Boston Red Sox ace Chri Sale has been named as the starting pitcher for the American League in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.
The starting pitchers headlining this year’s All-Star Game will look familiar. MLB announced on Monday that Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale will start for the American League while Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer gets the nod for the National League.
This is the same duo that started the 2017 All-Star Game. Sale tossed a pair of scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out two. Scherzer only pitched one inning, giving up a hit and striking out a pair. The AL would go on to win with a 10th inning home run by Robinson Cano, so neither starter factored into the decision.
This will be Sale’s third consecutive start in the All-Star Game. He represented the Red Sox last year and earned the starting spot as a member of the Chicago White Sox in 2016.
Sale is the first pitcher in Red Sox history to start multiple All-Star Games. Former Red Sox greats such as Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens had memorable moments as starters but neither earned the honor more than once during their time in Boston.
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Sale joins Lefty Gomez (1933-35) and Robin Roberts (1953-55) as the only pitchers to start three consecutive All-Star games. Gomez started for the AL in the first three years of the All-Star Game following its inception in 1933. He got the start in three of the first five All-Star games. Roberts is the only National League pitcher to start three consecutive times.
The AL is loaded with deserving options this year but Sale is a worthy choice. He leads the league with a 2.23 ERA and 188 strikeouts. His 5.6 WAR is the highest among AL pitchers.
Also working in his favor is that Sale hasn’t pitched since Wednesday. Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer and Houston’s Justin Verlander both pitched on Sunday, eliminating them from consideration. Both were named to the team but won’t participate. Cleveland’s Corey Kluber recently landed on the disabled list and also won’t pitch in the All-Star Game. Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell had his All-Star snub rectified when he was named as an injury replacement. However, it would be a stretch for MLB to name a replacement pitcher as the starter.
That left Luis Severino as Sale’s primary competition for the starting role. Red Sox vs Yankees, how fitting. Severino owns a 2.31 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 144 strikeouts and 4.9 WAR. Those are outstanding numbers but he falls short of Sale in each category.
Sale won’t be the only Red Sox player in the starting lineup. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez were voted in by the fans as starters and hold prominent spots in the AL lineup. Betts will bat in his usual leadoff spot, while Martinez has been slotted in the cleanup spot.
The 2018 All-Star Game will be broadcast on Fox this Tuesday starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. Tune in to watch Sale and his Red Sox teammates lead the AL to another victory!