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AL Cy Young Odds: Dylan Cease Takes Lead over Justin Verlander

The American League Cy Young race is heating up with Dylan Cease and Justin Verlander. Come find out who the best bet for the AL Cy Young award is.
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AL Cy Young Odds: Dylan Cease Takes Lead over Justin Verlander

With less than three weeks left in the regular season, the oddsmakers have anointed a new favorite in the American League Cy Young rate. Justin Verlander missing the past two weeks has allowed Dylan Cease to jump ahead of him. Can he sustain the momentum with Verlander expected back in two days?

Justin Verlander AL Cy Young Odds (+115, Previous: -225) 

The last time we checked in on these two pitching powerhouses, the following observation was made:

"The question now surrounding Verlander's Cy Young candidacy is a simple one: Has he done enough at this point to be the sure winner if he doesn't pitch again over the last four weeks?"

When Verlander was at -225 odds just two weeks ago, it seemed as though he would be a lock to win the award for 2022. But over the past 14 days, Cease has rushed past him, leaving Verlander now with the ground to make up. Verlander is due back to the rotation on Friday against the Oakland Athletics. After that, he should have three more starts to make his case to get back on top. With the Astros rolling now, they have no incentive to push his innings up, but I bet Verlander gets enough leash to make these +115 odds worth betting.

With some enticing matchups ahead, Verlander has a very strong shot at passing Cease.

Dylan Cease AL Cy Young Odds (-140, Previous: +275)

Since Justin Verlander went down with a calf injury, Dylan Cease has had two incredible starts. In those starts, he pitched 16 innings (including one complete game), allowed zero earned runs, just four hits, four walks, and struck out 16 batters in the two wins. In terms of what Cease could do while Verlander was out to improve his odds, this was the best-case scenario.

The fact that the Chicago White Sox are also inching closer to a playoff spot certainly helps his case as well. But at just a 2.06 ERA and 11.44 strikeouts per nine innings this year, Cease has been an absolute beast every time he takes the mound. And with his 162 innings, Cease has officially passed Verlander in innings pitched and is just a few percentage points away from Verlander in ERA (1.84).

In terms of pitching WAR, Verlander (4.8) is still slightly ahead of Cease (4.1), but the race right now is too close to call. The sudden plunge into minus territory for Cease has me favoring Verlander, but their last few starts may tell the tale of who wins this award.

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Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.


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