With the 2022 Major League Baseball season about two months old, fans are getting a real treat in how exciting the races are in the National League this season. The chase in the NL West is red-hot, and the Mets are finally living up to expectations, looking like they may be the team to beat in the league.
However, not all the talk is about team performances. There are a number of hurlers who are off to great starts. This opens up the opportunity for those looking to place a wager on who they believe will be the NL Cy Young Award winner.
This is a very calculated pick. You not only want to be looking at who is off to a fast start, but also consider the philosophy of voters. A pitcher such as Corbin Burnes may be considered far above others simply because he was a favorite to win the award when the season began and is also on a team that is likely going to win its division. Some voters may not believe that closers are as worthy as starting pitchers to receive the award.
These are the kinds of things you want to consider when making your selection. With that being said, here are three good picks you may want to place a wager upon.
2022 NL Cy Young Odds
NL CY YOUNG HANDICAPPING
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers (+325)
The odds for Burnes have not changed much since the season began, as he entered the 2022 season as the presumptive favorite at +350. While the win total is not great (3-3), there is no denying that the statistics are spectacular. The Brewers ace has a 2.50 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and a .200 opponent batting average through his first 11 starts. He has struck out 84 through his first 68.1 innings pitched, allowing just 50 hits. Those are numbers that are going to catch the attention of voters, regardless of how many wins he has. That is a statistic pitchers cannot often control, so the others may be just what he needs to catapult him toward the award.
Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres (+700)
Musgrove is off to a spectacular start, going 6-0 with a 1.64 ERA through his first 10 starts of the season. Those are the kinds of numbers that are going to catch the attention of voters right off and, if he is able to maintain some form of these numbers moving forward, he will always be on the minds of those selecting the Cy Young candidate. In addition, this is going to be viewed as a breakout season for the right-hander. He has never won more than 11 games in a season before, so a 17- or 18-win campaign is going to put him in the driver seat.
Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins (+800)
Alcantara is off to a brilliant start through the first two months of the season, posting a 1.81 ERA through his first 11 starts. He currently leads the National League in innings pitched and has an impressive 0.98 WHIP and a .191 opponent batting average. Those are outstanding numbers that simply cannot be ignored. However, this is where voter philosophy comes into play. Miami could very easily finish in fourth, maybe even in fifth in the NL East. The question is then whether voters will hold that against him when making their decisions. Will they be willing to vote for a guy who put up great numbers but was unable to help his team get a sniff of the playoffs?
Those are definitely three pictures were going to garner a lot of attention. One of those three is likely to come away with a Cy Young Award, but here are three you should avoid.
Pablo Lopez, Miami Marlins (+1100)
When you have two pitchers who are both having excellent seasons with the same team, voters are going to lean one way or the other. Alcantara is the guy with the sub 2.00 ERA. That is going to be hard to top for Lopez, especially considering that his other numbers are very close, but slightly higher than his teammate’s. If things stay the way they are presently, Alcantara is likely to finish with more victories, something that will likely happen, which will doom Lopez for sure.
Carlos Rodon, San Francisco Giants (+900)
To be honest, it is a little surprising that Rodon is given these odds to win the award. San Francisco started out red-hot, but has struggled over the last month and do not look like things are improving anytime soon. On top of that, the statistics for the Giants left-hander are not spectacular. Through his first 10 starts he has a 3.44 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Yes, the 70 strikeouts in 55.0 innings are impressive, but not enough so to offset his other stats.
Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers (+1200)
This is another pitcher receiving far better odds of winning the award than he deserves at this point. No denying that the Dodgers right-hander is putting up outstanding numbers, currently leading the National League in victories. However, that is partially due to the overall success and talent of his team. The individual statistics for Buehler are not eye-popping. Through his first 10 starts, he has a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Unless he goes on a streak of three earned runs allowed over 40+ innings, he is not going to get any consideration at all.
Who Will Win the NL Cy Young Award?
With all of this in mind, look for San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove to win the award. That may seem a bit of a surprise, especially if Milwaukee should win the division. However, the Padres are rebounding after a disappointing 2021, and are without their star player with Fernando Tatis out until at least mid-July. Those kinds of factors are going to help Musgrove earn the award.