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Door Open For 2013 NL Cy Young Award Winner With Three Key Candidates At All-Star Break

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 7/15/2013 7:44:14 PM

It came as somewhat of a surprise to MLB sports betting fans when they found out that Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter against the San Diego Padres this past weekend was the first of his career, especially considering his multiple National League Cy Young award and World Series wins. Lincecum won the Cy Young award in 2008 and then repeated by winning it again in 2009, and while he doesn’t have the same stuff now that he had then, he can still remind fans of his days on top. The chances of a repeat NL Cy Young award winner this year disappeared when 2012 winner RA Dickey was traded from the New York Mets to the Toronto Blue Jays, leaving the door open for one of three key candidates to step in.

Even if Dickey still pitched for the Mets it’s unlikely he would have a real shot at repeating as the NL Cy Young award winner, as injuries have hurt his numbers while the emergence of three key contenders has changed the landscape. There is a familiar name in the mix though in Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw, who owns the best ERA in the majors among qualified starting pitchers through 20 games. It will be difficult for Kershaw to keep his ERA at 1.98 the rest of the way, but he entered the break with three wins in his last four starts to get his total up to eight, and if can continue to raise that number he should be in the mix. Kershaw won the NL Cy Young award in 2011, and with a 5.1 WAR that is best among NL starters there is a good chance he can do it again. Kershaw is the outright favorite to win the award at 4/1 online sportsbook odds, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue trending upward in the second half.

The biggest competition for Kershaw will come from the NL Central, where the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals have three starters with nine or more wins led by Adam Wainwright with nine. Shelby Miller has nine wins and is an NL Rookie of the Year candidate, while Lance Lynn has 11 wins already but limped in to the All-Star break with three losses in his last four starts. The most likely Cy Young contender in St. Louis is Adam Wainwright, who is tied for the NL-lead with 12 wins and only two spots behind Kershaw with a 2.30 ERA. Wainwright’s 4.9 WAR is also very close to Kershaw’s, and that’s why he is right behind him at 5/1 odds to win the Cy Young.

The other name listed in the top-tier of NL Cy Young award contenders is Arizona Diamondbacks’ ace Patrick Corbin, who is also listed at 5/1 online sports betting odds. Corbin is 11-1 with a 2.35 ERA, and while his 3.4 WAR isn’t as good as either Kershaw or Wainwright, he still has time to raise the bar with the NL West-leading Diamondbacks in the second half. Corbin is still just 23-years old, and there is no doubt that he has a bright future as one of the top arms in the NL this year and moving forward.

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