Alek Manoah is still one of the hottest arms in baseball.
Toronto’s top young arm in the starting rotation got his fourth start of the season on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox, throwing a season-high seven innings of scoreless baseball while allowing three hits, walking three batters and striking out seven. His start was good enough to lift Toronto to its 13th victory of the season, and his fourth. This win is already a crucial one for his club as the Blue Jays trail the Yankees by a half-game for first in the American League East.
Manoah is off to one of the best starts in the AL thus far, and is tied for the major league lead in wins with four. His. 1.44 ERA ranks at No. 9 in the majors, while his 0.88 WHIP ties him for 11th.
He has played so well, in fact, that he is working his way into the AL Cy Young conversation. According to Sports Betting Dime, Manoah is the eighth most likely hurler to capture the 2022 Cy Young Award (given, of course, the small sample size). That puts him just behind Rays ace Shane McClanahan and Seattle’s Robbie Ray, the defending Cy Young winner from 2021.
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Manoah has picked up right where he left off after a breakout 2021 rookie campaign, in which he garnered All-Rookie Team honors from multiple publications. He finished his first season with a 9-2 record and a 3.22 ERA in 20 starts after making a quick ascension through Toronto’s farm system in 2020 and the early part of 2021.
The Florida product played three seasons for the Old Gold and Blue and was a key piece to the Mountaineers’ historic run to host an NCAA Regional in 2019. That season, he struck out 144 batsmen, which remains the single-season record at West Virginia.