3 Best NL Cy Young Bets to Make for 2024 MLB Season (Back Strider, Yamamoto)

Breaking down three of the best bets to make for the NL Cy Young award winner this season.

Feb 24, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA;  Atlanta Braves pitcher Spencer Strider (99) throws a
Feb 24, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Spencer Strider (99) throws a / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

With Spring Training games well underway, we've had a chance to get our first look at the 2024 version of players and teams.

Some are in midseason form while others are working on specific issues and, at least in one case, a new pitch to add to his already devastating arsenal.

Injuries and performance bring movement to preseason odds and the odds for the National League Cy Young Award are no different,

With that in mind let's take a look at three bets to make on the NL Cy Young Award, before the odds move against us.

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Best Bets to Win National League Cy Young

Spencer Strider +500

What do you do for an encore after finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2022?

You win 20 games while striking out 281 batters and come in fourth in the Cy Young voting in 2023.

I'm often loathe to bet the player with the best odds, but here I am with Strider at the top of my list for several reasons.

The Atlanta Braves are going to win a lot of games, Strider is their ace and he's must-see TV as hitters are either blown away by 100 MPH fastballs or caught off guard by a nasty slider (.154 batting average against) or changeup (.122 batting average against).

How do you get better with that on your resume? Develop a devastating curve, of course.

Strider totaled 18 quality starts in 32 total starts last season, going 15-2 with one no-decision in those games.

Adding the curve will only make Strider more dominant and I suspect the quality starts and wins will tick up a notch.

In retrospect, it's remarkable that he finished fourth last season with a 3.86 ERA and that speaks to the love affair that fans and media have with the way Strider pitches.

He's not just good, he's dominant, plays for a dominant team and will dominate in the media.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto +1300

For many of the same reasons as Strider, Yamamoto's face will be a familiar one to baseball fans soon.

While he hasn't thrown a regular season Major League pitch, Yamamoto is a veteran of the Nippon Baseball League in Japan and was not phased by his first outing against big league hitters.

It may not translate to the 70-29 record and 1.82 ERA he had in the NBL, but some think Yamamoto is a top five pitcher in the National League already.

He won't dominate the way Strider will, but 9.3 strikeouts per 9 innings (NBL) is not bad.

Yamamoto is a steal at this number playing in Los Angeles for a team that could win more than 100 games.

Justin Steele +1600

Speaking of steals, Justin Steele is coming off a 16-5 season with a 3.06 ERA and finished fifth in the 2023 NL Cy Young Award voting.

Steele quietly put together 20 quality starts for an 83-win team.

Admittedly a longer shot for these awards because of the expected dominance and star power of the Braves and Dodgers in the National League, Steele could find himself in the conversation if the Chicago Cubs contend in the NL Central under Craig Counsel.

Steele faltered down the stretch last season, finishing 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA over his last five starts, which will have to be rectified if he hopes to be considered for this award.

If the other candidates falter through injury or performance, Steele throws quality start after quality start and the Cubs win the NL Central, don't be surprised if he's there in the end.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.