Wednesday, November 14
The Cy Young Award, recognizing the top pitchers in each league, will be revealed at 6:00 p.m. on MLB Network.
Chris Sale deserves attention on this ballot. He was the league’s most dominant pitcher, going 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 13.5 K/9 rate. Unfortunately, his limited workload will hold him back. A pair of stints on the disabled list in the second half resulted in Sale tossing only 158 innings, falling short of the requirement to qualify for the ERA title.
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Meeting an arbitrary innings total isn’t necessarily mandatory for this award. Relievers have won the Cy Young with far fewer innings than Sale pitched this season. However, at least some voters will hold it against him.
Perhaps Sale would have a stronger case if the AL was lacking other viable candidates but that’s hardly the case. Houston’s Justin Verlander was second in the league with 214 innings while producing an impressive 2.52 ERA and league-leading 290 strikeouts. Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell was also limited by injuries but still pitched enough to qualify for a league-leading 1.89 ERA.
Sale was the runner-up for the award last year and has finished in the top-six on the ballot in each of the last six years. He’ll likely enter next year still searching for his first Cy Young but another top-six finish seems assured.