Major League Baseball Midseason Awards: American League
By Joe Smeltzer
Cy Young: Chris Sale
Stats (As of 7/29): 5.3 WAR, 13-4, 2.37 ERA, 211 K, 0.876 WHIP, 1.92 FIP, 12.8 K/9, 7.81 SO/W, 192 ERA+, 35 RAA
When Boston traded two of baseball’s top prospects this past winter to land Sale, I had my doubts. While the fact that he has been one of the best pitchers in the game over the last five years is indisputable, Sale’s behavior in the past has raised questions. So I wondered if the price would end up being too steep in the long run. While it has yet to be determined how good Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada will be for the White Sox, the Red Sox are positive getting results right away.
Not only has Sale been living up to what the city expected from him, he’s been even better. Sale has dominated in traditional stats. He recently became the fourth pitcher in MLB history to strike out 200 men in less than 20 starts, and leads the league in earned run average with a mark of 2.37. He’s also dominated in advanced metrics, as his FIP is a ridiculous 1.92 and his ERA+ is 192, which is 92 points above the league average.
With respect to Corey Kluber and Jason Vargas, the question of who has been the best starter in the AL is a pretty easy one.