The results are in and this third poll for the 2022 Cy Young Awards points squarely at Florida.
Not only has the top spot changed hands in both leagues since our second poll (done three weeks ago), but both of the new leaders come from Florida teams. No pitcher has finished first in more than one of our rankings this season, with a good number of arms in battle on each circuit.
The pitchers received points from the votes on a scale of 5-4-3-2-1 – five points for a first place vote, four points for a second place vote and so on, with a total of 44 voters participating. Here are the results.
1) Shane McClanahan, Rays (35 first-place votes)
The 25-year-old southpaw just keeps getting better and better. After a stellar rookie campaign in 2021, he finished fifth in our first Cy Young poll this season before climbing to second and now first. Well, that’s what happens when you lead the majors in ERA (1.77), strikeouts (123), WHIP (0.83) and hits allowed per nine innings (5.9). McClanahan has posted an ERA of 1.26 since the beginning of May, allowing no more than two earned runs in 10 straight starts during that span.
2) (tie) Justin Verlander, Astros (3 first-place votes)
Verlander has appeared in the top three in each of our polls. That’s right. At 39 years old and returning from Tommy John surgery, the two-time Cy Young winner is still getting the job done. With an eight-inning gem Wednesday at Citi Field, Verlander became the first pitcher to reach 10 wins this season and improved his ERA to 2.03. But it would be a rare coincidence if JV finished second to McClanahan this year, since four years ago he finished second to another 25-year-old Rays lefty in the voting (Blake Snell).
2) (tie) Alek Manoah, Blue Jays (3 first-place votes)
Like McClanahan, Manoah impressed in the AL East as a rookie a year ago. And like McClanahan, he has raised his bar even higher in 2022. The burly right-hander is 9-2 with a 2.09 ERA going into Wednesday’s outing against Boston, making quality starts in 13 of his 15 presentations. He seems to get better in the big moments, winning games on the road against the likes of the Astros, Brewers, Guardians, Rays and Yankees.
4) Dylan Cease, White Sox (0 first-place votes)
After receiving votes in the first two polls, Cease placed in the top five this time around. The 26-year-old pitcher looked like an under-the-radar option this year after a promising 2021, and he’s living up to those expectations. While Cease struggles on walks at times, his 35.5% strikeout rate is second only to McClanahan. In his last three starts, he has 32 strikeouts in 18 innings, with one earned run.
5) Kevin Gausman, Blue Jays (2 first place votes)
His first season with Toronto continues to go as smoothly as anyone would have liked. With his dominant Monday outing against Boston (seven shutout innings, 10 strikeouts), Gausman put his ERA better than 3.00 and has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his 15 starts. Thanks to his ability to add strikeouts and limit walks and home runs, Gausman leads all MLB pitchers in FanGraphs WAR at 3.6.
Others who received votes: Martín Pérez, Gerrit Cole, Néstor Cortés Jr. (1 first place vote), Logan Gilbert, Shohei Ohtani, Francelis “Frankie” Montás, Framber Valdez
1) Sandy Alcántara, Marlins (29 first-place votes)
The Marlins are one of only three franchises without a Cy Young winner in their history – along with the Rockies and Rangers – but Alcantara is doing everything he can to change that. The 26-year-old right-hander, second in our previous poll, now commands the top. After his complete game in St. Louis on Wednesday, Alcántara leads the Major Leagues in innings pitched (115.1) and is second in the National League in ERA (1.95), with an ERA+ of 212 and 6.2 hits per nine innings, reaching at least seven acts in 10 straight appearances.
2) Corbin Burnes, Brewers (5 first-place votes)
Don’t forget about the reigning NL Cy Young, as Burnes has appeared in the top three in every one of our polls. After falling short of his standards earlier this month, the right-hander now has three straight wins against contenders (Mets, Cardinals, Blue Jays), allowing five runs and striking out 27 in 20 2/3 innings.
3) Joe Musgrove, Padres (2 first-place votes)
Musgrove, the leader of our previous ranking, dropped a couple of spots after giving up six runs in his most recent outing against the Phillies. Before that game, Musgrove had an ERA of 1.59 in what continues to look like a very opportune contract year. The right-hander will try to get back on track Thursday against the Dodgers.
4) Tony Gonsolin, Dodgers (6 first-place votes)
Nowhere near the brightest name on the Dodgers’ staff, Gonsolin has kept the team’s rotation in overdrive, especially with Clayton Kershaw missing playing time and Walker Buehler still on the disabled list. Chosen at the time in the ninth round of the Draft, Gonsolin is having his best season at 28 years old, going 9-0 with a 1.58 ERA in 14 starts. A 1.24 earned run average in June has put him in our top five for the first time.
5) Max Fried, Braves (2 first-place votes)
The Braves’ left-hander is often inconspicuous at times, but he continues to dominate opponents. After losing his first two starts of the season, he is now 7-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 starts since then, while the Braves are 11-2 in those games. In 54 starts since 2020, Fried has a 2.82 ERA.
Others who have received votes: Aaron Nola, Carlos Rodón, Josh Hader, Zack Wheeler, Tyler Anderson, Miles Mikolas, Julio Urías, Max Scherzer