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Shane McClanahan’s favored to become third Rays pitcher in history to win AL Cy Young
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Shane McClanahan’s favored to become third Rays pitcher in history to win AL Cy Young

by Jacob UrishJuly 22, 2022

It’s been over 10 months since Shane McClanahan pitched in Game 4 of the American Division Series against the Boston Red Sox where he gave up five earned runs in five innings, leading to the end of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 2021 season.

It was a brutal way to end the season after McClanahan had pitched five scoreless innings in Game 1 of the series. However, it looks like he was motivated by the performance because he’s been one of the best pitchers in the MLB this season.

With how McClanahan has pitched so far, he’s the odds-on favorite to take home the American League Cy Young Award with +200 odds and would become the third Rays pitcher in history to win the award.

McClanahan’s 2022 Resume

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for McClanahan when he started the season. In his first six starts he had 3.06 ERA and was 2-2 in those starts. Of course things could have been alot worse, but his earlier season performances don’t match up with what he’s been doing since then on any level.

Since May 11, McClanahan has posted a 1.15 ERA in 78.1 innings pitched and has gone 8-1 in 12 starts. In comparing McClanahan’s statistics to the rest of the AL pitchers, he sits on top of the bulk of the traditional pitching categories.

He has the best ERA (1.71) in the AL, first in WAR (3.8), first in WHIP (0.80), first in batting average against (.176), second in wins (10), second in strikeouts (147) and seventh in innings pitched (110.2). McClanahan’s pitching leads a Rays starting pitching staff that has the fourth-best ERA in the MLB at 3.37 and has been one of the best rotations this season.

His first half performance led to him getting the start in the 2022 All-Star Game in Los Angeles, but we won’t talk about how that went for McClanahan even though the AL ended up winning the game.

As long as McClanahan stays on pace in the second half of the season, he’ll have a great chance of taking the AL Cy Young Award home with him.

Potential Competitors

As of now, the only competition that McClanahan has to really worry about is the ageless Justin Verlander. Verlander is on pace to have one of the best seasons of his career at 39 years old, which could intrigue some voters.

He doesn’t lead as many categories as McClanahan, but Verlander has still built an impressive 2022 resume compared to other AL pitchers younger than him. Verlander is first in wins (12), second in ERA (1.89), second in WHIP (0.88), second in batting average against (1.94), fifth in WAR (3.0) and eighth in strikeouts (108) and innings pitched (109.1).

Verlander has aged like fine wine and has been one of the best pitchers in his 18th season, but McClanahan is going to be quite a big roadblock in Verlander’s quest to capture his third Cy Young Award.

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About The Author
Jacob Urish