Two weeks ago, the Cy Young MLS race looked like a two-horse race, with both races in Houston Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay Shane McClanahan Hover at or below the 2.00 ERA mark and collect roles above their teams’ tournaments. McClanahan has a greater strike share and therefore higher scores than the independent metrics that some voters increasingly weigh. Verlander was averaging one extra time at each start before lifting early his last, and his 16-3 win-loss record may have some sway with traditional voters.
Or it could all be made moot.
Verlander and McClanahan are both on the injury list for 15 days, and Verlander, who was likely leading the ERA Division One, appears to be 39 in his first season after returning from Tommy John surgery, as if he will miss several weeks instead of The minimum is 15 days. McClanahan, a late scratcher from his last start, is already starting to throw and looks likely to come back fast. However, Rays could take a cautious approach and limit his roles after a two-week absence due to a shoulder collision.
At least, the door is now open for more competition in the Cy Young vote, ostensibly setting the stage for the closest AL vote we’ve seen since 2019, when Verlander and his teammate Gerrit Cole He finished first and second on the ballot paper. Last year’s NL Cy Young vote sparked a lot of controversy and debate as well, and as it is currently, we can get an appearance on this scene in AL this year.
If not Verlander or McClanahan, who are the best names to consider? Let’s dive in.
stop dylanRHP, White Sox
Stop it, after a near no-hitter attack against the Twins that he’s seen go 8 2/3 before Louis Araz Breaking one song in the ninth inning, it probably jumped both Verlander and McClanahan as the top odds of winning the MLS. He sits in the third lowest ERA in MLB — sandwiched right between Verlander and McClanahan, at least — and completes that 2.13 with a strike rate of 31.4% which ranks as the fourth highest qualified player in baseball.
At 5.5 wins over substitutions (per baseball reference), Cease is already topping the pitchers of the Major League — even over Verlander and McClanahan. This is largely due to the fact that Cease puts these numbers in front of one of the game’s 10 lowest defenses.
It’s not all in roses, as Cease has a 10.4% walk rate that stays dead among qualified beginners. It wasn’t terribly effective either; Where Verlander and McClanahan averaged a comfortable over six innings starting, Cease averaged 5.77 innings per appearance this year.
However, there is no doubt that Chicagoans can see the parallels between the 2022 Cease show and the 2016 performance of another Chicago lead – Crosstown righty Jake Arrieta, when he rode a historic summer boom to Cy Young Honors. Over the past 15 starts, Cease has made 93 rounds of 1.45 ERA ball runs and carried opponents to one or zero runs on twelve occasions. He stops not quite in the Arrieta area (0.86 ERA in his last 147 runs), but he’s not too far either. If he can maintain anything close to that pace, Cease will finish the season at or near the top of the AL in terms of roles placed, ERA, total hits and strike rate.
Alec ManoahRHP, Blue Jays
Manoah seemed an insurmountable boundary streak for the first two months of the season, carrying 1.67 ERAs at the time and only allowing 55 hits and a 0.59 HR/9 mark through June 13 (75 2/3 innings). He’s had solid but near-average performances for most of the summer, but has now only hit three runs in his past 28 1/3 runs.
In 171 runs of 2.42 era balls over the course of the year, the 24-year-old has been on the sidelines of the race at the moment. He ranks fourth in the ERA but trails McClanahan, Cease and especially Verlander in this division. He lacks the flashy strike ratios that Cease and McClanahan boast but limits hard contact better than any non-McLanahan bowler in the AL, as evidenced by his 31.3% damage rate. (McClanahan leads AL Qualified Juniors with 30.1%.)
However, Manoah is ranked second in the MLS 171 and if he continues that hot streak there is a chance he could end up among the league leaders in the ERA, innings thrown and other major classes. In terms of wins and losses, all 16 straight wins for Verlander, but Manoah’s 14 tie with Framber Valdez for second place in the league. Speaking of this topic…
Framber Valdez, LHB, Astros
It’s easy to be overshadowed by the season that Verlander is enjoying, but we’ll likely be discussing Valdes’ great year more often than we are now. The 28-year-old South is a third of the game behind Manoah at 170 2/3, and is also sixth in the ERA (2.64) and ninth in bWAR (3.4).
Valdez emerged as the leading bowler at the beginning of the globe in baseball, and he’s nowhere near that; He leads all qualified shooters in a globe average of 66.7%, and Logan WebThe 57.5% rate is second best. Even dropping the minimum to 50 rounds as a start, he’s still ahead Alex Cobb (61.9%) and Andre Balant (61.4%) by a large margin.
In an era where newbies are being taken out of the game earlier than ever, Valdez is a throwback. He’s worked at least six innings in each of his starts since April 25, completing seven or more innings on 11 occasions and twice running a distance with a full match. Over his past five starts, Valdes has earned 35 2/3 runs from 1.77 ERA balls. It will be a challenge for him to drop his ERA at 2.00 seconds, and he can’t match Cease or McClanahan in terms of hits, but Valdez is likely to be the leader of the MLS rounds and finish in the mid-2.00s of the ERA and MLB ground-leading average.
Shuhei OhtaniRHP, Angels
When Ohtani hit 3.99 pm during the first six weeks of the season, it looked like we were in a (almost) deadly season of a two-way phenomenon. He averaged just over five rounds at each start, and while the hits were still there in droves, he was also unusually vulnerable to Homer. Cy Young’s pursuit didn’t seem to be in sight.
In 88 2/3 runs since that time? Ohtani has a 1.83 ERA with fewer homeowners allowed (six) than his first innings 47 1/3 (seven). He at one point shocked him in six consecutive double-digit totals, hitting opponents 0.199/.249/.301 against him during that stretch.
Otani’s 33% hit rate on the season leads the qualifying starting pitchers (although it will follow the Braves . phenomenon). Spencer Strider By a good margin if Strider has a few more roles), and while many fans and critics of Otani feel rough at the idea, it’s hard not to think he does all this while also serving as a mid-ranking defensive agent that ranks among the league’s biggest power threats. .
In the end, with only 136 innings this season, it’s hard to imagine Ohtani would actually get as many (if any) Cy Young’s votes as number one. Yes, he has a 2.58 ERA, leads the league with a strike rate of 33% and ranks second among the freshmen with 4.7 bWAR. But Ohtani will eventually be up against multiple starters with better numbers to prevent the final run and as many as 40-50 extra rounds. Corbin Burns She won the NL Cy Young title last year with just 167 shots, but the top names in MLS this year have had better seasons.
Kevin GussmanRHP, Blue Jays
Gausman will be the analytical darling in this year’s field. I debated whether to mention him at all in this breakdown, as he would need a very dominant finish to make his way among the leaders in the more traditional categories, but the right-hander is second in the MLS in FanGraphs with 5.2 wins. above replacement. fWAR is based on standalone gameplay rather than actual runs allowed, and Gausman has been doing well this season – 3.12 ERA in 147 runs – despite being one of the game’s least fortunate shooters in terms of balls in play. It’s cruising around the MLB-worst .368 BABIP, and the next top notch (Jordan Lyles At .323) it’s not even close.
There might be some temptation to think that Gausman made a lot of difficult connections, but that’s not necessarily the case. It doesn’t manage the connection as well as any of the others here, but the average exit speed of 89 mph and a 39% hit rate barely north of 88.6 mph and 38.3% of league averages in these matters.
Gausman has the third best walk rate in the game (3.8%), tenth best strike rate (27.9%) and is the sixth best in differential between these two (24.1 K-BB%). He only averages 5 2/3 rounds at each start, and doesn’t particularly help his long-term case (3.99 ERA over his past 5 rounds…again, with a .370 BABIP).
A lot can (and will) change between now and the end of the season, but since that’s all up for debate anyway, I will include a survey To close this: