2012 American League Cy Young Award Vegas Odds and Predictions – Favorites, Dark Horses and Sleepers to Win the 2012 AL Cy Young Award: In 2011, Justin Verlander pulled of the incredibly rare feat of winning the Cy Young Award and MVP Award in the same season. Now, he will try to become the first pitcher to win the AL Cy Young Award in back-to-back years since Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000. Considering only 16 pitchers have ever won multiple Cy Young Awards in both leagues combined, Verlander obviously faces an uphill battle. The fact that there are plenty of other pitchers waiting to overthrow him doesn’t help his chances either.
The Favorites – 2012 AL Cy Young Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
Coming off his incredible season, Justin Verlander has to be considered the frontrunner to repeat. He led the American League in wins, ERA, WHIP, opposing batting average, strikeouts and innings pitched in 2011, and even if he regresses slightly, Verlander could still be the best pitcher in the AL. He is a constant threat to toss a no-hitter, and with Prince Fielder coming aboard to bolster the offense, his win total could potentially increase. With a 100-plus mph fastball and a nasty curve, Verlander is the total package as a starting pitcher.
His ERA and WHIP may not be as eye-popping as some other pitchers in the AL, but CC Sabathia is an ace in every sense of the word. He tops 200-plus innings on a regular basis, approaches 20 wins and strikes out more than 200 people almost every season. In the past, Sabathia has been the only reliable option on the Yankees’ staff, but with some offseason moves made to bolster the staff, he should no longer have to shoulder so much of the burden. As a result, Sabathia could be primed for an uptick across the board. If that happens, the durable Sabathia could net himself the Cy Young for the second time in his career.
The Dark Horses – 2012 AL Cy Young Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
Jered Weaver exploded with a career year in 2011, winning 18 games and finishing second in the AL in ERA and WHIP. He tossed well over 200 innings and added 198 strikeouts, as well. The offseason addition of Albert Pujols should improve the Angels’ offense, which could help boost his win total and make Los Angeles a playoff team. Until last year, Weaver has struggled to pitch at an elite level for an entire season. Assuming his 2011 performance is a sign of his maturity and not a fluke, Weaver could make another strong run at the Cy Young in 2012.
Accusations of beer and fried chicken aside, Josh Beckett took care of business on the mound more often than not in 2011. He ranked in the top five in the American League in ERA, opposing batting average and WHIP. While his number stacked up with the elite pitchers in several categories, Beckett didn’t reach the 200 inning mark. Nagging injuries always seem to cost him a few starts, and when he pitches through the pain, he isn’t quite the same guy. Beckett will need to be healthy for the entire year to take home Cy Young honors, but if that happens, he has the stuff to be the best pitcher in the AL.
The Sleepers – 2012 AL Cy Young Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
His 16-12 record wasn’t overly impressive, but James Shields’ stats in other categories were outstanding. He had the third-best ERA, fifth-best WHIP and third-most strikeouts. He also threw the second-most innings the AL and threw an MLB-best 11 complete games. His ability to eat innings and pitch deep into ballgames is incredibly valuable, and if he can make the win-loss column look a bit better, he could easily sneak up and grab the Cy Young.
After winning the Cy Young in 2010, Felix Hernandez took a step back in 2011. That being said, he still finished fourth in the AL in strikeouts, sixth in innings pitched and second in complete games. To his credit, Seattle struggled throughout last season as a team, making a lot of errors and scoring the fewest runs in baseball. With young players like Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero no win the mix, the Mariners should be better as a whole. Hernandez should be one of the main beneficiaries, and with a little more motivation to perform, his ERA and WHIP should bounce back in a big way.
Odds to win the 2012 American League Cy Young Award
Justin Verlander +450
Jered Weaver +550
C.C. Sabathia +650
Felix Hernandez +700
David Price +700
C.J. Wilson +1200
Dan Haren +1500
Ubaldo Jimenez +1600
Jon Lester +1600
Michael Pineda +2000
Clay Buchholz +2200
James Shields +2500
Colby Lewis +2500
Derek Holland +2500
Ricky Romero +2500
Matt Moore +2500
Yu Darvish +2500
Justin Masterson +2500
Hiroki Kuroda +3000
Josh Beckett +5000
Mariano Rivera +5000
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