Cy Young and MVP – Predicting the 2018 MLB Awards with Free Betting Picks

By Michael Wynn
Published on November 13, 2018
2018 MLB Awards Predictions

The 2018 Major League Baseball season has been over for a little while now.

And it seems as if the decision as to who will capture the Cy Young and MVP awards has also been over and done with for quite some time.

Because judging by the odds, it looks like all four of these awards aren’t really up for grabs.

We have massive favorites leading the way for both the AL and NL MVP awards, and the Cy Young frontrunners don’t appear to have much to worry about.

Is that because the competition wasn’t fierce, or because a few guys just stood out amongst the group?

I plan on breaking it all down below, and I’ll tell you if I think there’s value in any of the bets. has come through as per usual and is allowing us to place the following wagers. However, I recommend not waiting too long, because you’re running out of time!

The odds referenced in this post were taken from at 2:00 pm EST on 11/12.

AL Cy Young

Corey Kluber is the defending AL Cy Young award winner, and he’s on the short list of candidates to win it again in 2018.

But did Corey do enough to capture this coveted award for the third time, or was a young lefty in Tampa even more impressive?

Here are the current odds for the main contenders.

Blake Snell-400
Justin Verlander+250
Corey Kluber+700

Blake Snell

The only knock on the 25-year-old southpaw would perhaps be that he only threw 180.2 innings. But remember, the Rays won 90 games in 2018 and were a legitimate squad.

Blake Snell led the Majors with 21 wins, and his sparkling 21-5 mark definitely didn’t go unnoticed. Snell sported an AL-low 1.89 ERA across 31 starts and struck out 221 batters in the process.

Opposing batters hit just .178 against Blake, which topped all starting pitchers in the Big Leagues. Finally, and maybe the most telling stat of all, was Snell’s WAR.

His 7.5 “wins above replacement” stat led all American League pitchers.

Case in point – there is no need to wonder why Blake Snell has the leg up to win this award.

He’s earned it.

Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander didn’t just “turn back the clock” in 2018. The 25-year-old hard-throwing right-hander had arguably his best year as a professional.

His 290 strikeouts not only were the most in the American League, but it was also the highest tally of punchouts that Justin has ever recorded in a single season.

Verlander was a reliable ace for the Astros all year long, displaying a stellar 2.52 ERA over 214 innings.

His 16-9 record could have been even better, as Justin’s 0.90 WHIP (walks/hits per innings pitched) was the lowest in baseball.

There is no doubt that Verlander can make a case for winning the 2018 AL Cy Young, and the +250 price tag is fairly appetizing.

Either way, Justin won’t be too disappointed if he doesn’t hear his name called. He and his supermodel wife, Kate Upton, just gave birth to the couple’s first child, so he’ll have plenty on his plate for the time being!

Corey Kluber

Corey Kluber did what Corey Kluber does, which is consistently be one of the most complete starting pitchers in the game of baseball.

He actually won 20 games for the first time in his illustrious career, topping his high of 18 wins he had reached on three separate occasions.

Corey boasted a sub-3 ERA (2.89) and struck out 222 batters, all while leading the AL in innings pitched (215).

Kluber’s numbers are gaudy enough to win the Cy Young award during most years, and perhaps how good he has been in the past may serve as a disservice to him this time around.

To his credit, this is the type of year that we’ve come to expect to see from the Cleveland ace.

The Skinny

Taking the odds at into consideration, I don’t actually mind taking a shot with Verlander. Corey won this award last year, and I think what Blake and Justin achieved is enough to keep Kluber out of the conversation.

In a vacuum, I’d lean toward Snell, as he was just a tad bit better overall. But getting +250 as opposed to -400 obviously goes without saying.

That’s why I’m making two picks here – a value play and a raw pick.

Value Play

PICKJustin Verlander+250

Raw Pick

PICKBlake Snell-400

NL Cy Young

You honestly can’t go wrong with any of these choices. With that being said, there was one gentleman who was able to do things that we just aren’t used to seeing.

And that’s why you’ll see he’s a whopping -1000 favorite to scoop this year’s NL Cy Young award.

Jacob deGrom-1000
Max Scherzer+400
Aaron Nola+900


Jacob deGrom

Was it the haircut or a newfound motivation to be great?

I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that Jacob deGrom had a scintillating year throwing the baseball in 2018. In fact, it was so good that we haven’t seen many seasons like it.

He ended the year throwing 24 consecutive quality starts (QS), which is simply unheard of. This set a new MLB record, but he wasn’t finished there. Jacob ended the campaign with a 1.70 ERA over 217 innings and 32 starts.

To put that in perspective…

Since Major League Baseball adjusted the pitching mound in 1969, only two starters (that made at least 30 starts or pitched 210+ innings) have ever accumulated an ERA as low as deGrom’s.

The stats say that . The fact that he won just ten games shows you how dreadful the run support he received was, as it’s a total anomaly to compile his numbers and win just ten games.

If and when he wins this award, it’ll just reinforce how exceptional deGrom was.

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer has been so dominant for so long that it’s easy to take for granted what “Mad Max” accomplishes year in and year out.

Let me quickly fill you in.

The 34-year-old Missouri native went 18-7 and assembled an ERA of 2.53.

This was his fourth straight season in which he sported a sub-3 ERA and his eighth consecutive year earning 14 or more wins.

The 2013 AL Cy Young award winner is the two-time defending champ of the NL Cy Young Award, and he could very well make it a hat-trick in the National League on Wednesday night.

Max struck out 300 batters, which marked the third year in a row that he has led the majors in that statistic.

Nobody has been more dependable over the last five years, and 2018 was just another stepping stone toward Max Scherzer’s undeniable run into Cooperstown.

Aaron Nola

The average baseball fan might not have even heard of Aaron Nola before the 2018 MLB season began.

And if you STILL don’t know who Aaron Nola is, then it’s time to stop calling yourself a genuine fan that follows the sport closely.

The Phillies franchise’s right arm didn’t just live up to the lofty expectations set for him in 2018. He exceeded them.

Aaron struck out 224 hitters in 212.1 innings of work, keeping his ERA at a clean 2.37. Nola went 17-6 with a 0.97 WHIP, pitching for a team that wasn’t exactly loaded on offense. Perhaps that’s why Aaron led all Major League pitchers with an astounding 10.5 WAR, proving that he is among the elite.

If it wasn’t for deGrom’s incredible numbers that we just don’t typically see, Nola would almost certainly be recognized as the NL Cy Young Award winner.

And who knows? He still very well could be.

The Skinny

The +900 attached to Nola almost makes me want to bite, as the payout would clearly be pretty handsome.

But given the statistics that deGrom attained throughout the course of the 162-game regular season, it’s going to be hard for the Mets “righty” to be overlooked.

Laying -1000 isn’t going to make you rich unless you put all your eggs in this basket, and I just wouldn’t feel that comfortable doing so.

We’ve never seen the Cy Young award handed out to a player who won only ten games, so maybe, just maybe, that’s enough to hold the voters back.

Value Play

PICKAaron Nola+900

Raw Pick

PICKJacob deGrom-1000


In my eyes, this should be the award that the voters spend the least amount of time debating. Nothing against what Mike Trout and Jose Ramirez accomplished during the regular season, but Mookie Betts was the best player on the best team.

The fact that Red Sox slugger JD Martinez was left out of this discussion tells you all you need to know about how good all three of these men were.

Mookie Betts-2000
Mike Trout+450
Jose Ramirez+1400

Mookie Betts

I could tell you everything Mookie Betts did on the baseball diamond in 2018, but then you’d be reading this article for the next half hour.

I’ll summarize things by telling you Mookie’s 10.9 WAR was the highest among any player who played the game in 2018. He won his third consecutive Gold Glove Award by simply playing the best defense among any right fielder in either league.

But it’s actually what Mookie did at the plate that really sets him apart: his .346 batting average that led the league.

He had 80 RBIs from the leadoff spot, flashing a rare combination of power and speed. He was one of two players (Jose Ramirez) who stole 30 or more bases and also eclipsed 30 home runs, and his 84 extra-base hits led the American League.

The three-time All-Star already threw a perfect game in the PBA World Series of Bowling, and he just announced the birth of his first child on November 6th.

By the time Thursday evening is complete, he should be able to add AL MVP to his growing list of accolades.

Mike Trout

If you ask most people in the baseball industry who the best overall player is, the majority will likely say Mike Trout.

They say that because what this dude does is just mind-boggling, as he pours out MVP-caliber numbers on a yearly basis like clockwork.

He has been so good ever since he joined the league that we hardly take time to admire him when he bats .312 and smashes 39 homers, despite being limited to just 471 at-bats.

Mike’s ridiculous .460 on-base percentage (OBS) was even higher than Mookie’s .438 mark, and Trout would have won the Gold Glove in center field if it wasn’t for Jackie Bradley Jr.

The Angels finished under .500 at 80-82 and were never in the AL West Division race, and that can’t help Trout’s chances of winning this award.

But the two-time AL MVP (2014, 2016) still has an outside shot when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America members submit their final ballot.

He’s just way too good to count out.

Jose Ramirez

Jose Ramirez stole 34 bases (third-most in the American League), which is great if you are known as a speedster.

But the Indians third baseman also clubbed 39 homers and drove in 105 runs, so the fact that he is one of the league leaders in steals is pretty impressive if you ask me.

For a guy who can also play second base at an elite level, Jose’s growth into one of the premier players in all of baseball has been fast and furious. As strong of a hitter as he is, it is his discipline and patience at the plate that has me most enthralled.

Jose amassed 106 walks compared to striking out just 80 times, easily the best walk/strikeout ratio among Major League batters.

His case for AL MVP could be clear-cut in other years, but it’s likely a far-fetched outcome in 2018 thanks to Mr. Betts and Mr. Trout.

The Skinny

I firmly believe that Mookie Betts is going to win this award when “the fat lady sings,” but that doesn’t mean I’m running to to fire my last month’s paycheck on it.

Laying -2000 is just too egregious of a price, even for a bet that seems as likely as this one is to pan out. There’s not much sense in dishing out any money on Jose Ramirez, even though his +1400 price is pretty mouth-watering.

So I guess there is a little value with Trout at +450, but the writing is pretty much on the wall here. All signs are pointing to Mookie taking the cake.

Value Play

PICKMike Trout+450

Raw Pick

PICKMookie Betts-2000


This award is pretty much all but wrapped up, as Christian Yelich’s second-half offensive outburst has likely pushed him well ahead of his counterparts.

During the final stretch of the season when Milwaukee needed Yelich the most, Christian almost single-handedly propelled his team toward winning the NL Central crown.

Did Nolan Arenado or Javier Baez do enough to warrant consideration, or is this thing a done deal?

Christian Yelich-1500
Nolan Arenado+600
Javier Baez+700

Christian Yelich

This kid was such a stud in 2018 that . He’s just the fifth player in MLB history to ever accomplish that remarkable feat, and he’s the first to do it twice against the same team.

Poor Cincinnati.

Christian finished the 2018 season hitting .326, a full 16 points higher than any other batter in the National League. His 36 homers were the third-most in the NL, and his 110 ribbies were only surpassed by Javier Baez’s 111.

Ready for this?

Yelich not only led the National League in slugging percentage (.598) and WAR, but his 7.6 WAR was significantly higher than that of Baez (6.3) and Arenado (5.6).

Christian is just 26 and has a lot of bright years ahead of him. But even a beast like himself will have a hard time replicating the success he demonstrated in 2018.

Nolan Arenado

The sky is blue. The sun rises in the east. Nolan Arenado hits 35+ homers, has well over 100 RBIs, and he runs away with the Gold Glove Award at third base.

Seriously, there isn’t much you can say about the production the Colorado Rockies receive year in and year out from the All-Star third baseman.

What’s crazy is that the league has yet to recognize the 27-year-old Californian as an NL MVP – at least so far.

Anyone who was surprised to see him hit .297 and mash 38 homers while driving in 110 runs must not have any clue what he has done since he became a professional.

His prowess at the plate is on par with the best and most powerful hitters in the game, but it’s actually his ability as a defender that makes him one of the more unique infielders the game of baseball has ever seen.

Please, do yourself a favor and press play below.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez is just 25 years old and was supposed to still be a “work in progress” for Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs organization. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant were said to be the two bats that this team would count on most during 2018.

Well, apparently somebody forgot to relay that message to Javier Baez because the middle infielder was by far and away the Cubbies’ most trustworthy hitter.

Javier hit .290 and rocked 34 long balls, leading the National League with 111 runs batted in. He stole 21 bases, hit 40 doubles, and finished in the top three in voting for the Gold Glove Award at second base.

Baez is undoubtedly one of the bright young stars in the game today, but I’d be hard-pressed to say that I think he can win the NL MVP Award this year.

As good as he was, his “167 to 29” walk/strikeout ratio isn’t going to allow him to stay in the same breath as Yelich or Arenado.

The Skinny

As you just finished reading, Javier Baez had a terrific season. But he lacks certain things that hold him back from being in that “upper echelon” where Christian Yelich and Nolan Arenado are sitting.

I certainly project that Christian will win this award, but paying -1500 seems much too high for me to get excited about placing the wager. On the other hand, the +600 number for Nolan seems like it could be worth a shot.

When you look at how consistent and complete of a player he is, it’s more than justifiable that he could win this award. However, how well Yelich performed in September is what will likely be the difference.

Value Play

PICKNolan Arenado+600

Raw Pick

PICKChristian Yelich-1500

Recap will have these bets available until 11:00 pm EST tonight.

If any of these wagers are piquing your interest, get over there right now and start booking your action. It’ll be a while until we have any Major League Baseball games to bet on, and it’s a bit early to attack the 2019 futures.

That means your final chance to make some money betting baseball in 2018 lies within picking who will win the Cy Young and MVP awards!

You heard my take here; now it’s up to you to try and capitalize!

Cy Young and MVP – Predicting the 2018 MLB Awards with Free Betting Picks
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Cy Young and MVP – Predicting the 2018 MLB Awards with Free Betting Picks
Betting advice and picks on the 2018 MLB awards. Here’s my take on who will win the Cy Young and MVP awards in the AL and NL.
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