Snell, 25, won a major league-best 21 games with only five losses and posted an AL-best 1.89 ERA with 221 strikeouts and 64 walks in 180 2/3 innings. The lefty is the first member of the Rays to win the Cy Young Award since David Price in 2012. Snell and Price are the only Cy Young winners in Rays history.
Snell received 17 first-place votes and narrowly finished ahead of Astros ace Justin Verlander in total points with 169. Verlander had 13 first-place votes and 154 total points. Indians ace Corey Kluber finished a distant third with 71 points. Also receiving votes were Chris Sale of the Red Sox, Gerrit Cole of the Astros, Trevor Bauer of the Indians, Blake Treinen of the Athletics, Edwin Díaz of the Mariners, and Luis Severino of the Yankees.
The 2018 AL Cy Young Award debate was anything but one-sided. While Snell had the ERA edge over the competition, Verlander pitched about 35 more innings and led the league with 290 strikeouts. Interestingly, neither writer from the Tampa Bay chapter voted for Verlander higher than third place. Mark Didtler, an AP freelancer, had Verlander third while Bill Madden of the New York Daily News had Verlander in fourth place behind Blake Treinen. If a chapter doesn’t have enough members, a member from another chapter will represent that city. Madden was a replacement voter.
For the first time since 2015, Max Scherzer is not the NL Cy Young Award winner. As expected, deGrom took home the hardware despite a 10-9 record, showing that the BBWAA electorate has, generally, gotten with the times by not regarding win-loss records as highly as they used to. deGrom put up a historically great and best-in-baseball 1.70 ERA along with 269 strikeouts and 46 walks over 217 innings. deGrom and Zack Greinke (1.66 in 2015) are the only pitchers to post a 1.70 ERA or lower dating back to 1996. It had only been done four other times since 1969: by Greg Maddux twice (1994-95), Dwight Gooden (1985), and Nolan Ryan (1981).
deGrom almost won the award unanimously, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes with 207 total points. Scherzer got the other first-place vote with 123 total points. The Phillies’ Aaron Nola finished in third place with 86 points. Also receiving votes were Kyle Freeland of the Rockies, Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks, Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals, Josh Hader of the Brewers, Mike Foltynewicz of the Braves, and Jon Lester of the Cubs.
deGrom is the first Met to win the Cy Young Award since R.A. Dickey in 2012. Other Cy Young winners from the Mets include Dwight Gooden (1985), and Tom Seaver (1969, ’73, ’75).