Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale could contend for AL MVP

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 21: A multiple exposure image of Chris Sale
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 21: A multiple exposure image of Chris Sale /

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale is the favorite for the AL Cy Young, but he could be in the AL MVP conversation as well this season.

Chris Sale has been dominant for the Boston Red Sox so far in 2017. He is the clear favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award, with only Corey Kluber as possible competition.

Now, it seems like Sale could be entering the AL MVP conversation as well. It’s tough for a pitcher to win the MVP, but if anyone can do it it’s the 2017 version of Sale. According to Neil Greenberg of The Washington Post, Sale should be the MVP and it isn’t even close.

Since pitchers aren’t out on the field every day, some voters feel like a position player should win the MVP, but Clayton Kershaw was able to win the NL award in 2014. Chris Sale is on pace with Kershaw’s 2014, and he should be the favorite in the AL.

Sale will likely record over 300 strikeouts this season, as he already has 15 games with 10 or more. Only Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan ever had that many games with 10+ at this point in the season. Kershaw is the only pitcher in the last 15 years to have over 300 K’s in a season, in 2014 when he was the NL MVP.

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Wins above replacement, or fWAR, is a newer generation statistic that geeks love to look to. Well, Sale is dominating in that category as well. He has a 7.0 fWAR, while Aaron Judge (5.9), Jose Altuve (5.9), and Mike Trout (5.1) all aim to chase him. The Indians ace Corey Kluber has a 4.9 fWAR. With 10 more starts likely coming Sale’s way, he could push his fWAR up above 9.0.

Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve were likely the leading candidates for the AL MVP this season, but it should go to Chris Sale. Aaron Judge has cooled off significantly since the All-Star break, and Sale really has been more valuable to the Red Sox than Altuve has been to the Astros. Sale leads most AL pitching categories, while Altuve leads the league in batting average. Altuve is 42nd with just 17 home runs and he’s 24th with 64 RBI. Aaron Judge leads the AL in home runs and is 4th in RBI, but his batting average has fallen to .294, just 20th in the league.

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Chris Sale should win both the AL Cy Young and AL MVP for his 2017 season, especially if he’s able to reach that 300 strikeout mark. Do you think Sale has any other real competition for either award? Let me know on Twitter @CandCFansided.