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AL Cy Young Award power rankings: Gerrit Cole makes a statement

New York Yankees starter Gerrit Cole threw seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays before allowing a hit. Has that helped his AL Cy Young Award chances?

Gerrit Cole now has a 3.14 ERA for the New York Yankees in 14 starts after he went 7.1 innings on Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing only one hit and one run.

He also struck out 12 batters, which brought up his strikeout rate to 11.4 K/9, compared to just 2.3 BB/9. But is he in the top five running for the AL Cy Young Award at this point?

AL Cy Young Award power rankings don’t include Gerrit Cole yet

#5 – Cleveland Guardians RHP Shane Bieber 

The Cleveland Guardians have, quietly, made up a lot of ground on the Minnesota Twins, winning 15 of their last 19 games and Shane Bieber has been a big reason for that.

The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner has a 3.00 ERA in 13 starts with a 129 ERA+ and a 2.71 FIP (suggesting Bieber has had a bit of bad luck).

With that FIP, he entered Monday in fourth in that category, fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (9.7 K/9), and fifth in strikeouts (84). He has allowed a lot of hits, though, as his 73 hits against are seventh-highest in the AL.

#4 – Texas Rangers LHP Martín Pérez

Martín Pérez would probably be a bit higher on this list if he was on a playoff contender but the Texas Rangers (31-35) are not in playoff contention.

Here are some of his stats and where they rank in the AL.

  • 2.10 ERA (4th)
  • 2.7 rWAR (3rd among AL pitchers)
  • 0.2 HR/9 (1st)
  • 2.0 BB/9 (10th)
  • 183 ERA+ (4th)
  • 2.62 FIP (3rd)

#3 – Toronto Blue Jays RHP Alek Manoah

Alek Manoah is entering just his second season in the majors after he made his debut for the Blue Jays in late May last season.

This year, Manoah is second in rWAR among pitchers (2.8), third in ERA (2.00), fifth in WHIP (0.938), sixth in hits per nine innings (6.8 H/9), seventh in walk rate (1.7 BB/9), and eighth in FIP (2.91). He is first in wins (8) and ERA+ (199), though.

#2 – New York Yankees LHP Nestor Cortes Jr.

Nestor Cortes Jr. has quickly gone from a swingman between the starting rotation and bullpen to the best starting pitcher that the New York Yankees have.

Cortes is fourth in the AL in rWAR among pitchers (2.5), second in ERA (1.94), fourth in WHIP (0.93), third in hits per nine innings (6.2 H/9), sixth in strikeout rate (9.7 H/9), seventh in FIP (2.87), and second in ERA+ (195).

#1 – Tampa Bay Rays LHP Shane McClanahan

Shane McClanahan was the opposing pitcher for the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole on Monday and he matched up against him very well.

He went six innings, allowing four hits, one run, one walk, and struck out eight. He lowered his ERA to 1.81, which is the best in the AL. Also, he leads the AL in strikeouts (113), WHIP (0.85), and batting average against (.185).

If Gerrit Cole makes a few more starts like he did on Monday, he should break the top five here soon but right now, he’s not quite in the running.

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