You won’t be surprised by the names MLB revealed on Wednesday as the winners of the American League and National League Cy Young Awards. Particularly in the AL, based on the votes cast.
The AL Cy Young Award went to New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, while the NL Cy Young went to San Diego Padres’ Blake Snell.
Cole was winner with all 30 votes cast by the BBWAA voting body, with Snell receiving 28 of the 30 first-place votes. The remaining first-place votes were split between NL finalists Logan Webb of the San Francisco Giants and Zac Gallen of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cole has won his first Cy Young Award, which was well deserved. He was second behind Justin Verlander in 2019 and, believe it or not, second behind Robbie Ray in 2021 when he could have won it, but this time there are no nearlys. It’s finally his, the highest pitching accolade in the game.
Along with becoming the team’s sixth Cy Young winner overall—after Roger Clemens, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, Whitey Ford, and Bob Turley—it is also the Yankees’ first Cy Young winner since Clemens in 2001.
The 33-year-old Cole was genuinely one of the few bright spots on a miserable Yankees club that came in fourth in the AL East, 19 games behind the league-leading Baltimore Orioles. In 33 starts and 209 innings, he had a 2.63 ERA and two complete game shutouts, which led the league. In many pitching stat categories, he is at or near the top: innings pitched (209, third place), hits per nine innings (6.8), WHIP (0.981, first place), bWAR for pitchers (7.4, first place), and strikeouts (222, fifth place).
Cole wasn’t anything close to being the reason why the Yankees were a complete mess this season.
Snell was pitching for a squad that fell short of expectations in the National League as well. The Padres were predicted to contend in the NL West with their big payroll, but they ended up finishing 18 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cy Young voters, like those who supported Cole, did not allow the team’s inability to win to overshadow Snell’s individual achievement.
Snell has the best ERA in all of MLB (2.25), and he was the only qualifying starting pitcher with one under 2.50. Snell rejected the Padres’ qualifying offer and is now a free agent. At 5.8, he gave up the fewest average hits per nine innings; Corbin Burnes, in second place, finished with 6.6 hits per nine innings. Despite pitching only 180 innings over 31 starts and averaging 5 2/3 innings each start—quite a contrast from someone like Cole, who averaged 6 1/3 innings per start—Snell was favoured by voters because to his superiority in a more traditional data, such as ERA. Even though he doesn’t pitch into the fifth or sixth inning, he performs a great job when he does.
Snell won his first Cy Young Award in the National League and now he has two. 2018 saw him win his first while playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. He joins the exclusive group of Max Scherzer, Roy Halladay, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez, and Gaylord Perry as the seventh pitcher in MLB history to win a Cy Young award in both the AL and NL.
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