Boston Red Sox: Why Chris Sale will win the 2018 AL Cy Young Award

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Chris Sale had the AL Cy Young Award snatched out from under him in 2017, after a slow start to his 2018 campaign; the Boston Red Sox ace is now one of top AL Cy Young Award contenders this season.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale is 11-4 this season as a starting pitcher, nothing special, he’s actually 2nd on his own team in wins to Rick Porcello and tied for the 3rd most wins in the AL this season, but Sale leads in more important statistical categories.

  • ERA – 1st (2.13)
  • WHIP – 2nd (0.87)
  • WAR – 1st (6.0)
  • SO – 1st (197)
  • K/9 – 1st (13.13)

Sale is currently the hottest pitcher in all of baseball.

Sale has finished in the top five in the award’s voting in five straight years but has failed to be the ultimate winner. The 29-year-old continues to elevate his game, as he currently has his best career ERA (2.13), his best career WHIP (0.87), and has his best strikeouts per nine innings ratio at 13.13 K’s/9.

Since June 13th, Chris Sale‘s numbers are second to none. After starting the season 5-4 with sub-par stats, Sale is 6-0 in his last seven starts; giving him to a nice 11-4 record this season. While Red Sox pitcher’s get plenty of run support, Sale hasn’t needed it as of late. Here are his number’s before and after June 13th,

Before June 13th

Starts – 14, Record – (5-4), ERA –  2.83, WHIP – 0.97, SO – 120, K/9 – 12.12

After June 13th

Starts – 7, Record – (6-0), ERA –  0.78, WHIP – 0.70, SO – 77, K/9 – 15.09

It won’t be easy

Sale does have plenty of competition in the AL Cy Young race, including last year’s winner Corey Kluber. Though his biggest competition comes from comes from a pair of Houston pitchers, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Verlander has the lowest WHIP in all of baseball (0.85), including a 10-5 record, 183 strikeouts (4th in the AL), and a 2.19 ERA (2nd in the AL). While Cole has an impressive 10-2 record, 0.98 WHIP (5th in the AL), 186 strikeouts (3rd in the AL), and 2.54 ERA (5th in the AL).

While Sale’s 11-4 record until this point in the season is nice, but it’s still not as impressive as Luis Severino’s 14-3 record, or Carlos Carrasco‘s 12-5 record. With a little over 50 games remaining this season, Sale has plenty of time to rack up more wins, granted he gets efficient run support.

There is still a lot of baseball left to play, and if Sale stays healthy he should have another 12-15 starts for the Red Sox. While he’s hot now, if Sale wants to win the coveted AL Cy Young Award, he need’s to continue his dominance on the mound.

Chris Sale’s strikeout dominance puts him above the rest.

Since 2015, Chris Sale has been in the top 3 for strikeouts in the AL. He strikes people out at a staggering and consistent rate. From 2015 to present day, Chris Sale has pitched 784.2 innings and struck out 1,012 batters. That’s an astonishing 11.59 K/9 rate, keeping that pace over 3 and a half seasons in incredible. Sale has also lead the AL in strikeouts 2 out of the last 3 seasons (2015,2017) and currently leads the AL in strikeouts this season with 197.

Next. Boston Red Sox return to Fenway Park to face Minnesota Twins. dark

Pitcher’s can get 15+ wins a season if they have great run support, they can have low ERA’s and WHIP’s with a great defense, but you can’t fake strikeouts. Pitcher’s can allow balls into play and trust their defense or they can strikeout the batter leaving nothing to chance, Sale tends to choose the latter.