The MLB trade deadline is on Tuesday and the hot stove is warming up. Josh Hader, Luis Castillo, Trey Mancini, Frankie Montas and Andrew Benintendi have already changed teams and there will surely be other big names changing uniforms over the next few hours. With about two months left in the regular season, races for divisions and wild card spots are also heating up. However, there's another race that's heating up that might be a little more off the radar.
Verlander is the new AL Cy Young favorite
Entering the season, Justin Verlander was 39 years old and hadn't pitched in nearly two calendar years. Despite a career that will likely end with him in the Hall-of-Fame, we had no clue what to expect out of Verlander in 2022. What he's shown this year is likely surprising to even the most optimistic Verlander and Astros fans.
Through 19 starts to begin the year, Verlander leads all qualified pitchers with a 1.81 ERA. He's striking out nearly a batter an inning, while ranking second with a WHIP of 0.87. As a result, Verlander is now the betting favorite to win the AL Cy Young at +150. Verlander was the betting favorite earlier in the season for a little while, but Rays' pitcher Shane McClanahan has been the favorite for the past few weeks.
Since getting roughed up by the Chicago White Sox on June 18th, Verlander has responded by allowing just four earned runs over 41.2 innings in his last six starts. In McClanahan's last start, he gave up five runs over 4.1 innings to the Guardians. That little slip-up cost him the favorite status.
McClanahan and who else?
Shane McClanahan has the second best odds to win the AL Cy Young at +225. He ranks 3rd amongst American League pitchers in ERA. He has the best WHIP in baseball. No AL pitcher gives up fewer hits per-9 innings. He's got the second best strikeout rate in baseball and ranks 5th in the AL in walk-rate. He started the all-star game for the American League. By all accounts, he's had a tremendous season. However, the oddsmakers think Verlander's year has been slightly better.
If you're looking for a bit more of a value play, Dylan Cease might be of interest. He's got the third best odds to win the Cy Young at +550. Cease has the second best ERA in the AL behind Verlander. He leads all of baseball in strikeout rate, striking out 12.4 batters per nine innings. Cease has had a bit of an issue with walks, but he limits home runs and hits while striking out batters at a higher rate than any other pitcher.
Here's the rest of the leaderboard for the AL Cy Young at BetMGM:
Shohei Ohtani (10-to-1)
Gerrit Cole (18-to-1)
Alek Manoah (18-to-1)
Kevin Gausman (40-to-1)
Logan Gilbert (40-to-1)
Shane Bieber (50-to-1)
Framber Valdez (50-to-1)
Nestor Cortes (50-to-1)
Alcantara the odds-on favorite in the National League
Despite getting roughed up a bit over the weekend by the New York Mets, Sandy Alcantara remains a strong odds-on favorite to win the Cy Young in the National League. Alcantara is -175 to win the NL Cy Young. Alcantara has a 1.99 ERA on the season, the second best mark in baseball behind Verlander. Here's the rest of the NL Cy Young odds at BetMGM:
Corbin Burnes (+600)
Max Fried (10-to-1)
Joe Musgrove (16-to-1)
Carlos Rodon (20-to-1)
Zack Wheeler (30-to-1)
Tony Gonsolin (35-to-1)
Max Scherzer (40-to-1)
Aaron Nola (50-to-1)
Clayton Kershaw (50-to-1)