With a quarter of the 2022 MLB season gone, the Cy Young Award race in each league is beginning to heat up. The award typically goes to pitchers with the best combination of numbers – ERA, wins, K/9, and innings pitched. In today’s game of pitch counts, the most recent Cy Young winners haven’t had the wins of pitchers in previous years. Robbie Ray won the AL Cy Young last year with 13 wins. NL winner Corbin Burnes had 11. Will that trend continue in 2022?
Ray had 248 strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA pitching for Toronto in 2021. He was acquired by Seattle in the offseason and is not among the favorites for this year’s Cy Young. Ray is off to a poor start in 2022. He’s 5-6 with a 4.97 ERA.
The leading favorites on the betting board currently are Houston’s Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan. Both pitchers are listed at +500 odds at online sportsbooks and both are off to great starts in 2022.
Verlander is 7-2 and is one of only four pitchers with seven wins this season. His 2.13 ERA ranks seventh and at 39 years of age Verlander still has what it takes to win another Cy Young award. He has two to his name already. The most recent came in 2019.
McClahahan leads the majors in strikeouts and he is 6-2 overall. His 2.10 ERA is just a shade better than Verlander and his 12.5 K/9 is tied with Dylan Cease for the MLB lead. Both the Astros and the Rays are likely playoff teams, which only helps their Cy Young cause.
A pair of Yankees is also among the favorites. Gerrit Cole is no stranger to being a Cy Young favorite. He is 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA and is also a +500 favorite. The surprise is his teammate Nestor Cortes who leads the majors with a 1.50 ERA. Cortes is 5-1 and has allowed just 10 earned runs in 60 innings.
The Rest of the AL
Martin Perez (+1800) is having an outstanding season. He is 4-2 and just behind Cortes with a 1.56 ERA. Perez’s problem is that his Rangers are not doing so well.
Toronto, on the other hand, is doing well and competing for the AL East crown. One of the reasons why is second-year pitcher Alek Manoah. He’s 7-1 with a 1.81 ERA. Manoah is listed at +800 as is his teammate Kevin Gausman who is 5-4 but has a 2.78 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 average.
Burnes was the favorite to repeat as NL Cy Young winner, but he has been overtaken after a slow start in 2022. San Diego’s Joe Musgrove has found his groove this season. He is a perfect 6-0 and his 1.64 ERA is third in the majors. Musgrove has not given up more than two earned runs in any of his 10 starts this season. He is the NL favorite at +300.
Burnes is just 3-3 so far, however, he still has a 2.50 ERA and he leads the NL in strikeouts with 84 (11.1 K/9). Burnes is given +400 odds at top rated sportsbooks to repeat. Miami’s Sandy Alcantara is also given +400 odds. Alcantara is 6-2 with a 1.81 ERA. His teammate, Pablo Lopez, is listed at +1000. Lopez is 4-2 with a 2.18 ERA.
Milwaukee’s Eric Lauer could be an NL longshot at +5000. He is 5-1 with a 2.38 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 average.