Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello was named the 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Wednesday. Tigers righty Justin Verlander finished second in the voting, and Indians righty Corey Kluber was third.
Porcello received eight first-place votes and totaled 137 points. Verlander received 14 first-place votes and totaled 132 points. Porcello's 18 second-place votes were the difference, as were two voters leaving Verlander off their ballots entirely.
The five-point gap is the second-smallest in Cy Young history. Verlander lost the 2012 AL Cy Young to David Price by a mere four points, so he's now been on the wrong end of the two smallest voting gaps in history. Verlander has come that close to having three career Cy Youngs.
This is only the third time in history the Cy Young winner did not receive the most first-place votes. Tom Glavine beat out Trevor Hoffman for the 1992 NL Cy Young with fewer first-place votes (13-11), and Tim Lincecum finished ahead of Adam Wainwright with fewer first-place votes in the 2009 NL voting (12-11).
This is not only the first Cy Young award for Porcello, it's the first time he's ever received Cy Young votes in his eight-year career. The 27-year-old broke out in 2016 with a major-league-leading 22 wins and a 3.15 ERA (145 ERA+) in a career-high 223 innings.
Here's a quick statistical comparison of the three 2016 AL Cy Young Award finalists:
|Kluber||18-9||215||3.14||149||1.06||3.26||6.5 (2nd in AL)|
|Porcello||22-4||223||3.15||145||1.01||3.40||5.0 (5th in AL)|
|Verlander||16-9||227 2/3||3.04||136||1.00||3.48||6.6 (1st in AL)|
Porcello is the first Red Sox pitcher to win the Cy Young Award since Pedro Martinez won it in back-to-back years in 1999 and 2000. Porcello, Pedro, Roger Clemens (1986, 1987, 1991) and Jim Lonborg (1967) are the only Boston pitchers to win the Cy Young.
Kluber received three first-place votes and Orioles closer Zach Britton, who finished fourth in the voting, received the the other five first-place votes. The top four spots were separated by only 65 points.
As a reminder, the Cy Young is a regular-season award only. Votes are cast following final regular-season game and before the first postseason game.
The full AL Cy Young voting results can be seen at the BBWAA's website.