MyTopSportsbooks.com is setting 12-to-1 odds that Noah Syndergaard will win the NL's Cy Young Award next season, according to a report in the Daily News.
The site sets 20-to-1 odds that the Mets will win the World Series.
Syndergaard missed nearly five months in 2017 after suffering a partially torn lat muscle. He returned to make two starts at the end of the season. He reported gaining 17 pounds of muscle between 2016 and 2017 with hopes of building more strength and increasing velocity on his fastball.
He told reporters in December that pain in his shoulder and the lat injury were not related to the previous winter's weight lifting . However, the missed time helped inspire him to revisit and retool his training program this offseason.
"I'm still lifting heavy, but in a more smart way," Syndergaard recently said, according to MLB.com.
"Last year was not necessarily the smartest thing I was supposed to be doing in terms of exercise choice. It's different," he added. "I felt great at the end of the season and I'm going to continue to stay hungry and try to get better each and every day."
I would never bet on anyone to win a Cy Young Award, as I got criticized for saying a few years ago about Matt Harvey. It's nothing against Noah, just like I had nothing against Matt, it's instead everything against how the vote is conducted. In my opinion, the eventual Cy Young winner has tended to have more to do with reputation and contextual value than who delivered the year's best overall pitching performance.
For instance, in 2016, Syndergaard had an MLB-best 6.4 WAR, yet finished eighth in the NL's Cy Young vote. Instead, the award went to Max Scherzer, probably because he was the leagues only 20-game winner. Hooray for wins! Ugh...
That said, with 60 or so starts under his belt, if healthy for a full season again, Syndergaard has as good of a chance at being the year's best pitcher as anyone in baseball. Frankly, I still don't think we've seen his best work. I realize we've seen it in isolated starts. However, he has yet to meet my expectations for his talent over the course of a full year.
Syndergaard was amazing in 2016, during which he featured what was statistically the most commanding repertoire in baseball. However, during specific starts that year, he often showed the potential to walk fewer batters and give up less contact than he did over the course of the season. He has said he also believes he is capable of improving on these two areas of his game.
The thing is, he missed so much time in 2017, it would be unfair to expect him to put it all together as soon as next season. When he does, though, and one day he will, Syndergaard will be universally recognized as the best pitcher in baseball.