Jacob deGrom grabbed 29 of 30 first place votes to win the 2018 Cy Young Award. Max Scherzer placed second, collecting the only other first place vote, and Aaron Nola came in third with 27 third place votes, two fourth place votes and one fifth place vote.
Nola, 25, finished the season with a 17-6 record and posted a career-low 2.37 ERA, more than a full point lower than last year’s 3.54 mark, his previous career-low. In 212 1/3 innings, he walked just 58 batters and struck out 224 batters this season. Nola posted career-high marks in most categories, including wins, innings pitched, starts and strikeouts. A late season slide sealed Nola’s fate in the Cy Young voting after he was considered a potential top candidate for much of the season. Nola also made his first all-star appearance in 2018.
deGrom finished the season with just a 10-9 record, but pitched on a Mets team that won just 77 games this past season. He appeared in his second all-star game and finished with a major league low 1.70 ERA and allowed an MLB-low 0.4 home runs per nine innings this season. The Cy Young Award is the first for deGrom, who finished seventh in voting in 2015 (14-8, 2.54) and eighth in 2017 (15-10, 3.53). He won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2014 when he went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA in his first season in the majors. deGrom also finished fifth in this year’s NL MVP balloting.
The 10 wins by deGrom are the fewest every by a starting pitcher to win the Cy Young. Seattle’s Felix Hernandez won with just 13 wins in 2010 and Fernando Valenzuela also had 13 win in 1981. The ’81 season was shortened by a player’s strike that cost approximately a third of the season. Mike Marshall (15 wins) and Sparky Lyle (13 wins) both won the award as relievers in their respective leagues with more wins than deGrom. The lowest win total ever posted by a Cy Young winner was in 2003 when reliever Eric Gagne of the Dodgers won the award with just two wins.
The 34-year old Scherzer led the National League with 18 wins, a 0.911 WHIP, just 6.1 hits per nine innings and 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He led all of Major League Baseball with two complete games and 220 2/3 innings pitched. Scherzer was seeking his fourth Cy Young Award and he has also finished fifth in balloting in two other seasons.
Of the remaining third place votes, Kyle Freeland of the Rockies received two and Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals received one. Freeland finished fourth in balloting, followed by Patrick Corbin (Diamondbacks), Mikolas, Josh Hader (Brewers), Mike Flotynewicz (Braves) and Jon Lester (Cubs).