Blake Snell: Walks and inconsistency year to year
Blake Snell has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year, with his 7 innings of no-hit baseball against the Colorado Rockies being the cherry on top of a potential Cy Young winning season. He leads all of baseball with a 2.33 ERA on the season, and will likely eclipse 180 innings of work.
The problems with Snell centering around how he goes about navigating a lineup, and whether or not he can be this good on a consistent basis.
In 2018, Snell broke out with a 1.89 ERA in 180.2 innings for the Rays, easily winning the Cy Young Award and breaking out as one of the best pitchers in the game. From 2019-2022 though, his ERA ballooned to 3.85 and he never eclipsed 128.2 innings in a season. Maybe this is the year he has found his grove again and doesn't look back, but history says this is more of an outlier season than reality.
Snell's stuff is so good though, so it's not hard to imagine him being really good again in 2024 and beyond. The scare here is about how he would age if that stuff began to fall off. His underlying numbers are scary.
This year, he's 5 batters per 9 innings, something that he can get away with because of his strikeout numbers. If his strikeouts begin to waver, the free passes will be a huge problem.