Since the All-Star Break there has been a shuffling of the odds in the race to win the American League Cy Young Award. With slightly more than one month remaining in the 2018 Major League Baseball regular season, pitchers will have to have a strong September if they want to walk away with the coveted award.
For the first half of the season it appeared Luis Severino would run away and hide with the Cy Young. At one point the New York Yankees ace was 14-2, but in his last 31 innings pitched he has allowed 25 earned runs while losing four of his last seven starts. Severino is now +1100 to win the award.
However, Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has pitched well the second half of the season despite landing on the 10-day disabled list twice. Sale is now favored to win the award at -250. In his three starts since the break, Sale has given up six hits and no runs over 17 innings with 31 strikeouts.
The concern for Sale is how he will hold up physically the final month of the regular season and into the postseason for the Red Sox. If he were to be placed on the DL another time during September, he may end up dropping out of the race.
A dark horse in the race for the American League Cy Young is Blake Snell the Tampa Bay Rays ace. The 25-year old is +900 to win and he might have the best value on the list of favorites for the award.
Snell’s ERA since returning from the All-Star break is 0.86, allowing only nine hits in 20 innings with 26 strikeouts.
This season, the southpaw has pitched in just three games where he has allowed over three earned runs. What makes that stat even more impressive is Tampa Bay plays in the American League East that is known to be hitter-friendly. Snell’s biggest problem might be his own team. The Rays offense is averaging just over 4.00 runs per game when he pitches, which is the fewest runs for any of the favorites.
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was second to Severino for much of the first half of the season, but has had a tough second half as the Astros offense has struggled and the team has seen its lead drop to one game over the Oakland Athletics as September approaches.