Blake Snell, Jacob deGrom Win Cy Young Awards

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park on September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball announced the winners for the Cy Young Award Wednesday night. During an hour-long special on MLB Network, Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets were named the recipients.

Pitching Dominance

Both pitchers were brilliant all season long. In fact, the two are the first duo to win the award with ERAs under 2.00 since 1972 when Gaylord Perry and Steve Carlton won.

While he received very little run support, deGrom did not let that affect him. He led all of baseball with a 1.70 ERA and tied Max Scherzer, the runner-up, with a 0.91 WHIP (Scherzer technically led the league by one-thousandth of a point). Additionally, he was second in the league with 217 innings pitched and 269 strikeouts. Also, deGrom only allowed 0.4 home runs per nine innings.

Snell had quite the impressive season himself. The lefty went 21-5 while pitching to an American League best 1.89 ERA. He struck out 221 batters, had a 0.97 WHIP, and allowed just 5.6 hits per nine innings. To further exemplify his season, Snell did this in a year where the Rays opted to open with relievers instead of starting pitchers. Despite this new philosophy, Snell was so dominant that he was the only starter, all year, they consistently sent to the mound every fifth day.

Causes For Concern

While dominant, each pitcher had reasons for reservation with their candidacies. Jacob deGrom, pitching for the anemic Mets offense, only won 10 games all season. That is the lowest total for a starting pitcher to have won the award.

Additionally, the team was 14-18 in his starts. Scherzer also led the league in every category deGrom was second in and tied for the lead in wins. Despite this, the Baseball Writers Association of America realized how dominant he was, especially given the team he plays for, and voted him the winner.

As for Snell, the issue was the innings he pitched. 180.2 innings, while a career-high, is the fewest innings pitched by a starting pitcher who has won the award. Other finalists, Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber, each threw over 200 innings. Verlander also led the league with 290 strikeouts and a 0.90 WHIP. Ultimately, Snell’s sub 2.00 ERA, stellar record, and the impact he had on the Rays pitching staff won him the award.

Voting Totals

deGrom ran away with the National League award with 207 points. He received 29 of 30 first-place votes, and Scherzer claimed the final vote. Scherzer finished second with 123 points while Aaron Nola (86 points) took third. Kyle Freeland (49 points) and Patrick Corbin (23 points) also received votes and rounded out the top five.

The American League race was a little closer. Snell got 17 first-place votes, edging out Verlander, who received the other 13 votes, 169-154. Kluber finished in third with 71 points while Chris Sale (59 points) and Gerrit Cole (26 points) also received consideration.

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