Shane McClanahan takes top spot on Cy Young watchlist

Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan rose to be one of South Florida’s best produced arms at the MLB level. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher and USF alum Shane McClanahan has been dealing on the mound since his Major League debut in 2020, and he has now made his way to the top spot of the American League Cy Young watchlist. 

The Cy Young is granted to the best pitcher in each league of the MLB, considering essential statistics such as their ERA, losses and WHIP.

ESPN currently has McClanahan placed at sixth in its Cy Young predictor, but MLB has him at first. Behind him on the MLB’s list is the Astros’ Justin Verlander, who is currently tied in second with Alek Manoah of the Blue Jays. 

In the second poll, the pitcher was previously ranked second, but is gaining momentum as the season goes on. 

McClanahan has shown a dominant 2022 so far throughout his outings. With an 8-3 record, he has thrown 123 strikeouts in 91.1 innings pitched to give him a 1.77 ERA. He also leads the American League in strikeouts and ERA. 

The southpaw has taken huge strides from his previous year’s performance, finishing his 2021 season with a 3.43 ERA and a 10-6 record. 

In order to stay a possible candidate for the award so early in his career, McClanahan must continue on this upward trend through the rest of the season. He also must stay competitive with other AL pitchers, with the leaderboards changing every poll.