Max Scherzer is the favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award, Bovada.lv announced today. The sportsbook has the Tigers starter at 3/2 odds, or about 40 percent chances, to win the award. Boston's Clay Buchholz and Seattle's Felix Hernandez round out the top three at 9/2 (18.2 percent) and 11/2 (15.4 percent).
Tigers ace Justin Verlander earned the award in 2011 and came within a first-place vote of repeating as Cy Young winner in 2012. (David Price edged him.) So a win for Scherzer would be keeping it in the family, so to speak.
Scherzer is undoubtedly the favorite after starting the season with a 13-0 record and earning the nod to start for the AL All-Star team. Voters don't necessarily follow the gaudy wins stat as much as they used to, but when you're hearkening back to Roger Clemens in 1986 (he started 14-0) you're at a good starting point. Scherzer is actually ninth in the AL in ERA (3.19, but his other stats indicate he's pitching better than the figure. His FIP of 2.68 is second in the league among "qualified starters," behind Felix Hernandez's 2.66. Scherzer is also second in the league in strikeout percentage (30.1 percent of plate appearances end in a strikeout.) Yu Darvish leads there with 32.5 percent.
Buchholz isn't qualified for the leaderboards -- he'd only made 12 starts for 84 innings before being lost to injury in June -- but he'd be shining on them: He has a 1.71 ERA, 2.48 FIP and 9-0 record. Buchholz has not played since June 8 with a neck strain, the Globe reports. The newspaper reports Buchholz would be pitching if it were a "do or die" situation in September but they're not forcing the issue now.
Hernandez is 10-4 with a 2.53 ERA. His strikeout rate is 25.6 percent, giving him 140 strikeouts in 139 innings.
Verlander, who is having a fine season but who is merely "average" by his own standards, checks in at 12/1 odds. Anibal Sanchez didn't make the list, but actually has a 2.75 ERA and 2.30 FIP. He, too, missed time due to injury.
Odds to win the 2013 AL Cy Young
provided by Bovada
Max Scherzer (DET) 3/2
Clay Buchholz (BOS) 9/2
Felix Hernandez (SEA) 11/2
Yu Darvish (TEX) 15/2
Bartolo Colon (OAK) 10/1
Justin Verlander (DET) 12/1
Matt Moore (TB) 15/1
Justin Masterson (CLE) 20/1
Mariano Rivera (NYY) 20/1
Hiroki Kuroda (NYY) 25/1
Hiwashi Iwakuma (SEA) 25/1
Joe Nathan (TEX) 25/1