-season pitcher?

Yeah, It’s Early… But

The NL’s pitcher of the month for April was Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds. He finished the month 3-1 with a 1.23 ERA in six starts.

Castillo struck out 43 batters in 36.2 innings and held opposing hitters to a .168 batting average. Going back to last season, he’s made 12 consecutive starts without allowing more than two earned runs.

Arizona’s Zack Greinke’s five wins lead the NL. He’s won at least 15 games in five of the past six seasons and finished second in Cy Young voting in 2015.

It might be time to give Greinke his due, unless Castillo keeps rolling. Then all bets should be on him.

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