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Snell wins Spahn Award as top lefty starter

Honor comes on the eve of Cy Young Award announcement
November 13, 2018

Blake Snell won't know until later this week whether he'll receive baseball's highest pitching honor, with American League Cy Young Award voting not set to be revealed until Wednesday on MLB Network. But he's already racking up postseason hardware.In what could be a precursor to that announcement, Snell was named

Blake Snell won't know until later this week whether he'll receive baseball's highest pitching honor, with American League Cy Young Award voting not set to be revealed until Wednesday on MLB Network. But he's already racking up postseason hardware.
In what could be a precursor to that announcement, Snell was named the winner of the 2018 Warren Spahn Award on Tuesday. Named after the Hall of Famer Spahn, the all-time winningest left-hander, the award has been given annually to the best left-handed pitcher in baseball since 1998.
"Blake posted some impressive stats in 2018," said Greg Spahn, son of the late Warren Spahn. "This award is special to our family as it not only honors the sport's best left-handed pitcher, but my dad as well. It's also a wonderful way to celebrate his career and the game of baseball."

While Snell is a top candidate in what's projected to be a close AL Cy Young Award race with Justin Verlander, he faced far less competition for the Spahn Award. The 25-year-old emerged as an ace in his third big league season, leading the Majors with 21 wins and pacing the AL with a 1.89 ERA. Snell also led all qualified southpaw starters in batting average against (.176), opponent slugging (.277), winning percentage (.808) and WHIP (0.98). He earned his first career All-Star nod and struck out 221 across 180 2/3 innings pitched.
The Spahn Award was the first of Snell's career. Clayton Kershaw claimed the award in 2017 as well as in four of the past seven seasons dating back to '11. Other recent winners include John Lester ('16), Dallas Keuchel ('15), David Price ('10) and Carsten Sabathia ('07-09).

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.