Yankees ace Gerrit Cole came out of the gate strong this year. Cole strung together seven consecutive quality starts to begin the season. Since then he’s struggled in the month of May and in turn his AL Cy Young odds have taken a hit.

The Yankees right hander is still one of the best pitchers in the game and is still a top candidate to win the Cy Young Award. We’ll take a look at the race and give the best betting odds for the AL Cy Young Award.

Cole Has Struggled as of Late

Gerrit Cole had a phenomenal March/April, picking up 5 wins before the calendar turned to May. The last month hasn’t been as kind to the right hander. He’s given up five earned in three of his last five starts. On the bright side the Yankees have 4-2 in Cole’s May starts, despite the Yankees ace having a 5.18 ERA in that stretch.

Cole failed to pick up a quality start in either of his last two outings. He went five innings giving up five earned vs Baltimore before going six innings and giving up five earned against San Diego. Cole will now turn his attention to his next start, which will come on Saturday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. 

Cole had +260 odds on DraftKings to win the AL Cy Young Award on May 2. He was the clear frontrunner at the time. Since then his odds have taken a hit but he still remains as one of the top candidates.

Rays’ McClanahan Is the Favorite

The Rays and their starting pitcher Shane McClanahan have exceeded expectations to start the year. McClanahan has seen his odds rise throughout the season. He’s only had one shaky start, which came against the Yankees in mid May.

Last year McClanahan finished sixth in Cy Young voting. The year before that he finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting. His progression over his first few years in the big leagues is beyond impressive.

The one thing to worry about is that McClanahan has never thrown more than 166 ⅓ innings in the big leagues. Combine that with the Rays analytical tendencies, which limit the workload of their starting pitchers. McClanahan has already thrown 69 2/3 innings this season. How the Rays decide to handle his innings the rest of the way remains to be seen.

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Ohtani’s On Quest for His First Cy Young Award

Angels two way superstar Shohei Ohtani is looking to win his first career Cy Young Award. Ohtani is off to a solid start on the mound. He’s got a 5-1 record with a 2.91 ERA. Aside from a rain delayed shortened start, Ohtani’s gone at least five innings in each of his starts. The Angels are 8-3 when he’s been their starting pitcher this year.

Ohtani through 166 innings last year which was the most he’s thrown in the MLB. His workload isn’t the same as other big league aces because he hits as well. Like McClanahan, it will be critical that he throws more innings this year if he hopes to win the Cy Young Award.

Ohtani finished fourth in Cy Young voting in 2022. He had a career highs across the board in pitching categories and finished 6th in the MLB in strikeouts and ERA. This year Ohtani is fourth in the league in strikeouts and ranks third in baseball in K’s per 9 innings.

Ohtani had a rough stretch in late April into mid May where he gave up eight home runs in four starts. The Angels right hander has rebounded in his last two starts, giving up one earned in each of them. The Angels chronic mediocrity isn’t going to help Ohtani in the Cy Young race, but if they can find themselves in the wildcard hunt late in the year it will be a big boost to his chances.

2023 AL Cy Young Award Best Betting Odds

NameBest Betting Odds
Shane McClanahan+375 BetRivers
Gerrit Cole+500 FanDuel
Shohei Ohtani+850 BetRivers
Kevin Gausman+1200 BetRivers
Framber Valdez+1400 Caesars

Kevin Gausman and Framber Valdez are also in contention. Gausman is off to a hot start in his second year in Toronto. He’s got a 4-3 record with a 2.76 ERA. He also leads to the majors in innings with 75 and strikeouts with 100. 

Framber Valdez of the Astros is looking to improve on his fifth place finish in last year’s AL Cy Young voting. He’s gone 5-4 with a 2.38 ERA to begin the year. The Astros are 2.5 games back of the Rangers for first place in the AL West.

The only guy that stands ahead of Gerrit Cole now is his divisional foe Shane McClanahan. Whether the Yankees or Rays finish atop the AL East could prove to be the difference maker in the Cy Young race.

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