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Astros’ Justin Verlander wins AL Cy Young Award

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was named the American League Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday by the slimmest of margins, capturing the award for the second time (2011–with the Detroit Tigers) in his career:

Verlander earned 17 first-place votes and 13 second-place votes, while teammate Gerrit Cole earned 13 first-place votes and 17 second-place votes.

This marked the first time in the AL history that a pair of teammates finished in the top two in Cy Young voting, though it has happened four times in the NL.

Verlander led all of baseball with 21 wins and 223 innings pitched to go along with 300 strikeouts and a 2.58 ERA. But one stat in particular really defined his season, and probably gave him the edge over Cole.

The 36-year-old posted a 0.803 WHIP, which is the fifth-lowest single-season mark in MLB history and the second-lowest in the Live-ball era behind only Pedro Martinez.

After a run of 12-plus successful years with the Tigers, Verlander has seemingly revitalized his career in Houston. He had one of the most sensational runs in recent memory after the Astros acquired him at the now-defunct waiver deadline in August of 2017, leading the Astros to a World Series title.

Verlander has only been more impressive in the past couple of years. He was arguably robbed of the Cy Young last year, and had one of the most memorable seasons in history this year. Aside from the numbers, Verlander tossed a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 1.

This award may as well have been a coin flip between Verlander and Cole, but it is hard to argue that the veteran and future Hall of Famer did not deserve the honor.