NL Cy Young Odds: Can Anyone Catch Spencer Strider?

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere
NL Cy Young Odds: Can Anyone Catch Spencer Strider?

With Opening Day for most teams just around the corner, the National League Cy Young odds have a clear front-runner -- Spencer Strider.

The Atlanta Braves’ ace is in a tier of his own at the top of the NL, but several notable contenders are waiting to challenge him in 2024. After Strider, there is a group of five pitchers with odds between +900 and +1400. If Strider falters, the race for the NL Cy Young could get interesting very quickly.

Let's dive into the NL Cy Young odds via the MLB odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Note: Projections via FanGraphs

NL Cy Young Odds

NL Cy Young Odds
Spencer Strider+380
Zack Wheeler+900
Logan Webb+1100
Max Fried+1200
Zac Gallen+1300
Tyler Glasnow+1400
Justin Steele+1800
View Full Table

Spencer Strider, Braves (+380)

The NL is loaded with talent on the mound entering 2024. Despite the abundance of aces, Strider enters the season as a notable favorite, with implied odds of 20.8% to take home his first Cy Young award.

Entering his third full season in the big leagues, Strider’s career is off to a fantastic start. In 2022, he finished with a 2.41 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), 2.39 xERA, 2.67 ERA, and 4.9 WAR in 131.2 innings pitched. He backed that up in 2023, finishing with a 2.86 SIERA, 3.09 xERA, 3.86 ERA, and 5.5 WAR in 186.2 innings pitched.

Strider is a strikeout machine. His 13.6 K/9 led the majors last season, and he is a significant favorite to lead baseball in strikeouts this season (+145), per the Regular Season Strikeouts Leader odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. FanGraphs’ Depth Charts projections (FGDC) expect Strider’s strikeout percentage to decline slightly from 36.8% to 34.9%, but that remains at an elite level. They also have Strider projected for a 3.23 ERA and 5.0 WAR.

As the Opening Day starter for one of the best teams in baseball, Strider has everything he needs to win his first Cy Young and is deserving of his current status as the front-runner for the award.

Zack Wheeler, Phillies (+900)

Leading the pack of challengers is Strider’s projected Opening Day counterpart, Philadelphia Phillies ace Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler is entering his 10th season and has been an elite starter since arriving in Philadelphia in 2020. In 2022, he finished with a 3.19 SIERA, 3.10 xERA, 2.82 ERA, and 4.2 WAR in 153.0 innings pitched. He finished last season with a 3.53 SIERA, 3.18 xERA, 3.61 ERA, and 5.9 WAR in 192.0 innings pitched. He posted 9.94 K/9 (12th), 1.83 BB/9 (6th), and 3.15 FIP (6th).

FGDC projections expect Wheeler to regress slightly across the board with a 9.03 KK/9, 2.34 BB/9, 3.56 FIP, and 5.0 WAR. That would still put him firmly in the picture to challenge Strider for the Cy Young. Their Opening Day duel is a must-watch showdown.

Logan Webb, Giants (+1100)

Logan Webb finished last season as the runner-up to Blake Snell in NL Cy Young voting. Snell is now his teammate, providing the San Francisco Giants with an incredibly impactful one-two punch at the top of their starting rotation. Webb will get the start on Opening Day.

Entering 2024, Webb is trending in the right direction. From 2022 to 2023, he improved his SIERA (3.56 to 3.16), K/9 (7.63 to 8.08), BB/9 (2.29 to 1.29), and WAR (4.2 to 4.9).

FGDC is expecting some negative regression for Webb, projecting him for 7.92 K/9, 1.96 BB/9, 3.42 ERA, and 4.2 WAR. That would still put him equal to or above his production in 2022 and give him a chance to improve on his runner-up finish from last season.

With Snell now on the Giants, Webb has a chance to lead a starting rotation that FanGraphs projects to be one of the 10 best units by WAR in baseball.

Max Fried, Braves (+1200)

Max Fried is the only pitcher on this list who is not expected to take the mound on Opening Day – such is life in Atlanta’s elite rotation. While Fried is now operating behind Spencer Strider, he is still in contention for the NL Cy Young.

Fried missed nearly three months last season with a forearm strain but was excellent once he returned. He posted 9.27 K/9 -- his best mark since 2019 -- along with a 3.31 SIERA, 2.73 xERA, 2.55 ERA, and 1.9 WAR. His level was similar to his 2022 campaign when he was named as a finalist for the NL Cy Young.

FGDC expects Fried’s strikeout percentage, ERA, and FIP to decline slightly this season, but if he maintains his elevated strikeout percentage from 2023, he could return to or even surpass his career-best metrics from 2022. Doing so would put him firmly in the mix for the Cy Young this season.

Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks (+1300)

Zac Gallen was a finalist for this award last season and finished third in voting behind Webb and Snell. Coming off the best season of his career, Gallen is well-positioned to once again challenge for the Cy Young.

Gallen has always been exceptional at generating strikeouts. Through five seasons, he has never finished with a K/9 lower than 9.39. Over the last two seasons, he has taken the next step by reducing his BB/9 and HR/9. That came with a slight reduction in his strikeout rate but also a decline in his ERA.

In 2023, Gallen posted 9.43 K/9 (17th), 0.94 HR/9 (13th), 3.47 ERA (16th), 3.26 FIP (9th), and 5.2 WAR (5th). FGDC expects negative regression for Gallen in strikeout percentage (26.0% to 23.7%), ERA (3.47 to 3.70), and FIP (3.26 to 3.85).

To win his first Cy Young, Gallen will likely need to not only avoid negative regression but elevate his numbers slightly across the board. Doing so would put him in elite territory and give him a chance to win what projects to be an extremely competitive NL Cy Young race.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.