With the MLB season officially at the All-Star break, a clear top tier of AL Cy Young Award candidates is starting to materialize.
Houston Astros' ace Justin Verlander is still the favorite to win the award, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, with +150 odds, followed closely by his Astros teammate Gerrit Cole (+300) and former Houston starter Charlie Morton (+350), now of the Tampa Bay Rays.
It tracks that Verlander is currently the favorite, as the right-hander has been dominant this season. Through 19 starts, he ranks fourth in the AL in ERA (2.98), is tied for third in wins (10), tied for second in strikeouts (153) and is first in all of baseball in WHIP (0.81). Surely, if he can keep this up in the second half of the season, he should be well on his way to another Cy Young Award. He also won the AL Cy Young in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers.
However, both Morton and Cole are having tremendous seasons of their own, and could easily catch Verlander if his production slips at all. Both pitchers are in the top 10 in the AL in strikeouts, ERA and wins. Morton leads the league with a 2.32 ERA, and Cole ranks first with 170 strikeouts.
While those three have separated themselves at the top of the list, there are still pitchers offering juicy payouts who could catch them if they are able to make up ground during the second half of the season. Texas Rangers' ace Mike Minor is 8-4 with the second best ERA in the American League (2.54). Perhaps more importantly, he's also first in the AL in WAR for pitchers (5.8). Despite these impressive numbers, he only has the 10th best odds to take home the award at +2300.
Chris Sale, the ace of the Boston Red Sox's pitching staff, was the preseason favorite along with Corey Kluber, but the big left-hander has seen his odds consistently slip. He currently sits at +1300, the sixth best odds to win the AL Cy Young.
While there is a select group of favorites that have separated themselves from the rest of the field, any could end up being the 2019 Cy Young Award winner if they can build upon their impressive first half.
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Leo Abbe-Schneider is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Leo Abbe-Schneider also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username leoabbe2. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.