It’s generally not a smart idea to bet on someone who is favored against the rest of the field for an award early in the season.
New York ace Jacob deGrom might be the exception to that rule. The two-time National League Cy Young winner opened the year as the +500 ‘chalk’ to win his third Cy Young.
He is well on his way to accomplishing that feat. DeGrom set a new MLB record with 50 strikeouts through his first four starts in 2021—he is striking out nearly half of the batters that he faces.
In fact, he has batted in more runs as a hitter (2) than he has allowed as a pitcher (1) this season. He won the Cy Young in 2018 and followed it up with another one in 2019 before finishing third in 2020.
It’s tough to envision anything but an injury slowing him down this year. He has moved from +500 to -110 following his dominant month of April. Milwaukee starter Corbin Burnes (+375) is the only other player listed inside of 10/1.
Burnes went 4-1 with a 2.11 ERA last season and is 2-2 with a 1.53 ERA in 2021. He has drastically improved from a 2019 season where he was 1-5 with an 8.82 ERA, but I am not sure he is ready to challenge deGrom for the Cy Young.
The American League Cy Young race is shaping up to be much more competitive. Cleveland’s Shane Bieber is the +275 ‘chalk,’ but New York’s Gerrit Cole (+300) and Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow (+500) are right there in the mix.
Bieber was the unanimous winner in 2020, but Cole opened as the +350 ‘chalk’ this season. They squared off against each other last weekend in a game that ended in a 2-1 final. Both starters saw their odds shorten following the game.
Mike Trout (+250) and Shohei Ohtani (+400) remain the favorites to win the AL MVP. The Los Angeles teammates are both off to excellent starts this season, but the pitching staff continues to let the team down.
Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. is the +300 favorite for the NL MVP, but Fernando Tatis Jr. (+600), Juan Soto (+700) and Mookie Betts (+800) are all off to nice starts. Betts and Soto opened the season as +750 co-favorites, but Acuna has been phenomenal in April.
There has not been much movement in the World Series odds. The Dodgers have fallen off a bit of late, but they are still the +325 ‘chalk’ to repeat. The Yankees (+650) and Padres (+900) have the next shortest odd