Gerrit Cole makes a statement in the AL Cy Young Award power rankings

Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees pitched seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays without allowing a hit. Has this boosted his prospects of winning the American League Cy Young Award?

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

He also struck out 12 batters, bringing his strikeout rate to 11.4 K/9 versus only 2.3 BB/9. Is he, though, among the top five candidates for the AL Cy Young Award?

Gerrit Cole is not yet included in the AL Cy Young Award power rankings

#5 – Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians is a right-handed pitcher.

The Cleveland Guardians have quietly gained ground on the Minnesota Twins, winning 15 of their last 19 games, thanks in large part to Shane Bieber.

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

With that FIP, he was fourth in that metric heading into Monday, fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (9.7 K/9), and fifth in strikeouts overall (84). However, he has given up a lot of hits, as his 73 hits against rank ninth in the AL.

#4 – Martn Pérez is a left-handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers.

If Martn Pérez played for a playoff contender, he would likely be higher on this list, but the Texas Rangers (31-35) are not in contention.

Here are some of his numbers, along with where they rank in the American League.

  • 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 – Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays

Alek Manoah is in his second season in the majors, having debuted with the Blue Jays in late May of the previous year.

Manoah ranks second in rWAR (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 this season (2.91). However, he leads the league in wins (8) and ERA+ (199).

#2 – The New York Yankees’ LHP Nestor Cortes Jr.

Nestor Cortes Jr. has quickly gone from being a player who moved between the starting rotation and the bullpen to being the best starting pitcher for the New York Yankees.

Cortes ranks second in the AL 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), eighth in FIP (2.87), and second in ERA+ (195).

#1 – Shane McClanahan of the Tampa Bay Rays is a left-handed pitcher

On Monday, Shane McClanahan was the opposing pitcher for the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole, and he pitched quite effectively against him.

He pitched six innings, allowing four hits, one run, and one walk while striking out eight batters. He has a 1.81 ERA, which is the best in the American League. He also has the most strikeouts (113), WHIP (0.85), and batting average against in the American League (.185).

Gerrit Cole should break into the top five here soon if he makes a few more starts like he did on Monday, but he’s not nearly there yet.