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Favorites, sleepers, and longshots for the 2021 NL Cy Young award

Two-time NL Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom has the best odds to win the award again, but he has a lot of competition in trying to reclaim his throne.

With pitchers and catcher set to report next week for Spring Training, it is a great time to look at who has the best chance of winning the 2021 NL Cy Young award. Trevor Bauer won the award last season after posting a record of 5-4 with a career-best 1.73 ERA. Bauer will be trying to win the award for the second-straight year, which has been accomplished over the past 12 years in the National League by Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, and Tim Lincecum.

Bauer will have some competition from deGrom and Scherzer this season, but also other pitchers in a loaded National League. We will look at a favorite, sleeper, and long shot for the 2021 NL Cy Young award. All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Favorite

Jacob deGrom

NL Cy Young odds: +500

It is hard to bet against deGrom, who has the best odds to capture his third NL Cy Young award. Last season, the New York Mets’ ace posted a record of 4-2 and ERA of 2.38, which is lower than his 2019 ERA (2.43). He also recorded 104 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched and had a career-high 13.8 K/9.

For his efforts, the back-to-back Cy Young award winner finished third in the voting behind Bauer and Yu Darvish. But based on his numbers in 2020, you could’ve made a compelling argument for deGrom. The 32-year-old flamethrower should be in contention once again this season on a Mets team that should be better than they were last year. If the Mets can make the postseason, it will have a lot to do with deGrom leading their pitching staff.

Sleeper

Aaron Nola

NL Cy Young odds: +1200

At this point, I was going to insert Walker Buehler, but he’s not a sleeper based off of what we’ve seen him do over the last two seasons — and his Cy Young votes may get split between Kershaw and Bauer. Therefore, a sleeper candidate to watch out for is Philadelphia Phillies ace Aaron Nola.

If the Phillies want to finally break their postseason drought, it starts with Nola from Opening Day to crunch time moments in September. Last season, the 27-year-old had a solid year on the mound, but it didn’t show with his record at 5-5. He did improve his ERA from the previous year, dropping it to 3.28 in 12 starts last season.

Nola also completed games for the first time in his career, finishing two, including a complete game shutout. Furthermore, he recorded 96 strikeouts in 71.1 innings pitched and had a career-best 12.1 K/9. Despite only having a .500 record, the former first-round draft pick still finished seventh in NL Cy Young voting. The Phillies are hoping that he can return to his 2018 form, where he also finished third in voting. During that year, Nola had a 17-6 record, 2.37 ERA, and was named to the All-Star team.

Longshot

Josh Hader

NL Cy Young odds: +5000

The last time a reliever won a Cy Young award was Eric Gagne of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003. During that season, Gagne was one of the best closers in the majors with 55 saves and an ERA of 1.20. He also had an impressive 137 strikeouts in 82.1 innings pitched.

If Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader wants to win the Cy Young this season, he’ll have to post those kinds of numbers. Last season, Hader had an ERA of 3.79, while striking out 31 hitters over 19 innings pitched. In 2018, the 26-year-old closer was named to his first All-star team and finished seventh in the NL Cy Young voting. Hader posted a record of 6-1 with an ERA of 2.43. He also produced 143 strikeouts over 81.1 innings pitched, along with a 15.8 K/9.

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