After finishing a career-high sixth in the 2022 AL Cy Young Award voting, Tampa Bay Rays ace lefty Shane McClanahan will take the mound Monday in a matinee series finale in Boston as the Caesars Sportsbook betting favorite to win the '23 AL Cy Young for the first time, priced at +350. Tampa Bay is a -170 favorite as it looks to take three of four at Fenway Park.
Either the Rangers' Jacob deGrom (now a +6000 longshot because he's hurt again) or the Yankees' Gerrit Cole (+400 second favorite) generally had been the AL Cy Young leader at the book, but Cole had a couple of shaky starts before righting the ship Saturday at Los Angeles. Cole pitched six strong innings before leaving with cramps.
McClanahan (8-1, 2.07 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), who opened the season at +1200 to win the Cy Young, is tied with the Rangers' Nathan Eovaldi for the most wins in the majors by a pitcher, is second in ERA to Atlanta's Bryce Elder (1.92) and is 11th in strikeouts (82).
The 26-year-old McClanahan is fresh off his first loss of the season, in which he allowed two runs over 5.2 innings to the Cubs. He was looking to become the first Rays pitcher ever to start a season 9-0. McClanahan has given up more than two earned runs just once this year and is 4-1 with a 3.03 ERA on the road. His four-seam fastball has the highest average velocity among lefty starters at 96.8 mph.
In six career starts against Boston, McClanahan is 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA. A couple of Red Sox have good numbers against him. Rafael Devers is 7-for-19 with a double and homer and Alex Verdugo is 4-for-11 with a double.
Boston starts 24-year-old right-hander Brayan Bello (3-3, 3.89 ERA). He has allowed nine earned runs over 32 innings in his past six starts (2.59 ERA) after giving up eight earned over 7.1 innings in his first two (9.82 ERA). Bello has a 10.13 ERA in eight career innings vs. the Rays. Wander Franco is 1-for-3 off him but could miss the game after sitting Sunday with a sore hamstring. Brandon Lowe and Jose Siri were also scratched Sunday due to injury. The Rays beat the Red Sox anyways, 6-2. Josh Lowe, Luke Raley and Yandy Díaz each had two hits for the Tampa Bay, which is 6-1 this year vs. Boston.
This is a makeup game of Friday's series opener, which was postponed due to rain. It's the only matinee Monday. The division rivals don't play again until September.
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