Blue Jays’ Stroman a dark horse on Cy Young Award odds

Marcus Stroman talks about being named starter for opening day, the chances of being the home opener starter and more.

Named the opening day starter for the Toronto Blue Jays this season, Marcus Stroman will begin the campaign with dark-horse odds to win the AL Cy Young Award for 2016 at sportsbooks monitored by – well behind the line for the staff’s departed ace.

Stroman sits at +3300 (33/1) on the latest AL Cy Young Award odds, which has him well behind the leaders on that baseball prop wager at the sportsbooks – Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox is the favourite at +250, with David Price of the Boston Red Sox at +300.

Stroman, however, won all four of his regular-season starts last year in his return from injury, posting a tiny 1.67 ERA while striking out 18 batters in 27 innings of work against the Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Baltimore Orioles. The Blue Jays then won two of the right-hander’s three playoff outings, in which he gave up nine earned runs over 19.1 innings.

In his rookie season back in 2014 Stroman went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA over his 26 appearances.

So the Blue Jays will be looking for Stroman to build on last year's late-season success in 2016. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will be hoping that Price can repeat last season's numbers, with the left-hander going 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA and 225 strikeouts in his time with the Detroit Tigers and the Blue Jays in 2015. Price then struggled for Toronto during the post-season.

Sale, the AL Cy Young favourite, went 13-11 with a 3.41 ERA last season with 274 strikeouts, which was down from his 2014 numbers (12-4, 2.17 ERA). The Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber, the 2014 AL Cy Young winner, is at +350 to win the award this season, while the Houston Astros' Dallas Keuchel, last year's AL Cy Young winner, holds down odds of +600.

Over in the National League it's the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw that sits as the clear +175 favourite on the Cy Young Award odds, with the left-hander going 16-7 with a 2.13 ERA and 301 strikeouts last season. Kershaw won the NL Cy Young in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

However, it was Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs who was the NL Cy Young winner in 2015, after a blistering 22-6, 1.77 ERA, 236-strikeout campaign. Arrieta sits at +700 on the 2016 NL Cy Young Award odds for those doing sports betting in Canada, putting him second behind Kershaw. Madison Bumgarner, Max Scherzer and Matt Harvey are all set at +1000 odds.