Happy Spiffy Goodish Day!
First off, obviously I am a bit biased as I am a Cleveland Indians fan AND I dislike the Boston Red Sox. Throw into the mix that Chris Sale came from the Chicago White Sox, a hated AL Central Division foe, and the appearance of my bias solidifies even more. To a certain extent I cannot deny these allegations. But for the record, I can see and argue a case for both pitchers. Now, let the nitpicking contest begin!
Both have had dominant seasons. Kluber’s season has a small caveat in that he missed three weeks in May with a DL (Disabled List) stint. Some could argue that the ‘time off’ has helped him recharge, whereas Chris Sale has not missed a single start this season. But even so, their stat-lines are very comparable. Presently Kluber is about 40 strikeouts behind Sale but his other numbers are relative to Sale’s (lower) in: walks allowed and runs allowed in about 19 less innings. They both boast 17 personal victories and for their respective teams, the team winning percentage is above .700 in games in which they start. Sale had slightly more run support in his starts (5.6 vs 5.2) but like I said, at this point it’s just nitpicking.
If we look at the stretch run of August and September, Kluber is 9-1 (team 9-1) and only had one game where he allowed 3 runs (or more) and walked more than one batter (the only game he lost, 3 ER 2 BB). For Sale in August and September, he is 4-3 (team 7-3). He had five games of 3 or more runs allowed and four games where he walked multiple batters. Even so, this is not horrible for Sale’s case within the context of his 2017 body of work. If we annex the month of July to try to illuminate an argument one way or the other for the two pitchers, Sale was 3-1 (team 3-2). But in the games he pitched, he only allowed runs (4) in one of those five starts covering 34 2/3 innings (the bullpen did give up some runs after he left). In Kluber’s five July starts, he was 1-1 (team 2-3) and did not post any shutout games. He allowed only one run in three of those starts but did not receive much support until his last two starts in July.
During the season, both pitchers suffered losses by the count of 1-0 when their respective teams did not score. Sale’s longest personal winning streak in-season was 7 games. Kluber’s was/is five as of today including his current streak. Kluber also had another five game winning streak from July to August. Similar in each losing a 1-0 contest, both pitchers had their shortest outing of the year only last three innings. Both pitchers pitch for first place teams and are their respective team’s aces. One is left handed and one is right handed. With each pitcher probably only making two more starts in the regular season, how will this race finish out?
If you want to crunch and munch some numbers, I’ve attached a spreadsheet of some vital stats (in my opinion). Whether you are a baseball fan or not, hopefully you at least found the post and arguments contained herewith to be somewhat interesting.
Obviously I would like my guy (Klubot) to win but I honestly would not be terribly upset if Sale would take the crown. I would much prefer Sale to capture the Cy Young Award but Kluber and the Indians to capture the World Series title!
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