We’re nearly three weeks into the 2023 MLB season and we’re starting to see movement in the AL Cy Young award race. Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole has had an impressive start to his 2023 campaign. There’s still a long way to go in the MLB season but we’ll take a closer look into the early movement in the AL Cy Young Award race.

Gerrit Cole Off to a Hot Start

Gerrit Cole, 32, has started four games for the Yankees this year and he’s won all four of them. He’s pitched 28 ⅓ innings and has only allowed three earned while striking out 32.

Cole’s most recent outing came in a complete game shutout over the Twins. It was Cole’s first time going the distance since the 2021 season and it catapulted him to the AL CY Young favorite. The performance led to his manager’s postgame remarks of the right hander being underrated and that he would end up in the Hall of Fame one day.

Cole has been an elite pitcher in the big leagues for a while but he has yet to win a Cy Young. He finished as a runner up in 2019 with Houston and in 2021 with New York. Last year wasn’t as good of a year for Cole, as he finished 9th in Cy Young voting. His biggest competition for the award this season is expected to come from Shohei Ohtani.

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Ohtani Continues to Impress on the Mound

Shohei Ohtani, like Cole, is also sporting a sub 1 ERA through his first four starts of the year. Albeit the Angels star has done it in only 21 innings, which is 7 ⅔ less than Cole. Ohtani is only 2-0 in his four starts. He picked up a no decision to start the year in Oakland and was pulled after two innings in his most recent start because of a rain delay.

Last year, Ohtani finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award ballot. It was his best ever finish for the award, as he had struggled with pitching a full season in years past.

Ohtani has continued to get better on the mound and that has remained the case with his great start to the 2023 season. He’ll need to pitch the entire year if he hopes to earn respect in the Cy Young award race. The most starts he’s made in a season was 28, which came last year. If he can take that number to at least 30, it will help his case tremendously.

DeGrom Among the Early Favorites

Former Mets ace Jacob deGrom is off to a bumpy start in his first year with the Rangers. He got knocked around in his debut before recovering with a couple good starts. In his most recent outing, deGrom went four no hit innings before being pulled with right wrist soreness.

DeGrom struggled with injuries in his last couple of years with the Mets. The good news is deGrom is expected to make his next scheduled start. 

The Rangers right hander is a two time Cy Young award winner and he’ll be looking for his third this year. If he can stay healthy he’s sure to remain an elite pitcher.

AL Cy Young Award Odds, Courtesy of FanDuel

Gerrit Cole+400
Shohei Ohtani+600
Jacob deGrom+750
Shane McClanahan+1000
Luis Castillo +1200
Dylan Cease+1200

Jaco deGrom came into the season as the favorite to win the AL Cy Young award but has slipped in the early going. Gerrit Cole officially took over the top spot with his recent dominant performance. He’s not a bad pick to win the AL CY Young award but it’s best to stay away now, as the value is not there.

Shohei Ohtani has been the biggest riser since the season began. NY sportsbooks had him in the +1100 range prior to opening day. He’s now got the second best odds to win the AL CY Young award.

Shane McClanahan, Luis Castillo, and Dylan Cease are also names to watch. There will be plenty of time to make up ground in this award race but at the moment the Yankees ace is the favorite.

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