Photo Credit: AP / Michael Dwyer

Despite battling injuries throughout the season, does the Red Sox ace have a chance?

If you were to evaluate Chris Sale‘s career performance, there are two primary omissions: Cy Young Award winner & World Series champion.

Throughout the early parts of this season, it looked like the Red Sox ace would surely add Cy Young winner to his impressive resumeĀ“. He compiled a 2.23 ERA throughout the first half of the season en route to being named the starting pitcher for the American League All Star team. Despite injury in the second half, he has yet to allow an earned run through 21 innings.

Sale has added velocity throughout the season and easily could’ve contended for another 300 strikeout season had it not been for his shoulder injury. For reference, he’s posted 222 this season and certainly had a realistic shot to join only himself and Pedro Martinez, as pitchers to hit that mark.

Does he have a shot at the Cy Young Award?

The American League has been packed with a number of candidates, but truly none that have stood out from the rest.

Luis Severino may have been the early favorite, but has had an abysmal second half to the season, posting a 6.35 ERA over 51 innings since the break. The Yankees’ standout was a key reason that the Bronx Bombers were poised to contend with the Red Sox within the AL East, but the struggles have tilted the scales in favor of Boston.

The Cleveland Indians have two contenders in Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, both of which had stellar seasons for Terry Francona‘s team. Kluber has posted a 2.91 ERA this season and largely been solid for the winners of the AL Central. Despite previous seasons, he’s found more barrels, leading to an increased ERA. Meanwhile Bauer had a breakout season, only to find himself out for the remainder of the regular season with a broken leg.

Chris Sale’s primary competition for the Cy Young award resides in Tampa Bay, in the form of Blake Snell. The Rays have been one of the hottest teams in all of baseball throughout the second half of the season, though likely will miss the postseason. Snell has been a driving force in the Rays’ success while leading the American League in wins with 19.

Snell currently ranks 2nd in ERA, 4th in WHIP, 2nd in WAR, 7th in K/9, and 2nd in BAA – which are all very formidable rankings, except when you realize that Chris Sale leads every single mentioned category. That’s correct, the Boston Red Sox ace is the American League leader in largely of every statistic with the exception of K’s and wins.

Yes, Chris Sale has missed plenty of time this season, but who has been the most dominant / best pitcher in the American League this season? Whether looking through biased, or unbiased lenses, it’s hard to determine that the answer to that question is anyone but Mr. Sale.

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