Sports

Blake Snell, Jacob deGrom win 2018 Cy Young Awards

Blake Snell, Jacob deGrom win 2018 Cy Young Awards

The lefty is the first member of the Rays to win the Cy Young Award since David Price in 2012. John Maffei of the San Diego Union-Tribune was the only writer to place Scherzer ahead of deGrom on their ballot.

Hernandez's Cy Young victory signalled a major shift from voters, who once prioritized pitcher wins.

The 2018 AL Cy Young Award debate was anything but one-sided.

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Perhaps no pitcher had ever been such a hard-luck loser. DeGrom received historically bad levels of run support from his lineup this season. During one stretch late in the season, the Mets totaled 10 runs over seven of deGrom's outings, and the pitcher drove in four of those himself.

DeGrom almost produced more wins above replacement than actual wins - an unfortunate sabermetric feat that has only been accomplished once, when the Philadelphia Athletics' Eddie Smith went 4-17 with 4.1 WAR in 1937. And it's what made voting for this year's NL Cy Young victor a privilege. Other Cy Young winners from the Mets include Dwight Gooden (1985), and Tom Seaver (1969, '73, '75). Philadelphia's Aaron Nola and Colorado's Kyle Freeland finished third and fourth, while Patrick Corbin, Miles Mikolas, Josh Hader, Mike Foltynewicz and Jon Lester rounded out the voting (full breakdown here).

Looking forward, while the Rays are more experimental with pitching roles than any club in the league, there's little doubt that Snell will be handled like a traditional front-of-the-rotation workhorse. Justin Verlander came in second for a record-tying third time with 13 first-place votes, while defending champion Corey Kluber received none. While Snell had the ERA edge over the competition, Verlander pitched about 35 more innings and led the league with 290 strikeouts. The end result was 3.39 ERA (2.95 FIP) with 220 strikeouts in 191.1 innings, which is obviously quite good. His second-place finish marks the sixth-straight season he has been in the top five in Cy Young voting. He went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA for AL Central champion Cleveland and led the AL with 215 innings.