Tampa Bay Rays All-Star Shane McClanahan was named the starting pitcher for the American League as we approach the All-Star game on Tuesday. There was chatter all week about the potential of Justin Verlander being named the AL starter in hopes of a ratings boost, but manager Dusty Baker made the correct call with McClanahan.
McClanahan is the clear Cy Young favorite in the American League right now, going 10-3 with an incredible 1.71 ERA, 147 SO. and 0.795 WHIP across 110.2 innings of work for the Rays. This historic first half was broken down earlier this week in a previous article.
This is an incredible honor for the Rays ace, who at age 25 is already starting an All-Star game and is dominating opponents night in, and night out.
Often times, the All-Star game can be dominated by popularity votes or moves, and it sounds like McClanahan was almost robbed of his deserving start.
Had the Angels not asked for Ohtani to be held from pitching in this game, he would have been the AL starting pitcher. Although he has had an incredible season himself, 9-4 with a 2.38 ERA and 123 SO in 87 innings of work, McClanahan has clearly been the better pitcher.
The Rays twitter account came out on top with their response to this report from Ken Rosenthal.
We all look forward to seeing McClanahan carve up the NL starting line up on Tuesday, and it may end up being his coming out party for those around the league who have yet to appreciate his dominance thus far.