Chris Sale and the 2013 Cy Young Award voting

Brian Kersey

The left-handed ace has been one of the top pitchers in the league this season, yet is being excluded from almost all Cy Young discussions. Why?

Most of the conversation regarding the American League Cy Young race has been focused on Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez, with Yu Darvish being the long shot. And all of that makes sense. Scherzer plays on a division-leading team, has that ridiculous 19-3 record, and eyes like David Bowie. Hernandez plays for a relatively crappy team, but the numbers are there and he's shown that it's possible to win the award with a ho-hum win-loss record on a terrible team. Darvish is also on a contender and has a good chance to record the most strikeouts in the league since Pedro Martinez notched 284 back in 2000. And all three of these pitchers are very deserving candidates.

But the problem is, Chris Sale might just deserve it more. Yet since the White Sox have the second worst record in the Junior Circuit and the Condor has received only slightly more run support than you, dear reader, have he seems to be completely left out of the discussion. Do I think he will win the award? No. I'm not delusional (in that aspect). Scherzer all but has it locked up because the aforementioned reasons. It's not right, but that won't stop it from happening. Do I think Sale deserves better than the top five finish he's likely to get? Yes, and I probably would even without the bias of being a White Sox fan.

Player bWAR ERA+ Wins Innings pitched Strikeouts Complete games
Chris Sale 7.1 150 11 195.2 207 4
Max Scherzer 5.5 139 19 194.1 215 0
Yu Darvish 5.0 146 12 186.2 246 0
Felix Hernandez 5.2 123 12 194.1 200 0

It's bizarre, right? The numbers are fantastic for all the candidates but the only one Scherzer has a distinct advantage over Sale in is wins. You know, the one a pitcher has the least control over. In 2010, Felix Hernandez won the award with a 13-12 record for a 101 loss team. He was simply that much better than the competition that it just didn't matter. Sale is having a better season that King Felix did that year. The gap is going to be practically just as big, if not bigger, between him and the next leading candidate. But for the time being, we'll just have to be happy with having the youngest and cheapest ace in the AL. His time is near at hand.

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