Major League Baseball is now a quarter of the way completed, which means it’s time to check in on the 2022 AL Cy Young odds. Since the beginning of the season, struggles from Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber have really shifted the race, and some new contenders and old faces have started to emerge.
In this article, we’ll talk through the updated AL Cy Young odds and some of our favorite choices after a quarter of the season is now completed. Earlier today, we covered the NL Cy Young odds and a couple of weeks ago, we took you through the updated AL MVP odds and NL MVP odds, make sure you check those all out.
2022 AL Cy Young Odds
Justin Verlander is definitely the emotional favorite since a Cy Young win for him would be a tremendous story after having essentially missed the last two seasons due to injury. The 39-year-old is 6-1 on the season with a sparkling 1.22 ERA, although the underlying metrics are a bit less enthusiastic. He has a 3.24 xFIP and 3.12 SIERA, which means we should expect some regression, which shouldn’t be a shock given his current ratios. He also has a stellar 0.72 WHIP and a solid 21.5% K-BB%.
The knock against a bet on Verlander right now might just be his stamina. He regularly threw over 200 innings in each season, but he hasn’t thrown more than six innings in a season since 2019, so how much will the Astros really push him? Will they try to monitor his innings in the second half of the season? Those questions make him a small risk given these odds.
Kevin Gausman currently leads major league baseball in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) for pitchers, so he is absolutely another name that we need to discuss. He’s proven that his recent success wasn’t just due to pitching in San Francisco and is currently 3-3 with a 2.52 ERA that is fully supported by the predictive metrics with a 2.31 xFIP and 2.46 SIERA. He’s also pitched to a 1.04 WHIP and stellar 27.4% K-BB rate. Given that Toronto’s bats are cold right, Gausman’s win total and overall resume could improve as the Toronto offense does, but he might be my favorite bet right now given his odds. Or my second favorite bet behind…
OK, this might be my favorite bet. Tampa Bay lefty Shane McClanahan is a young pitcher who is clearly taking his game to another level. The 25-year-old emerged on the scene with an impressive 123.1 inning sample in his rookie season last year, but this season, McClanahan is 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA that is also supported by the predictive metrics with a 1.88 xFIP and 2.00 SIERA.
Even surpassing Verlander and Gausman, he has a 0.86 WHIP and a 31.1% K-BB%. In many ways, he is currently pitching better than any other AL starter. The concern for McClanahan is that the Rays are notoriously cautious with their young pitchers and he doesn’t go as deep into games as Verlander and Gausman. Still, since Verlander has his own workload questions, I wouldn’t knock McClanahan too heavily for that.
Lastly, we need to talk about Lucas Giolito, who still has really favorable betting odds. Giolito has dealt with a few injuries and a trip to the COVID-IL already this season, but he’s currently 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA, supported by a 2.64 xFIP and 2.67 SIERA. While he has a troubling 1.23 WHIP, his 26% K-BB% ratio compares favorably to the others on this list. He has been evolving as a pitcher over the last few seasons and has the talent to match any of the arms that have better odds above him. You might have a chance to buy at good odds given his delayed start.
If you want a real dark horse, you can throw a small bet on Tarik Skubal. The Detroit left-hander has seemingly gotten his command issues in check and has been lights out to start the season, going 3-2 with a 2.22 ERA, supported by a 2.58 xFIP and 2.73 SIERA. He also has a 1.05 WHIP and 23.9% K-BB% which is as good a combo as you’ll see. Considering we have never seen him pitch at this level before, there are clear questions about how sustainable it is, but the raw ability is there, so we could be seeing a true Cy Young breakout.