Last year's AL Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander, now plays in the National League, giving way for a new arm this year.
The latest: Dylan Cease, who earned a pair of first-place votes in his runner-up finish against Verlander last season, has taken over as the favourite to win in 2023. Tyler Glasnow has value in what is hopefully a full season post-injury, and Shohei Ohtani deserves a look for his exceptional efficiency.
With spring training still weeks away, here are the latest AL Cy Young odds.
AL Cy Young odds
Check out the latest odds to win the AL Cy Young. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.
MLB odds as of 1:25 p.m. on 03/19/2023.
Best AL Cy Young odds
The favourite: Dylan Cease (+700)
After finishing second to Verlander in last year's AL Cy Young race, it makes sense to see him atop the odds leaderboard entering 2023.
Cease's league-high walk total (78) was a problem, but that's the price this hard-throwing righty pays with his electric stuff. He was one of just three AL pitchers with a K/9 rate above 11.1 last year, and he also compiled a 2.20 ERA.
If you think Cease hasn't peaked yet, you might be right. So far, he's been better with each additional chunk of big-league experience.
Dylan Cease has 90 career starts. That is six 15-start spans. He has only kept getting better and better pic.twitter.com/40vzu8FMJa— Jay Cuda (@JayCuda) January 19, 2023
His high-90s fastball might get a lot of the initial attention, but Cease's mastery comes from a deep arsenal of baffling pitches. All three of his primary offerings — four-seam fastball, slider and curveball — come with a whiff rate over 20%, and his overall whiff rate (33.2%) ranked in the 91st percentile.
Cease has a 4.0 BB/9 in his career, and it's rare for a Cy Young winner to issue that many free passes. But if someone can break the mould, Cease has the tools to be that guy.
Other AL Cy Young choices
Best value: Tyler Glasnow (+2,700)
Glasnow missed about half of 2021 and nearly all of 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but he returned at the tail end of last season and offered some hope for what he could bring in the coming campaign.
The 6-foot-8 righty was still chucking high-90s heaters and flipping knee-buckling curveballs on his way to 10 strikeouts and one run allowed over 6.2 innings.
As a sample size, that's nothing. But it shows he's well past his surgery at this point, and given his pre-injury numbers he could be a genuine threat to win the AL Cy Young.
Glasnow's injury-shortened 2021 season was off to a rocking start, as he'd posted a 2.66 ERA, 2.77 FIP and 12.58 K/9 through 14 starts. Peripherally, he ranked in the 94th percentile or higher in expected ERA, expected batting average, K-rate and whiff rate.
Durability is a major concern, as the 29-year-old has only topped 100 innings once so far. But he's a fun pick at 25-to-1.
Player to watch: Shohei Ohtani (+1,000)
Despite obviously being one of the league's best pitchers all season, Ohtani was absent from most leaderboards until the very end of the season because he fell below league-qualifying thresholds.
He eventually caught up and posted some of the AL's best numbers over 166 innings:
- 11.87 K/9 (1st)
- 2.33 ERA (4th)
- 2.40 FIP (2nd)
Despite having the eighth-highest opponent BABIP (.289) among 22 qualifiers, he still posted the sixth-lowest opponent batting average (.202). Pretty great stuff.
As the two-way superstar that he is, Ohtani may never accumulate volume-friendly stats in the same way as other pitchers. And that could hurt him in the minds of some voters.
But on a rate basis, he's one of the best in the game. As long as he reaches the qualifying status, maybe that's all that will matter.
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