Jacob deGrom of the Mets was named the winner of the 2018 National League Cy Young Award and Blake Snell of the Rays won the honor in the American League on Wednesday night. Both deGrom and Snell are first-time Cy Young winners. DeGrom beat out NL finalists Max Scherzer (Nationals) and Aaron Nola (Phillies). Snell, meanwhile, topped Justin Verlander of the Astros and Corey Kluber of the Indians in the AL.
DeGrom finished the 2018 season with an MLB-best 1.70 ERA over 217 innings. It was just the eighth time a pitcher with at least 150 innings pitched finished the season with an ERA of 1.70 or lower since the Cy Young was first awarded in 1956. The 30-year-old had 18 starts in which he went at least six innings and allowed one or zero earned runs, and he set a record with 29 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer. DeGrom is only the second pitcher since earned runs became an official stat in both leagues in 1913 with a sub-2.00 ERA, at least 250 Ks and fewer than 50 walks in a season, joining Pedro Martinez in 2000.
The Mets went 14-18 in deGrom's starts, and he finished with a 10-9 record. The fewest wins by any starting pitcher to win the Cy Young Award before him was 13 — Fernando Valenzuela went 13-7 in 25 starts in 1981 and Felix Hernandez went 13-12 in 34 starts in 2010. There was talk of deGrom making his way into the NL MVP Award consideration, but he was not one of the finalists.
DeGrom's selection was nearly unanimous, as he received 29 of the 30 first-place votes. Scherzer finished second with the lone other first-place tally and 29 second-place votes.
Snell led the majors with 21 wins (he was the first 20-game winner in MLB since 2016) and a 219 ERA+. His 1.89 ERA was the best among the American League Cy Young qualifiers. The 25-year-old lefty had just 5.6 hits allowed per nine innings while striking out 221 across 180 2/3 innings, all while pitching in one of Major League Baseball's toughest divisions. He went 9-2 with a 2.00 ERA against the league's five playoff teams (the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Oakland A's and Houston Astros). Snell is the second Cy Young winner in Rays history, joining David Price who won it in 2012.
With 17 first-place votes, Snell won a tight race over Verlander. The Astros' ace grabbed 13 first-place votes, and the full voting results can be found on the Baseball Writers' Association of America's website. The Cy Young was the third of four major awards to be handed out by the BBWAA this week. You can keep up with all of the hardware .