Injuries derailed the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw from taking home his fourth career NL Cy Young Award last year, but he’s the clear favorite heading into the 2017 season.
Kershaw, who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2011, 2013, and 2014, is the +160 favorite on the 2017 NL Cy Young Award odds. Last year, Kershaw was limited by injuries to just 21 starts, but he still managed to go 12-4 with a 1.69 ERA and 172 strikeouts in just 149 innings of work. Kershaw has put up an ERA of under 2.15 in each of his last four seasons, and could have easily won the NL Cy Young Award in 2015 as well when he went 16-7 with a 2.13 ERA.
Instead, it was Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs who won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award, after he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA and 236 strikeouts. Last year, though, Arrieta went 18-8 with just a 3.10 ERA and 190 strikeouts, putting him at +1600 to win the award this season.
The biggest challenger to Kershaw this season according to the oddsmakers is the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer at +350. Scherzer won the AL Cy Young Award back in 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers, and he won it last year as well with the Nationals. The righthander posted a record of 20-7 for the Nationals in 2016 with a 2.96 ERA and 284 strikeouts.
Next on the list is Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants and Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets, who are both at +1000 on the 2017 NL Cy Young Award odds. Johnny Cueto of the Giants joins Jon Lester of the Cubs and Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals at +1600. Strasburg has made just 47 starts over the past two seasons, but he had solid numbers for Washington last year at 15-4 with a 3.60 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 147 innings.
Zack Greinke of the Dodgers, who won the AL Cy Young Award with the Kansas City Royals back in 2009, is at +2500 with Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey of the Mets. Harvey went 4-10 with an ugly 4.86 ERA in his 17 starts for New York last year before undergoing season-ending surgery in July for thoracic outlet syndrome.
The rest of the field then sits at odds of +3300 or greater on the NL Cy Young Award board, including the St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright, who was held to four starts in 2015, then went 13-9 with a 4.62 ERA over his 33 starts for the Cardinals last year.