2012 National League Cy Young Award Vegas Odds and Predictions – Favorites, Dark Horses and Sleepers to Win the 2012 NL Cy Young Award: Young pitchers have been excelling in the National League lately, and Clayton Kershaw continued the trend last season. Kershaw took home his first career Cy Young Award in 2011, and three of the last four winners have been in their mid to early 20’s. There are plenty of young stars that could continue the trend, but there are also some veterans that could step up and take top honors. At the very least, the race for the NL Cy Young should go down to the wire in 2012.
The Favorites – 2012 NL Cy Young Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
Based on his age, defending Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw hasn’t even hit his prime yet. His 2011 season was nothing short of a masterpiece, as he led the NL in wins, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts and opposing batting average. The fact that he won the award last season despite the Dodgers being mediocre was a testament to his dominance. Kershaw’s curveball might just be the best in baseball, and his stuff shouldn’t erode anytime soon. Another strong season should be on tap, and Kershaw could easily repeat as the NL Cy Young winner.
He won the NL Cy Young in 2010, and Roy Halladay could be back for his third career award this season. After all, he did finish third in wins, second in ERA, third in strikeouts and third in WHIP last season. Halladay also led the NL in innings pitched and complete games. If not for Kershaw’s ridiculous season, he would have won the Cy Young last season. Being the ace for a Philadelphia team that has won the NL East five times in a row only helps his chances, and Halladay should be one of the top contenders once again.
The Dark Horses – 2012 NL Cy Young Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
Cliff Lee excelled with Philadelphia last season, winning 17 games and finishing in the top five in most statistical categories. He also led the NL with six shutouts last season. Lee was one of three pitchers in the NL to top 230 innings, and with his excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio, he should continue to eat up the inning. Playing on the same team as Roy Halladay hurts his chances a bit, but if he outperforms his teammate, Lee could join Halladay as a two-time Cy Young winner.
After winning the Cy Young Award in 2008 and 2009, Tim Lincecum slipped a bit in 2011. Of course, a bad year for Lincecum still meant a 2.74 ERA and 220 strikeouts. Losing his battery mate Buster Posey didn’t help matters, and he battled some control issues at times. Posey is back in 2012, and assuming he can cut down on the walks, there is no reason he can’t return to his elite form. After all, Lincecum is entering just his fifth full season in the majors.
The Sleepers – 2012 NL Cy Young Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
With Lee and Halladay on the same staff, Cole Hamels faces tough competition in his own clubhouse. That being said, he finished second in the National League in both WHIP and opposing batting average last year and had the sixth-best ERA. Hamels has a World Series MVP to his credit, as well, and he isn’t afraid to pitch under pressure. Armed with his devastating changeup, Hamels doesn’t post the gaudy strikeout totals of some other contenders, but he is as tough to hit as any pitcher in baseball.
His 12-11 record last season doesn’t scream Cy Young, but Matt Cain has better numbers than his record seems to indicate. He posted a 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a 0.214 batting average to opponents. His opposing batting average was the third best in the National League, and Cain allowed just nine home runs all year despite pitching more than 220 innings. Cain was the victim of a lack of run support in 2011, but with San Francisco’s two-best hitters fully healthy entering the season, his 2012 win-loss should attract more attention.
Odds to win the 2012 National League Cy Young Award
Clayton Kershaw +650
Cliff Lee +800
Tim Lincecum +900
Zack Greinke +1000
Adam Wainwright +1400
Cole Hamels +1400
Matt Cain +1500
Yovani Gallardo +1500
Josh Johnson +1500
Stephen Strasburg +1800
Ian Kennedy +2000
Gio Gonzalez +2500
Madison Bumgarner +2500
Daniel Hudson +2500
Mat Latos +2500
Johan Santana +2500
Chris Carpenter +2500
Mark Buehrle +2500
Jordan Zimmerman +3000
Tommy Hanson +3000
Matt Garza +3000
Johnny Cueto +4000
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