Featured in this article:
  • The injury to Mets ace Jacob deGrom shakes up the NL Cy Young race
  • deGrom was heavy favorite before suffering a stress reaction in his right scapula
  • Sportsbooks treating the injury differently, with some favoring deGrom as low as +900 and as high as +2000

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New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom watches play against the against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

The injury to Mets ace Jacob deGrom has shaken up the NL Cy Young race.

While New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom isn’t even the highest-paid pitcher on his own team currently, there’s no question he’s the best starter in the major leagues. The two-time NL Cy Young winner hasn’t finished a season with an ERA worse than 2.43 since 2017.

Last year, he was off to a historic start with a 1.08 ERA and 0.55 WHIP across 15 outings before suffering a season-ending partial UCL tear. DeGrom had been the heavy favorite to win a third Cy Young in 2021 pre-injury, and he was another heavy favorite this spring before recently suffering a stress reaction in his right scapula that may keep deGrom out until late May.

Various books have treated this injury in different ways with some still listing deGrom as low as +900 to win the 2022 NL Cy Young and some as high as +2000. A few have simply taken him off the board. All of them agree that the new favorite is new Mets teammate Max Scherzer at +500.

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Jacob deGrom.

The Mets signed Scherzer to a three-year, $130 million free-agent deal this offseason that gives the three-time Cy Young winner the highest average annual value for a contract in MLB history even though Scherzer will be 38 in July. The right-hander showed no signs of decline last year in finishing 14-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 236 strikeouts in 30 combined regular-season starts with the Nationals and Dodgers to finish third in the Cy Young voting.

Scherzer is a first-ballot Hall of Famer regardless but could join some truly exclusive company with a fourth Cy Young, alongside Roger Clemens (seven), Randy Johnson (five), Steve Carlton (four), and Greg Maddux (four). All are in Cooperstown but Clemens because of his rumored steroid use. Scherzer is dealing with a bit of a hamstring injury so he might not start Opening Day. Obviously, the last thing the Mets need is another starting pitcher injury.

Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes won his first Cy Young last year and is +675 to repeat, followed by the LA Dodgers’ Walker Buehler (+800), Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler (+800), and the Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff (+1000).

Remember when wins used to matter to Cy Young voters? Burnes only had 11 last year but a 2.43 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 234 strikeouts in 28 starts. DeGrom was the last NL repeat winner in 2019. The Phillies’ Wheeler had his best season at 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA and 247 strikeouts in finishing runner-up in Cy Young voting.

Buehler was 16-4 with a 2.47 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 212 strikeouts and he might be a smart bet because he has such a dominant lineup behind him with the Dodgers. His teammate, three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, is +2500 but his best days are likely behind him as Kershaw has had trouble staying healthy in recent years.

The Dodgers have another former Cy Young winner in Trevor Bauer (+2000), but his status is up in the air due to some off-field issues. Major League Baseball is hoping to have a decision by April 16 regarding possible disciplinary action against Bauer, who is likely facing a long suspension. Most doubt he ever pitches for the Dodgers again.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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