The Cy Young Vote, Deshaun Watson and More
Let’s take a look around the sports world …
Cole Wins Unanimous Cy; Snell Falls Two Votes Shy
As predicted by pretty much everybody, Gerrit Cole won his first Cy Young and won it unanimously. I was an AL Cy Young voter this year, and this was maybe the easiest vote I’ve had, at least at the top. I really didn’t see a second choice.
Here’s how I voted:
Gerrit Cole, Yankees
Sonny Gray, Twins
Zach Eflin, Rays
Kevin Gausman, Blue Jays
Felix Bautista, Orioles
That’s a pretty bland ballot in a pretty bland pitcher year. For fifth place, I chose Bautista over his teammate Kyle Bradish or the Mariners’ Luis Castillo and George Kirby, but I certainly could have gone with any of them.* I could have swapped Elfin and Gausman. All in all, this ballot was pretty rote, being honest.
*I was particularly taken by Kirby’s 19 walks in 190 innings.
It might have been different if I were voting in the National League, where Blake Snell took 28 of 30 first-place votes. I think I gave this one a 75% chance of being unanimous, which sort of lines up with how it played out. One voter picked Arizona’s Zac Gallen. One voter picked San Francisco’s Logan Webb. Everybody else went with Snell, who had this incredible, and incredibly weird, season — he led the league with a stunning 2.25 ERA (but had an expected ERA of 3.77), gave up the fewest hits per nine, had the highest walk percentage of any pitcher this century, had the second-most strikeouts and second-most wild pitches, etc. It was, as I have written before, a Nolan Ryanesque performance, except he pitched only 180 innings. The Padres went 17-15 in his 32 starts.
Snell has now won two Cy Young Awards even though (A) He has never thrown a complete game, (B) He has never pitched even 181 innings in a season and (C) He has the fourth-highest career walk percentage for any starter (min. 175 starts) this century. What a strange and wonderful and infuriating pitcher he is.
Would I have voted for Snell?
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