A little over a year ago, Robbie Ray had to settle for a one-year, $8 million deal with the Blue Jays after posting a 6.62 ERA and walking more batters than any other pitcher. Now, he has a Cy Young Award to his name.
Ray won the American League Cy Young Award by nearly a unanimous vote, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes. In the National League, Corbin Burnes narrowly beat out Philadelphia's Zack Wheeler in one of the closest Cy Young Award votes in history.
Ray, 30, led the AL in ERA (2.84), strikeouts (248), WHIP (1.05) and innings pitched (193.1), with a 13-7 record over 32 starts. His 13 wins are tied for the fewest for an AL Cy Young Award winner in history, joining Félix Hernández in 2010. Ray's win marks the fifth time a Blue Jays pitcher has won the award, joining Roy Halladay (2003), Roger Clemens (1997, 1998) and Pat Hentgen (1996). Ray is a free agent again this winter and among the most sought-after arms on the market.
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole finished in second place for the second time in his career, notching the other first-place vote and 29 of 30 second-place votes, while Chicago's Lance Lynn came in third.
Burnes beat out Wheeler by a minuscule 10 points, tied for the fourth-fewest since the ballots expanded from three to five pitchers in 2010. Each received 12 first-place votes, with Max Scherzer getting the other six. Burnes, 27, had the lowest ERA (2.43) and highest strikeout rate (12.6 K/9) in the majors, posting a 11–5 record with 234 strikeouts over 167 innings.
Burnes is the third Brewers pitcher to win the award and first in the NL, alongside Rollie Fingers (1981) and Pete Vuckovich (1982) when the Brewers competed in the AL. Scherzer was denied his fourth Cy Young Award, a feat only accomplished by four players: Roger Clemens (seven), Randy Johnson (five), Greg Maddux (four) and Steve Carlton (four).
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