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Say it ain't 'Stro: Astros P Justin Verlander runner-up for 2018 AL Cy Young Award

Justin Verlander talks with the media during a press conference before Game Four of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas.
Justin Verlander talks with the media during a press conference before Game Four of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (2018 Getty Images)

HOUSTON – The American League Cy Young Award was announced Wednesday and Astros ace Justin Verlander was named the runner-up to Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell.

Cleveland's Corey Kluber was the other finalist.

The case could have been made for all three to win the award.

Verlander, 35, dominated and was Houston's go-to guy all season. He led the Astros to the American League Championship Series after the 2017 World Series run. He pitched over 210 innings and finished 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA while striking out 290.

Down the stretch, Verlander was nearly perfect in his final regular season starts in September, where he went 3-0 en route to the postseason. The Astros relied on JV and he delivered all year.

Snell led the Rays in 2018 with 21 wins and a 1.89 ERA while pitching in an extremely tough American League East division with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Snell pitched 180 innings.

Verlander earned 13 first place votes and Snell got the other 17 to win the award. Astros starter Gerrit Cole finished fifth.