The winners of the National and American League Cy Young Award were announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom and Rays’ Blake Snell won the awards for their respective league. It was the first time either pitcher won the Cy Young Award.
Jacob deGrom won the award despite a mediocre win-loss record of 10-9, which the writers correctly determined was the result of the Mets poor offense and bullpen and was not a reflection on the excellence of deGrom. The right-hander finished the season with a 1.70 ERA, which lead the National League by 0.67 runs over the Phillies’ Aaron Nola. It was also only the sixth-lowest ERA since the mound was lowered in 1969. deGrom pitched 217 innings and struck out 269 batters, which was second in the NL behind the Nationals Max Scherzer.
The Mets’ ace had 19 starts of at least five innings when he allowed either zero or one run. He got the win in only nine of those starts. That also means he only got one win when he allowed two or more runs.
Jacob deGrom’s ten wins were the lowest-total ever for a Cy Young-winning starting pitcher. The previous low was 13, held by Fernando Valenzuela in the strike-shortened 1981 season and Felix Hernandez in 2010.
Jacob deGrom ran away with the voting, taking 29 of 30 first-place votes. One first-place vote went to second-place finisher Scherzer, who received the second-place vote from all 29 voters who voted deGrom first. Third-place went to Nola, who got 27 of 30 third-place votes.
Kyle Freeland of the Rockies finished fourth and Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks was fifth. The other four pitchers who received votes and finished sixth through ninth were the Cardinals’ Miles Mikolas, Brewers reliever Josh Hader, the Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz and the Cubs’ Jon Lester, who got one fourth-place vote.
Snell also set a new record for a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher as he threw only 180.2 innings over 31 starts. That’s the lowest-ever innings total for a starting pitcher who won the award in a non-strike-shortened season. But he was outstanding in the innings he did pitch, going 21-5 with a league-leading ERA of 1.89. The left-hander struck out 219 batters in 2018 and held opposing hitters to a .178 batting average, which was the best in all of baseball.
Snell allowed two of fewer runs in 27 of his 31 starts.
The vote was much closer in the American League, as Snell received 17 of 30 first-place votes. The other thirteen first-place votes went to second-place finisher Justin Verlander of the Astros. The Indians’ Corey Kluber was third, the Red Sox’ Chris Sale was fourth and the Astros’ Gerrit Cole was fifth. The other four pitchers who received votes were the Indians’ Trevor Bauer, Athletics closer Blake Treinen, Mariners closer Edwin Diaz and the Yankees Luis Severino and they finished sixth through ninth respectively.
Here’s a breakdown of the voting for the top five in the NL Cy Young Award voting.
A landslide victory for @JdeGrom19! pic.twitter.com/O30lkPfpSe— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 14, 2018
You can see the full voting breakdown as well as all the ballots for the NL Cy Young here. Thomas Harding of MLB.com gave Lester a fourth-place vote.
Here’s a breakdown of the voting for the top five in the AL Cy Young Award voting:
17 first-place votes for @snellzilla4! pic.twitter.com/oGpLPN3Qwy— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 14, 2018
And the full voting results as well as all the ballots for the AL Cy Young can be found here.
Tomorrow the BBWAA will announce the winners of the MVP Award for the two leagues. The Cubs’ Javier Baez is a finalist for the NL Award, although it should be mentioned that Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is considered the favorite.