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Max Scherzer Opens as 2019 NL Cy Young Favorite; Is He a Good Bet?

Max Scherzer smiles on the mound.
Max Scherzer has the look of a Cy Young winner. Photo by Corn Farmer (flickr)
  • The NL Cy Young odds have been released for 2019, and Max Scherzer leads the way
  • Scherzer won the award in 2016 and 2017 before Jacob deGrom won last year
  • Is Scherzer worth betting as the favorite? Who could win in 2019?

Last year Max Scherzer was denied in his quest for an NL Cy Young three-peat. That’s not to say Scherzer was bad… Jacob deGrom was just historic.

The reigning champ isn’t getting any love, however. deGrom is once again sitting behind Scherzer in 2019 NL Cy Young odds, as the three-time winner looks to make it four.

2019 NL Cy Young Odds

Pitcher Odds
Max Scherzer, WSH +250
Jacob deGrom, NYM +350
Aaron Nola, PHI +700
Clayton Kershaw, LAD +1200
Noah Syndergaard, NYM +1500
Kyle Freeland, COL +1800
Madison Bumgarner, SF +2000
Patrick Corbin, WSH +2000
Walker Buehler, LAD +2000
Stephen Strasburg, WSH +2500
Zack Greinke, ARI +3000
German Marquez, COL +4000
Chris Archer, PIT +4000
Miles Mikolas, STL +4000
Jon Lester, CHC +4000

*Odds taken 03/05/19

The three at the top of the odds are the top three from last year’s Cy Young voting. Aaron Nola finished third, after Scherzer and deGrom flip-flopped.

Simply going off of last year’s results, Kyle Freeland and Patrick Corbin offer great value. They finished fourth and fifth respectively in the voting. But will 2019 mean success for those two as they chase Scherzer?

Can Scherzer Reclaim NL Cy Young in 2019?

Since coming to the National League, Scherzer has been an animal. He’s won at least 14 games every season, struck out at least 275, and has had an ERA under 3.00.

Max Scherzer Statistics with the Nationals

Season Record IP ERA WHIP K/BB WAR
2018 18-7 220.2 2.53 0.91 300/51 8.8
2017 16-6 200.2 2.51 0.90 268/55 7.1
2016 20-7 228.1 2.96 0.97 284/56 6.3
2015 14-12 228.2 2.79 0.92 276/34 6.9
Totals 68-32 878.1 2.71 0.93 1128/196 29.0

Scherzer’s numbers have been significantly better with the Nationals than they were with the Tigers. At 34 years old, the only things Scherzer really has to fight is workload and age.

Having Corbin and Strasburg behind him alleviates some pressure. The bullpen he has behind him helps too. Scherzer’s numbers may slide a little, but he’ll be in the running once again.

Can Mets Claim NL Cy Young?

Starting with deGrom, it’ll be nearly impossible for him to replicate his 2018 season. While his career numbers were good, 2018 was once-in-a-lifetime.

deGrom’s 2018 vs Career Averages

2014-17 AVG

11-8 Record 10-9
170.0 Innings Pitched 217.0
2.98 ERA 1.70
1.12 WHIP 0.91
183/44 K/BB 239/59
4.0 WHIP 9.6

Give him credit, he pulled it off last year playing on a terrible team. But if his 2019 is in line with his career averages? He won’t get the same consideration.

Neither will Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard is an elite talent. A Cy Young season from him could take the Mets from middle-of-the-pack to the playoffs. But in four seasons, he’s pitched in 30 games just once.

It doomed Chris Sale last year, and if Thor’s season is great, but brief, it’ll doom him too.

Could NL Cy Young Head to Colorado?

Kyle Freeland went from a good rookie year to a great sophomore season. So could it result in a Cy Young?

Freeland is a gut bet. He could be one of those guys that is way better in the bigs than he was in the minors.

He spent one year (2016) split between AA and AAA, with his combined ERA at 3.89. His rookie year his ERA was 4.10, and last year it was 2.85.

Also, the aura of Coors Field shouldn’t scare anyone off. His WHIP (1.17) and ERA (2.40) at home, were better than they were on the road (3.23 and 1.31). He offers good value, as does teammate German Marquez.

Who Claims NL Cy Young in 2019?

Starting with the NL East, it’s impossible to discount Scherzer.

Madison Bumgarner will be an interesting name to watch, but he’s coming off of two injury-shortened seasons. Monitor him over the first quarter and see where he goes.

Clayton Kershaw is another guy that’s always in the discussion, and his +1200 odds may be the best number you see him at all year.

After that, it’s another old favorite in Clayton Kershaw. He’s another guy that’s always in the discussion, and his +1200 odds may be the best number you see him at all year.

The name to keep in mind though? Aaron Nola.

After a disastrous sophomore season, Nola has gotten consistently better. If the Phillies’ offense hits like it should, he shouldn’t face too many pressure situations either.

He also should win a lot, for the people who still believe in that.

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