By the numbers: Who is Chris Sale up against in the Final Vote?
Jun 28, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers a pitch against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
We all know Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale is more than deserving to be on the American League All-Star roster for the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field in Minnesota next Tuesday. Sale is one of five pitchers on the AL Final Vote ballot, where fans have until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET to vote for the final All-Star roster spots for both leagues.
Let’s take a closer look at the players on the AL ballot.
Jun 22, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Houston Astros 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
• Dallas Keuchel (HOU): Keuchel is a pitcher who should definitely not make it ahead of Sale. While he has an above .500 record on a poor team (8-5), neither his ERA (3.06) nor his WHIP (1.18) are dominant. He is on pace for less than 200 strikeouts (84) and does have good control (only 27 walks).
• Rick Porcello (DET): Porcello plays on a good team, therefore he has a better record than he may deserve (11-5). That doesn’t necessarily mean he is not a good pitcher, just that he is playing on a good team.
Porcello’s ERA is at 3.53, far from dominant. Plus the fact that it takes him some time to get going, due to the fact that he is a sinker ball pitcher. That is compounded with the fact that he really isn’t a strikeout pitcher (only 64 on the season). His WHIP is not bad (1.18), however, he is a bad choice due to the style of pitcher that he is.
• Garrett Richards (LAA): Richards is a pitcher that may deserve to go the All-Star game ahead of Sale. His stuff is dominant, which is backed up by his 119 strikeouts. He has a very good record at 10-2, which isn’t a mirage, considering his ERA is at 2.71. His WHIP is nearly at 1.00 (1.07 to be exact). Richards has the ability to dominate, something the others don’t.
Jun 15, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) throws a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
• Corey Kluber (CLE): Kluber’s ERA is very good just like Richards, however, his win-loss record has not been as good. While Kluber has an ERA of 2.86, he only has an 8-6 record.
Kluber has been the ace of a mediocre Cleveland team, which has affected his record, unlike Richards who plays on a good Angel ball club. He has struck out plenty, with his current total being 137. Kluber is a good pitcher, but he is not as dominant as Sale or Richards.
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• Chris Sale: While Sale may be the most dominant pitcher on this list, and the one proven ace, he has been injured this season. Sale is 8-1 even though he spent two weeks on the disabled list.
His WHIP is below one (0.87), which is insane. Sale would also be the best choice to bring out of the bullpen late against a good left handed hitter. His ERA is the best of these pitchers (2.16), and has a good strikeout total (96) even though he has been injured.
Is Sale the best of these pitchers?
Yes he is, and had he played the whole season he would probably be tied or ahead of all these pitchers statistically speaking.
The big question for White Sox fans is do you want him pitching full tilt even for in inning, risking injury? That is for you to decide, but Sale definitely deserves to go to Minneapolis next week.