Friday, September 29, 2017

Does Chris Sale Deserve The Cy Young Award?

While Red Sox fans would much rather have Chris Sale lead the Sox to a World Series title, Cy Young Award ballots will be due soon and it appears to be a two man race between Sale and Indians' ace Corey Kluber.

Sale has looked human lately as critics have pointed out he has a history of fading a bit down the stretch. What this says about how he will react in the postseason is still unknown and that unknown has Red Sox fans nervous.

Red Sox pitchers have won the Cy Young Award seven times. The last one coming last year thanks to Rick Porcello. If Sale were to win it this year he will be just the fifth Red Sox pitcher to do it joining Porcello, Martinez, Roger Clemens and Jim Lonborg, who won the first ever Cy Young Award 50 years ago.

Will Sale take home the award? Keith Law thinks so. Here is what Keith Law wrote about the American League Cy Young race:

Sale has the better FIP because of his higher strikeout rate and very, very slightly lower home run rate, while Kluber has the lower ERA, so Sale leads in Fangraphs' WAR by 0.6 and Kluber leads in Baseball-Reference's WAR by over a win and a half.
Baseball Prospectus, which tracks the quality of batters a pitcher faces, has the two in a near dead-heat by any measure of strength of competition. As with the MVP races, there are multiple good answers here, but I'd choose Sale for the higher K% and for making four extra starts. Either is a worthy choice, however.
It's immaterial to the race, but I was amused to see that Sale has had just four outings all year where he allowed more than four runs and two came against Cleveland.

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