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Odds & Best Bets to Win 2024 American League Cy Young Award: We're High on Framber Valdez

Odds & Best Bets to Win 2024 American League Cy Young Award
Nicholas Berault
Written by Nicholas Berault
February 15, 2024

21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY) Call 1-800-327-5050 (MA).

Many baseball records from decades ago are considered unbreakable due to changes in how the modern big-league game is played and managed. The namesake of baseball's most prestigious pitching award, Cy Young, owns more than a few.

Denton True Young, nicknamed Cyclone, faced 29,565 batters in his professional career across 7,356 innings. He made 815 major league starts and went the distance 749 times, winning 511 decisions and taking responsibility for 315 losses.

As a result of the sheer amount of time he spent on the mound, Young allowed 7,092 hits and 2,147 earned runs. Each of those totals represents a record that will likely stand for all time.

Baseball in 2024 prioritizes the health of pitchers' arms and their ability to miss bats when they're on the mound. According to Baseball America, the average fastball velocity in the MLB rose from 91.9 to 94.2 miles per hour from 2007 to 2023. In that same period, the average number of strikeouts per game jumped to 8.61 from 6.62, a 30% increase.

The arms that dominate today's game all covet their league's Cy Young award as a recognition of their performance. We preview the contenders and up-and-comers vying for the 2024 AL Cy Young just ahead. Let's take a look at the current odds for the AL Cy Young awards from our partners over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Current Odds to Win 2024 AL Cy Young Award

Latest Odds from FanDuel SportsBook

Player Odds
Gerrit Cole +500
Kevin Gausman +700
Pablo Lopez +1000
Framber Valdez +1000
Corbin Burnes +1000
Luis Castillo +1200
George Kirby +1300
Tarik Skubal +2200
Logan Gilbert +2500
Cole Ragans +2500
Zach Eflin +2700
Dylan Cease +3000
Grayson Rodriguez +3000
Nathan Eovaldi +4000
Joe Ryan +4500
Yusei Kikuchi +5000
Shane Bieber +5000
Justin Verlander +5000
Chris Bassitt +6500
Jose Berrios +6500
Carlos Rodon +6500
Kyle Bradish +7000
Aaron Civale +8000
Tanner Bibee +8000
Cristian Javier +9000
Kenta Maeda +10000
Bryan Woo +10000
Bailey Ober +10000
Gavin Williams +10000
Triston McKenzie +11000

2023 AL Cy Young Recap

Six-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young runner-up Gerrit Cole won the award for the first time in his 11-year career in 2023. During his third season as a Yankee, Cole led all American League pitchers in WAR, ERA, WHIP, innings, starts, and shutouts to claim the Cy Young unanimously.

He allowed the fewest hits per nine innings among AL pitchers last year while posting his third straight season of 220+ strikeouts for a Yankee team that needed his heroics just to finish above .500.

Cole beat out players like Minnesota's Sonny Gray, who led baseball in FIP, and Toronto's Kevin Gausman, the American League's strikeout king. Gray signed with St. Louis this offseason after being named to his third All-Star team in 2023, leaving Gausman as the top returning challenger based on last year's performance.

2024 AL Cy Young Contenders

Cole and Gausman are the American League's 1-2 punch on preseason odds lists for the 2024 Cy Young, respectively. Since joining Houston from Pittsburgh in 2018, Cole has finished top-five in Cy Young voting five out of the six seasons he's spent in the AL.

Gausman has been a top-ten Cy Young finisher in each of the last three seasons, one with the NL with San Francisco in 2021 and the previous two with Toronto, where he's signed through the 2026 season. His third-place result in 2023 was a career-best for the two-time All-Star.

Framber Valdez of the Astros made the last two AL All-Star rosters and has finished in the top ten on Cy Young ballots since 2022. He reached the 200-strikeout plateau for the first-time last season while tying Cole for the major league lead in shutouts. Valdez's five complete games in the previous two seasons trail only Sandy Alcantara for the best mark in the bigs.

The most noteworthy addition to the AL Cy Young conversation this season is Baltimore's Corbin Burnes. The National League winner in 2021, Burnes has reached the pinnacle of his profession before and is now the ace for a deep and talented Orioles team. His strikeout rate has declined for two straight seasons, but a change in his home ballpark and the lineup behind him could do great things for Burnes in his age-29 season.

2023 top-ten finishers Pablo Lopez, Luis Castillo, and George Kirby are set to compete again this season. All three pitchers tossed just shy of 200 innings, while Lopez and Castillo eclipsed 215 strikeouts, with Lopez finishing three short of Gausman for the AL lead.

Castillo and Kirby formed the top of the Mariners rotation that also includes Logan Gilbert, another player on the top ten of Cy Young odds lists for 2024. Seattle's top three arms all posted WAR of 3.0 or more last year.

Tampa Bay's Zach Eflin, the sixth-place finisher in 2023, tied for the AL lead in wins with 16 last season. Eflin posted career-best marks in wins, starts, innings, strikeouts, and ERA as the ace of the Rays' staff a year ago, and with the departure of Tyler Glasnow, he'll retain that top position in their rotation.

Veterans Dylan Cease, Nathan Eovaldi, Shane Bieber, and others have dropped back in the eyes of the bookmakers for several reasons. Eovaldi and Bieber missed most of July and August with injuries, just two of the elite arms in the AL who spent significant time on the IL. Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Jacob deGrom saw their 2023 campaigns derailed by injuries and have lower expectations entering this year.

Cease made 33 starts last season but saw his ERA more than double to 4.58 after his Cy Young runner-up finish in 2022. His pitching arsenal allows him to rack up strikeouts but also causes reduced innings and high walk numbers from nibbling around the zone. He's a possible trade candidate ahead of the 2024 season.

Young Arms Pushing for Supremacy

The American League features some of the best young pitchers in baseball, several of whom have a chance to shake up the Cy Young race this season. Detroit has not had much to be excited about on the baseball field for the last decade, but a second-place finish in the AL Central a year ago is promising, and players like Tarik Skubal are leading the way.

He averaged 11.4 K/9 and a 2.80 ERA in 80 innings across 15 starts during 2023, winning seven of ten decisions. Skubal closed the year red-hot, winning four of his final five starts in September while striking out 43 hitters and allowing just three runs across 30 innings. The Tigers are projected to win 80.5 games in 2024, and Skubal could be a top-five Cy Young finisher if he maintains his 2023 pace over 30+ starts.

All Cole Ragans needed last year was a change of scenery and management to put him in a position to succeed. Following his trade from Texas to Kansas City in late June, the lefty inherited a starting rotation spot and thrived. Ragans hurled 71.2 innings with a 2.64 ERA and posted the second-most strikeouts (89) among AL pitchers in their final 12 starts.

Grayson Rodriguez, the 7th-ranked prospect in baseball entering the 2023 season, was another young player who closed on a high note. His 2.26 ERA over his final 12 starts was second-best in the AL. He and Ragans threw an identical 71.2 innings in that span, and both players are cemented into their teams' rotations for the upcoming league year.

To close out our look at the rising talent in the AL, Cleveland's Tanner Bibee has to be mentioned. The righty, entering his age-25 season, is coming off a runner-up finish in AL ROY voting to Baltimore's Gunnar Henderson after a rookie year where he was 10-4 in 25 starts with a sub-3.00 ERA in 142 innings.

Best Bet: Framber Valdez +1000 (FanDuel)

Valdez is the innings-eater of the Astros rotation, racking up 399.1 frames and 49 starts of six innings or more in the last two seasons. Both numbers trail only those of Gerrit Cole in the American League during that span.

His strikeouts per nine innings have ticked up each of the last two years, reaching 9.1 in 2023. Houston fortified the back end of their bullpen with the acquisitions of Phil Maton and Josh Hader this offseason, and the Astros are the favorites to represent the American League in the World Series this year.

Best Bet: Tarik Skubal +2200 (FanDuel)

In the half-season sample we saw from Skubal in 2023, his strikeout rate and ERA were elite. He's one of several players leading a resurgent Tigers organization and has the pleasure of facing three AL Central rivals ranked 23rd or worse in per-game scoring in roughly a quarter of his starts.

Best Bet: Grayson Rodriguez +3000 (DraftKings)

G-Rod struggled early in his rookie year, got sent down and dominated in Triple-A, and then returned to the bigs where he was able to translate that success for a sustained period.

He has the backing of one of the best bullpens and lineups in the majors and all the tools to rise to a Cy Young-level pitcher if he can consistently perform throughout 32-33 starts.

Best Bet: Tanner Bibbee +10000 (DraftKings)

Bibbee is another beneficiary who will face weaker AL Central lineups around eight times in 2024. He had the best season of that young group in 2023 and proved that he can go through a tough stretch and come out better for it on the other side.

After giving up 26 runs in 53.2 innings between May and June, Bibee responded with a 2.40 ERA in his final 14 starts while going 6-2 with 83 strikeouts.

Cy Young Award FAQ

No sport is more passionate about its history than baseball. Because of that, it pays for baseball bettors to study up on their MLB history. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that we get about the Cy Young Award.

Have a question related to the Cy Young Award that you'd like to see answered in this section? Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

Who won the first-ever Cy Young award?

The first-ever Cy Young award was won by Don Newcombe, a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1956. However, it's worth noting that the first Cy Young awards were given out in both the American League and National League that year, and the winner of the first-ever National League Cy Young award was Don Drysdale, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What player has won the most Cy Young awards in baseball history?

The player who has won the most Cy Young awards in baseball history is Roger Clemens, who won the award a total of seven times during his career. Clemens won the award in 1986, 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2004. However, it's worth noting that there is some controversy surrounding Clemens' legacy, as he was later accused of using performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

Who was Cy Young?

Cy Young was a legendary American baseball player and pitcher who played from 1890 to 1911. He was born Denton True Young on March 29, 1867, in Gilmore, Ohio, and received his famous nickname "Cy" due to his hometown being located near the town of Cyclone, Ohio. Young played for five different teams during his career, but he is most closely associated with the Cleveland Spiders and the Boston Red Sox. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball, and he holds numerous records that still stand today, including the all-time record for career wins with 511. In honor of his achievements, the Cy Young Award was established in 1956 to honor the best pitchers in Major League Baseball each season.

Has a player ever won the Cy Young award and the MVP in the same year?

Yes, it has happened a few times in baseball history that a player has won both the Cy Young Award and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year.

The first player to accomplish this feat was Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. Since then, a total of 11 players have won both awards in the same season. The other players to achieve this are:

  • Sandy Koufax (1963)
  • Bob Gibson (1968)
  • Denny McLain (1968)
  • Vida Blue (1971)
  • Rollie Fingers (1981)
  • Willie Hernandez (1984)
  • Roger Clemens (1986)
  • Dennis Eckersley (1992)
  • Justin Verlander (2011)
  • Clayton Kershaw (2014)

It's worth noting that in some years, a pitcher may have won the MVP Award without winning the Cy Young Award, or vice versa.

What MLB team has had the most Cy Young award winners?

The team that has had the most Cy Young award winners in Major League Baseball history is the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a total of 12 different pitchers winning the award a combined 13 times. The Dodgers' Cy Young winners include Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Don Sutton, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Eric Gagne, Clayton Kershaw, and others.

The Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Giants are tied for second place, with seven different pitchers from each team winning the award a total of nine times. Other teams with multiple Cy Young award winners include the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cleveland Indians, among others.

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