Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has already won the Cy Young Award three times during his career, including twice with his current team in the National League. Scherzer needs just one more to tie the number earned by Hall of Famers Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux, and he is favored to do so again this season at NL Cy Young odds of +250 (bet $100 to win $250) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets ended Scherzer's two-year reign last season with a stellar campaign despite his team finishing poorly in the NL East, and he is listed as the +350 second choice to repeat in 2019.
However, there are a few other contenders who hold more value, led by budding ace Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies at +900. The 25-year-old Nola is a third NL East pitcher to watch after putting together career-best numbers in 2018 with a 17-6 record and 2.37 ERA. With the Phillies expected to improve even more this year due to the additions of outfielders Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen along with catcher J.T. Realmuto, Nola will have an excellent opportunity to win 20 games, which is why he is the best bet in the NL.
The American League race is a lot more wide open even though the AL Cy Young odds still make it look like a top-heavy competition between Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians and Chris Sale of the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Kluber will be trying to win it for the third time as the +250 favorite while Sale is the +300 second choice and hopes to stay healthy enough to make a run at the award.
The Red Sox won the World Series in spite of Sale last year as he ran out of gas in the playoffs.
Last season's AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays is the +1600 fourth choice to repeat behind Luis Severino of the New York Yankees at +700. Joining Snell at +1600 are Carlos Carrasco of the Indians and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros. But Verlander's teammate Gerrit Cole of the Astros is another best bet in the AL at +2000. Cole was great last year in his first season in Houston and will need to step up even more in 2019 without former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel around anymore.