Another week, another unbelievable effort by Shane McClanahan. In his most recent start, the lefty pitched seven innings only surrendering one run and three hits while striking out ten. To make it even more impressive, he did it to a Blue Jays lineup that is known for its ability to generate runs.
Simply, this is nothing new for McClanahan and is hardly surprising to Rays fans. In fact, he had an almost identical stat line in his last start against the Pirates. His most recent start marked the sixth time this year he has pitched seven innings or more.
Perhaps most notable about McClanahan is the efficiency he works with. Despite the fact that he often goes deep into games, he has only reached the 100-pitch plateau once. That came in a dominating, eleven-strike-out performance against the Angels.
With an MLB-leading 133 strikeouts, his stuff has been nearly untouchable as evidenced by his .832 WHIP which also leads the league. His 1.74 ERA is not only jaw-dropping, it is the best in the American League.
As the All-Star game approaches, McClanahan will no doubt be elected to participate. The question now becomes whether he will get the starting nod. The contenders for this honor will include his contemporaries such as Alek Manoah, Justin Verlander, Dylan Cease, and Shohei Ohtani.
If the above four are all named all-stars, Verlander and Ohtani will present the biggest competition. Much like last season, Ohtani is the MLB's biggest attraction so having him both lead off and be the starting pitcher is no doubt something the league wants. In the case of Verlander, he is a walking Hall of Famer who is having an incredible year for one of the American Leagues' best teams.
While there are many great pitchers across the MLB this season, McClanahan has stood out above them all. Leading the league in almost every category, he more than deserves the chance to start in his first-ever all-star game. Anything less for the 25-year-old hurler would be an injustice.