The Major League Baseball season is just around the corner, so is time to take a look at some of the best pitchers in baseball. This will continue our MLB Odds series with a National League Cy Young prediction and pick.
Sandy Alcantara took home the award last season after an incredible year. The runner-ups were Max Fried and Julio Urias. Aaron Nola, Zac Gallen, and Corbin Burnes all received votes as well. The competition for National League Cy Young is stiff and the 2023 baseball season should be a fun one to watch.
2023 National League Cy Young MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel
2023 National League Cy Young Odds
Sandy Alcantara: +500
Corbin Burnes: +600
Justin Verlander: +700
Max Scherzer: +800
Spencer Strider: +1000
Zac Gallen: +1100
Max Fried: +1200
Aaron Nola: +1300
Zack Wheeler: +1800
Julio Urias: +2000
Brandon Woodruff: +2000
Logan Webb: +3000
Clayton Kershaw: +8000
2023 National League Cy Young favorite picks
Sandy Alcantara: The reigning National League Cy Young winner is back at the top of the favorites for the 2023 season. He absolutely earned the award last season with a 2.28 ERA, 228 2/3 innings pitched, and a 1.14 WHIP to go along with a career-low .212 batting average against. In spring training, Alcantara threw 13 1/3 innings, struck out 15, and had a WHIP of 0.75 while pitching to the tune of a 0.68 ERA. He seems poised to have another fantastic season. His changeup is the best pitch in his arsenal. In 2022, he threw it 27.7 percent of the time and opponents hit just .145 off it. As long as he comes close to repeating those numbers, it would be very realistic for him to repeat.
Corbin Burnes: Burnes won the award in 2021 and followed it up with a very solid 2022. Last season, he threw 202 innings and struck out 243 hitters. His 10.8 K/9 was second in the National League behind Carlos Rodon. His 30.5 percent strikeout percentage in 2022 was fourth in all of baseball. Burnes had a lower WHIP than Alcantara in 2022, finishing with a 0.97 in that category. Burnes has not finished with an ERA above 3.00 since 2019. He has put together a few good years in a row, and being in a weaker division is only going to work to his advantage.
Justin Verlander: After winning the American League Cy Young award in 2022, Verlander signed with New York Mets and will not be pitching in the National League. Last season for the Houston Astros, Verlander had a 27.8 percent strikeout rate, the lowest batting average against (.186), and the fourth lowest walk rate in the MLB (4.4%). He has picked up right where he left off in spring training for New York. He has a 10.7 K/9 and has reached 97 MPH on his fastball. To be that good in February and March is rare. Verlander is still at the top of his game, and he is just as motivated to win another Cy Young award for the Mets.
2023 National League Cy Young sleeper picks
Spencer Strider: Strider finished the 2022 season second in the rookie of the year voting. For good reason, too. Strider lit up the radar gun in each outing and got outs while doing it. In just 131 2/3 innings, Strider had the 11th most strikeouts in the MLB. He had an 11-5 record with a 2.67 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Heading into his second season, Strider is looking just as good. He had 21 strikeouts in 16 spring training innings and a 1.69 ERA. Strider needs to repeat that season if he wants to win the National League Cy Young. He will most likely have to use his slider and changeup a bit more and not throw 67 percent fastballs, but Strider has the potential to have another really great season.
Julio Urias: Urias finished third in the Cy Young voting last year and received a few votes in 2021 as well. Urias led the National League in ERA with a 2.16 and had the second most wins with 17. The 26-year-old lefty had a batting average against below .200 on the year as well. Urias has had below a 3.00 ERA in three of the last four seasons, but his strikeouts were a bit down in 2022. If Urias can get his strikeout numbers back up while maintaining his other stats, then he will be in a good position to win the award.
2023 National League Cy Young final prediction & pick
There are plenty of great options to choose from in the National League Cy Young race. However, Spencer Strider has some of the best arm talents in the entire MLB. Burnes, Alcantara, and Verlander are all former winners of the Cy Young award, and even though Max Scherzer was not named, he has won twice. Strider can be comparable to Jacob DeGrom though, and if he can repeat his rookie season and build upon it, he will win this award.
2023 National League Cy Young final prediction & pick: Spencer Strider +1000