Last night, the three finalists for all the major awards were announced. Just like every year, there were snubs, including Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez for AL MVP.
I get it. He hit .330 with 43 home runs and 130 RBI. However, he doesn't play defense, and other than his bat he doesn't impact the game in any other way. The intangibles and what he did to take that Red Sox lineup to another level can't be discarded, but his teammate, left-handed ace Chris Sale, was a bigger snub.
J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale shut out of finalist spots for MVP, Cy Young Award https://t.co/FZVNRjNSwk— WEEI (@WEEI) November 6, 2018
Sale was not one of the three finalists for AL Cy Young, as Tampa Bay's Blake Snell, Houston's Justin Verlander and Cleveland's Corey Kluber are the three finalists for the American League. Nothing against any of these three starters, but you're telling us Sale wasn't one of three best pitchers in the AL?
I see a lot of righteous indignation over the fact J.D. Martinez wasn't one of the Top 3 players for AL MVP. But NO one or hardly anyone is making a big deal out of the fact Chris Sale didn't make the final list of AL Cy Young nominees. Funny isn't it.— UYF1950 (@originaluyf1950) November 6, 2018
Yes, Sale only racked up 158 innings and didn't even qualify for the ERA title, but over his 27 starts he was as dominant a pitcher you'll find. Sale finished with a 2.11 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, a career-best 13.5 K/9 (237 strikeouts), and a whopping ERA+ of 207.
Kluber put together another brilliant season, winning 20 games with a 2.89 ERA and 222 strikeouts over 215 innings, but the bottom line is he was the fourth-best pitcher in the league.
With what Snell and Verlander did this year, I'm not going to argue that Sale should be the winner. However, there's no doubt he should've been a finalist. Even though it was roughly six starts he missed, give me Sale's workload this year over Kluber.