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The MLB season has already technically kicked off, with the Athletics and Mariners playing an international opener last week in Japan. While that was an AL showdown, the hype is beginning to build around a strong class of National League (NL) Cy Young Award favorites.
Jacob deGrom, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, opens tied for the best odds (+250) to win the 2019 award with last year's runner-up Max Scherzer, who has three Cy Young awards to his name.
The fans in Flushing have high expectations for deGrom after management appeased two star pitchers with one signing, inking deGrom to a five-year extension.
There are also new expectations and demands on Scherzer after the departure of star outfielder Bryce Harper.
The next tier of odds features just one former Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw posted his worst earned run average (ERA) since 2010 this past season (2.73) and missed a significant amount of time due to injury. Oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook appear to be expecting a bounce-back campaign from the pitching phenom, posting opening odds of +900
At +900, Kershaw is tied with Aaron Nola. The 25-year-old Phillies pitcher had a breakout year in 2018 that saw him earn his first All-Star appearance and finish third in NL Cy Young voting after posting a 2.37 ERA while notching a 17-6 record and 224 strikeouts.
Noah Syndergaard, the 26-year-old Mets flamethrower, rounds out the top five of odds to win the NL Cy Young award at +1000. Syndergaard has been dominant throughout his four-year career -- when he can stay on the field. Since entering the league in 2015, he has posted a career 2.97 ERA and averages 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, but he has only actually started 86 games during that stretch.
After Syndergaard, the long shots start to pile in, but there are certainly some notable names remaining. Patrick Corbin (+1800), Walker Buehler (+2600), Kyle Freeland (+3000), Madison Bumgarner (+3000) and former American League (AL) Cy Young winner Zack Greinke (+3000) round out the top 10.
Although there a couple of heavy favorites to kick off the year, the Cy Young race is often unpredictable. It should be fun to watch.
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