2021 NL CY Young Update: Max Scherzer Takes Over as Favorite

The 2021 MLB season is quickly approaching its end, which means it won’t be long before award winners are named. The National League Cy Young race has been a rollercoaster for most of the year as the league’s best pitchers continue to one-up each other when it counts. The favorite has changed multiple times throughout the campaign, however, BetOnline is currently favoring Los Angeles Dodgers righty Max Scherzer to win the 2021 NL Cy Young award at +100 odds.

Even though he’s 37 years old, Scherzer continues being one of baseball’s top pitchers. He’s appeared in 27 games for the Dodgers and Washington Nationals this season, pitching to an impressive 14-4 record while leading the MLB in ERA (2.17), WHIP (0.821) and hits per 9 innings pitched (5.6). It’s just crazy that Scherzer is pulling this off at this stage of his career, however, it shouldn’t be too surprising considering how he’s a three-time Cy Young winner.

What’s impressive is that Scherzer wasn't really in the 2021 NL Cy Young conversation until he was traded to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. Fortunately, the move fired him up as he’s been nearly untouchable since then. Scherzer is 6-0 in eight starts since August 1, allowing just five earned runs in that span for a 0.88 ERA. He’s faced 191 batters over that stretch, striking out 72 of them while walking just five. It truly seems like Scherzer has turned back the clock and unless he slips up, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t win his fourth Cy Young award.

2021 NL Cy Young Odds Update

Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, September 16

  • Max Scherzer (+100)
  • Corbin Burnes (+185)
  • Walker Buehler (+300)
  • Zack Wheeler (+1200)
  • Brandon Woodruff (+1600)
  • Kevin Gausman (+5000)

Corbin Burnes Cy Young Odds

He may not be the favorite, but Milwaukee Brewers right-handed pitcher Corbin Burnes is a close second (+185) in the 2021 NL Cy Young race. The fourth-year right veteran has been putting on a show on the mound this year as he’s helped the Brewers become one of the best teams in the majors this year.

Burnes owns a 10-4 record through 25 starts this season, pitching to a 2.25 ERA along the way while also earning his first MLB All-Star nod. The 26-year-old currently leads the MLB in home runs (0.3), walks (1.7) and strikeouts (12.4) per 9IP, which goes to show how dominant he’s been all season long. That’s not even to mention how he also leads the majors in strikeouts per win (7.24) as well. Overall, Burnes has been impressive after finishing sixth in NL Cy Young voting last year.

Burnes also has the honor of combining for a no-hitter with closer Josh Hader last week, which further proves how special of a pitcher he is. Will that decide who wins the award? Probably not, but not a lot of other pitchers can say that they’ve thrown a no-hitter in their career. Burnes will still have a few starts left this season to further his 2021 NL Cy Young case, so look for him to continue his hot streak or the rest of the campaign.

Zack Wheeler 2021 NL Cy Young Odds Fall

Back on August 10, Philadelphia Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler was favored to be named the 2021 Cy Young winner at -140 odds. Unfortunately, he’s been struggling since then and his odds have dropped to +300 now.

Since the last Cy Young update, Wheeler has gone 3-3 in his past six starts. He’s given up 20 earned runs for a 4.58 ERA during that stretch, which does him no favours in this award race. While it’s easy to put the blame solely on him, it’s not like his team has been playing much better. The Phillies are 14-19 since August 10 and aren’t showing any signs of improving after losing six of their last eight games.

Yes, the Cy Young award isn’t team-based, however, it’s harder to win when the club around you isn’t playing that well. Unless Philadelphia turns things around, it’s going to be tough for Wheeler to get out of the rut that he’s in, meaning that it won’t be a shock to see his odds continuing to dip.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.