- Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox)
As I said, I cannot predict injuries. I am, however, ranking Sale fourth assuming that he will miss some time, as it has already been announced that Sale will miss Opening Day. Sale has established himself as a top pitcher in the American League, and according to my rankings, he is the best lefty in the AL. I am very high on Chris Sale. In fact, I picked Sale to win the AL Cy Young Award this year.
Sale has an unorthodox pitching motion, but he dishes it out as well as some of the best in the league. He works his two-seam fastball mostly (which maxes out at about 97 mph), but uses his slider to end at-bats. Sale has struck batters out with a slider only 16 times fewer than his two-seamer, while using it about a third as much. Opposing hitters bat .100 worse against his slider than his fastball (.237 to .137).
The biggest blemish on Sale’s stat sheet to this point are his wins and losses. 44-29 is not too shabby, but he will have the best offense that he has had to this point helping put runs on the board to help Sale win 19 games this year. (Yes that is a prediction)
By the way, happy 26th birthday, Chris!