On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Rays All-Star left-hander Blake Snell became the first Ray since David Price (2012) to win the AL Cy Young Award, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced.
Snell received 17 of the 30 first-place votes, with the other votes going to Astros ace Justin Verlander. While his 180-2/3 innings pitched were the fewest for a Cy Young Award winning starting pitcher in a full season, the left-hander edged out Verlander on the weighted ballot system, with 169 total points vs. Verlander’s 154. Corey Kluber finished a distant third, followed by Chris Sale, Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Blake Treinen, Edwin Diaz, and Luis Severino.
You can read the full breakdown here.
Snell broke out with a dominant 2018 campaign, solidifying himself as the Rays ace. The southpaw pitched to an impressive 1.89 ERA/2.95 FIP with an 11.0 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 across 31 starts. No pitcher in either league tallied more than his 21 victories. Even though Snell’s innings total trailed Verlander’s by 33.4, his in-game dominance proved to be enough for him to take home baseballs most prestigious pitching award.
Ashley MacLennan (DRaysBay) noted the historical significance of Snell’s breakout season:
No AL pitcher has matched Snell’s combination of wins and ERA since Ron Guidry (25 wins, 1.74 ERA) of the New York Yankees in 1978. Since the advent of the designated hitter in 1973, Snell was only the third AL pitcher to record at least 20 wins and a sub-2.00 ERA, along with Guidry in 1978 and Roger Clemens (21 wins, 1.93 ERA) of the Boston Red Sox in 1990.
Congratulations are in order to Snellzilla CyZilla!
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