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AL Cy Young race: How MLB season so far has impacted odds

We discuss the AL Cy Young race after the first month of the 2023 regular season.

Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees pitches during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on April 22, 2023, in New York, New York. Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

If the first month of the 2023 MLB season proved anything, it’s that there’s no shortage of aces in the American League, as three of baseball’s top five ERAs are from starters in the AL — along with the leaders in innings (Gerrit Cole), WHIP (Tyler Wells) and batting average against (Shohei Ohtani). With that in mind, here’s a look at the AL Cy Young odds, as well as some insight about two players you should keep your eyes on.

Updated AL Cy Young odds as of May 1

Gerrit Cole +300 Shohei Ohtani +450 Shane McClanahan +800
Luis Castillo +1000 Jacob deGrom +1000 Kevin Gausman +1100
Dylan Cease +1700 Framber Valdez +2000 George Kirby +2200
Christian Javier +2500 Sonny Gray +3000 Joe Ryan +3000

AL Cy Young race: Takeaways and best bets

Best bet 1

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees, +300

Cole — who has somehow never won a Cy Young — is off to a great start this season, as he’s 5-0 with a 1.11 ERA in a league-leading 40.2 innings. After allowing an AL-leading 33 home runs last season, Cole’s yet to allow a long ball this year and has gone at least five innings in all of his starts, with allowing two run or less each time out. Cole’s always had spectacular stuff (he’s a five-time All Star and has won an ERA title), but has never claimed a Cy Young victory. This could be the year that changes.

Best bet 2

Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays, +800

While McClanahan’s odds have dipped a little bit, that can be chalked up to Cole and Ohtani having hot starts rather than McClanahan struggling, as the Rays ace is 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA in six games. The biggest blemish on McClanahan’s record so far has been his lack of length, as he’s gone six innings in four of his starts and five innings in two of his starts, along with only having one shutout start so far this season (on Opening Day). But even if McClanahan hasn’t put together a start of more than seven innings, he’s been consistent, which can sometimes end up being the Cy Young difference-maker in a long, 162-game season.