Rays’ Blake Snell wins AL Cy Young award

R.A. Dickey and Jacob deGrom

Modal Trigger R.A. Dickey and Jacob de Grom Getty Images AP

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the USA and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball.

Hernandez's Cy Young victory signalled a major shift from voters, who once prioritized pitcher wins.

The American League consists of the following teams: Baltimore Orioles; Boston Red Sox; Chicago White Sox; Cleveland Indians; Detroit Tigers; Houston Astros; Kansas City Royals; Los Angeles Angels; Minnesota Twins; New York Yankees; Oakland Athletics; Seattle Mariners; Tampa Bay Rays; Texas Rangers; and Toronto Blue Jays. His second-place finish marks the sixth-straight season he has been in the top five in Cy Young voting. DeGrom got 29 first-place votes and 207 points from members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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A 25-year-old lefty, Snell had an across-the-board great season with a 21-5 record and 221 strikeouts and a 1.89 ERA. The 25-year-old left-hander led the league with 21 wins and ranked first in the AL in ERA (1.89), ERA+ (219) and hits per nine innings (5.6).

With Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets winning the NL Cy Young award, he and Snell joined Bob Gibson and other exclusive company thanks to their sub-2.00 ERA. And it's what made voting for this year's NL Cy Young victor a privilege. He pitched over 210 innings and finished 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA while striking out 290. Over full seasons, Snell is the second starter to win the award with fewer than 200 innings after Clayton Kershaw logged 198 1/3 in 2014. That and his MLB-best win total proved just how historic his 2018 performance was. He becomes the second Cy Young victor in Rays history, joining David Price (2012).

Snell's shortfall, compared to the 215 innings thrown by Kluber and 214 by Verlander, was due primarily to a two-week stint on the DL due to shoulder fatigue coming off his first All-Star Game appearance, plus the Rays' overall protective philosophy of handling young starters and aggressive bullpen usage.

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