Nearly halfway through the 2022 MLB season, fans and experts alike are asking the same question: Has Shane McClanahan of the Tampa Bay Rays already sewn up the American League Cy Young Award?
If we're to believe the latest betting odds on MLB futures, the answer is a resounding and unequivocal yes. But as we pointed out while determining whether Joe Musgrove will win the 2022 MLB National League Cy Young Award, these pitching races aren't always that simple. Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros is making a strong push. So, too, are fellow New York Yankees aces Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes.
All of which is to say, this competition remains far from over. And that's why we've decided to dig deeper into the situation. Let's begin by having a look at the latest betting odds to win the 2022 American League Cy Young Award, courtesy of Bovada:
Pick to Win Shane McClanahan (Rays) +350 Justin Verlander (Astros) +400 Alek Manoah (Blue Jays) +700 Nestor Cortes (Yankees) +1100 Gerrit Cole (Yankees) +1200 Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays) +1200 Tarik Skubal (Tigers) +2200 Dylan Cease (White Sox) +2200 Shane Bieber (Guardians) +2500 Lucas Giolito (White Sox) +3000 Michael Kopech (White Sox) +3500 Logan Gilbert (Mariners) +3500 Patrick Sandoval (Angels) +4000 Shohei Ohtani (Angels) +4000 Joe Ryan (Twins) +6000 Luis Severino (Yankees) +6000 Martin Perez (Rangers) +6000 Framber Valdez (Astros) +7000 Luis Garcia (Astros) +8000
Since these player awards aren't handed out until the end of the season, you'll need to double-check all 2022 MLB futures prior to settling on any picks. These MLB odds can and will move a lot over the course of the next few months, and our baseball betting lines are accurate entering games on Wednesday, June 22.
Do yourself a favor and also head over to our reviews of the top online sportsbooks. These pages are brimming with information that can help you spot the best MLB betting sites in 2022 as well as the top sports betting bonuses available to you.
Shane McClanahan Has Stronghold on AL Cy Young Race
Shane McClanahan's season doesn't even seem real on paper. The Ray ace leads all AL pitchers in earned run average (ERA), opponent batting average and total strikeouts. To call him a machine would be an understatement.
Not even volume can get in the way of his case. Only two AL pitchers have logged more total innings. That McClanahan isn't a heavier favorite says more about Tampa Bay and how unsteady their offense has been. Will they give him the consistent support necessary to prop up his 7-3 record? We're not quite sure.
Is Justin Verlander Best Bet to Catch Shane McClanahan?
Justin Verlander is laying top-two odds in the Cy Young race, and it's hard to argue why he's not right where he belongs. Just two AL pitchers hold opponents to a lower batting average, and his average speed on his fastball is out of this world high.
Some have questioned whether Verlander can continue to throw so many innings coming out of the eventual All-Star break. He is 39, after all. For now, though, he's showing no signs of slowing down.
Better 2022 AL Cy Young Bet: Gerrit Cole or Nestor Cortes
The Yankees have two pitchers in the Cy Young race laying virtually identical odds. Nestor Cortes (+1100) and Gerrit Cole (+1200) have both been huge for their rotation this season, to the point it's difficult to distinguish between their value.
Cole invariably gets our vote. His ERA is substantially higher than that from Cortes, but it still places inside the American League's top 10, and he's been a strikeout monster to boot. Only two pitchers have fanned more batters on the season, despite Cole barely placing in the top 10 of total innings.
Should Alek Manoah be Generating More AL Cy Young Buzz?
Alek Manoah deserves more love in this Cy Young discussion. His 2.00 ERA ranks third in the AL, and he's given up just five home runs across 81 innings pitched.
While some might think the Toronto Blue Jays' up-and-down season should hurt his case, he isn't part of the problem, inasmuch as there is one. Ten of Manoah's 14 starts have gone to a decision, and he's a jaw-dropping 8-2 through those situations.
PREDICTION: Shane McClanahan Holds Off the Field
On the one hand, we strongly endorse jumping on Shane McClanahan while he's still paying out better than even money. This is someone whose AL Cy Young odds could turn to heavy favorite status by the middle of July.
With this in mind, you need to consider all alternatives. McClanahan has given up a ton of home runs by Cy Young standards. If he doesn't cut down on those gaffes, it opens the door for both Justin Verlander and Alek Manoah.
Manoah, in particular, has caught our attention in recent weeks. His ability to get out of jams and pitch deep into games without sacrificing speed or movement on his tosses is truly unique. He'd be getting a lot more attention if he played in a bigger market.
Lots can change between now and the end of the season. Even Martin Perez (+6000) from the Texas Rangers has time to work his way into the fold if he pitches more innings; he joins McClanahan as the only other pitcher in the AL with an ERA below 2.00.
At the moment, though, there is only one choice—and it's the pitcher who has dominated wire-to-wire thus far, in nearly every facet of the game.
OSB AL Cy Young Prediction: Shane McClanahan (+350)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your 2022 MLB betting: