Despite 11-13 Record, Sale Battles Scherzer for Top AL Pitcher

Despite 11-13 Record, Sale Battles Scherzer for Top AL Pitcher

Should a pitcher with an 11-13 record be considered for the Cy Young Award against a pitcher who is 20-3? This weekend summed up the whole season for the top two pitcher’s in the AL according to when the White Sox Chris Sale lowered his ERA to 2.97 with 7 2/3rds scoreless innings, only to see his bullpen give up a 6-0 lead in the ninth, while Detroit’s Max Scherzer went to 20-3 with an easy 12-5 win. The top 10 AL pitchers according to Value Add with one week left in the season:

Overall 10 Most Valuable AL Team Value Add
3 Chris Sale CHW 13.89
5 Max Scherzer DET 13.69
10 Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 12.33
11 James Shields KC 12.31
14 Hiroki Kuroda NYY 11.40
16 C.J. Wilson LAA 11.19
18 Doug Fister DET 10.91
19 Mark Buehrle TOR 10.89
20 A.J. Griffin OAK 10.88
21 Bartolo Colon OAK 10.88

In 20 percent of the 4,500 starts in the Value Add database, the team gives their starting pitcher no chance to win – a 0.00 ERA Needed to win based on the number of runs they score minus the number of unearned and relief runs they allow.

The Tigers have only failed to give Scherzer a chance to win in three of 31 starts, while this weekend marks the third time in the last four starts that Sale has been given no chance to win. Sale now has 221 strikeouts, the White Sox record for a left-hander, and just a few shy of Scherzer. Value Add gives Sale a very slight edge for the season, though Scherzer will very likely win the Cy Young easily.

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