Preseason predictions are generally pointless. As Carrabis says they are just a reason for people to tell you how wrong you were once the season ends. And baseball might be the toughest sport to predict out of any. While analysts typically have an easier time predicting the NBA and NFL, baseball continuously sees players who come from nowhere go on to have award winning seasons. Dallas Keuchel won the AL Cy Young award in 2015. Most casual baseball fans probably didn't even know that name this time last year. I'm not positive these same fans even know who he is now (he's in the picture above). That's how under the radar he was before 2015's breakout. Two years ago it was Corey Kluber, whom I had never heard of, coming out of nowhere to win the 2014 AL Cy award. So keep in mind that while I have posted the Bovada odds below there is a good chance this year's winner is not even listed. Unforuntately there is no option to take the field. While I won't be making any formal predictions let's take a look at a few names who have intriguing odds.
Chris Sale, White Sox, +600
Sale is the favorite on most sites I've seen (BetOnline has him at +250) so getting him at +600 could be a potential steal. Sale checks off a lot of boxes we look for in a potential Cy Young winner. He hasn't won before so we can rule out the argument of writers getting bored of voting for him. His stats are equally impressive to baseball purists (ERA, strikeouts) and to the stat nerds (FIP, ERA+, K/9). He's also more durable than people think. His games started the past four years go 30, 30, 26, 31. That violent windup is scary and he usually has at least a two week stint on the disabled list but there's no reason to think this is the year he breaks down. Therefore Sale is a bet to consider simply because we are getting the should be favorite at odds much more favorable to us.
Sonny Gray, Athletics, +1200
Sonny Gray is the next great Oakland player Billy Beane will trade for a haul of prospects. Just named the team's opening day starter, the 26 year old is fresh off a 2015 season that saw him finish third in the Cy Young voting. While Sale is already considered an elite starter in the American League, the argument for placing a bet on Gray is that he is going to continue to get even better. Last season, in just his second full season as a starter, Gray lowered his ERA from 3.08 to 2.73 and WHIP from 1.19 to 1.08 in addition to throwing over 200 innings again. In his abbreviated 2013 rookie season he had a 9.4 K/9 ratio but that number has dipped to 7.5 and 7.3 the past two seasons. If Gray can find a way to increase this number I guarantee we will not get him at 12/1 this time next year.
Chris Archer, Rays, +600
I really wish the odds were better for Chris Archer. I value him similar to Gray in the sense that he is not yet in that top echelon of elite pitchers but is someone I think can make the jump this year. Archer seems to be one of those guys that people either love or hate. Back in February Archer apparently scolded two prospects for being late to a meeting, even though they were 30 minutes early. This was followed by another story that claimed this is the culture of Rays pitchers and Archer learned this from James Shields and David Price. Regardless of what people think of him there's no denying Archer exploded onto the scene last year, striking out 252 batters in 212 innings with a 3.23 ERA. Entering his age 27 season he could be poised to make that final leap. Ultimately however Archer at +600 is similar to Price at +400. Both are favorites of mine to win the award but I don't think the odds represent value.