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After signing the richest contract for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history in January, Gerrit Cole will attempt to win the Cy Young award for the first time in 2020.
The New York Yankees right-hander is the favorite to claim the honor in the American League this season after leading the AL in ERA and strikeouts in 2019 but losing out to then-Houston Astros teammate Justin Verlander.
Only players with odds 50-1 or shorter are displayed
Cole will be aiming to become the first player to win the AL Cy Young in his first season on a new team since Roger Clemens did it with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997. Clemens also accomplished the feat in the National League with the Houston Astros in 2004, while Roy Halladay also did so in the Senior Circuit with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010.
Oddsmakers are giving Chris Sale (5-1) the best chance to beat out Cole despite the Boston Red Sox hurler coming off the worst season of his MLB career. He went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 2019, struggling with decreased velocity early in the year and elbow issues later on, which has led to speculation that he's dealing with a more serious issue than is being led on.
Verlander, meanwhile, is fresh off a career year at age 36, winning his second Cy Young title. He'll attempt to be the first pitcher to repeat since Pedro Martinez won in 1999 and 2000, and his odds are level at 8-1 with Cole's teammate, Luis Severino, who was limited to just three starts last season due to injury.
Cleveland Indians teammates Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber represent excellent value at 12-1, as do Tampa Bay Rays duo Tyler Glasnow and 2018 winner Blake Snell at 14-1. They're level with another former winner in Corey Kluber, who was dealt to the Texas Rangers this offseason.
James Paxton is, surprisingly, level with those two former winners at 14-1 despite news that he could be out until May or later following back surgery. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani also isn't expected to pitch until mid-May but remains higher up the list at 20-1, along with Jose Berrios, 2019 breakout star Lucas Giolito, and former winner Zack Greinke.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.