MLB Playoffs 2017: Choosing an MVP for every team

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Jason Heyward
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Jason Heyward /
9 of 12
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Sale /

Boston Red Sox: Chris Sale

I would be amiss if I did not include the front-runner opposite Corey Kluber in the American League Cy Young voting. Chris Sale has put together one of the best seasons of his career in his first year as a member of the Red Sox.

After a block buster trade made him change the color of his socks last winter, Sale dominated opponents. In 32 starts, Sale went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and 308 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings pitched. That strikeout total along with his innings pitched led the American League this season.

With that insane amount of strikeouts, it would make sense for Sale to have a high strikeouts per nine innings ratio. With a 12.9 mark, not only did Sale top a career high, but he also led the league in that category.

In back-to-back seasons, 2015 and 2016, Sale finished in the top five in the American League Cy Young voting. Despite posting solid numbers in each one of those seasons, Sale bested both of those seasons in 2017. In 2015 and 2016, Sale posted ERA’s in the mid-three range while striking out 274 and 233 batters respectively. Along with that, Sale notched an ERA+ of 114 in 2015. In 2016, Sale bested that to 121, but in 2017, he recorded an ERA+ of 157.

With a solid body of work not only in this season but over the course of his career behind him, Sale will likely get the call to start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Astros. Whenever Sale makes a start this postseason, it will the first of his career.

There is no doubt the Red Sox offense is one of the better ones in the majors. As a group, they finished tenth in runs scored, 13th in batting average and 11th in OBP. Because the Red Sox own a potent offense, Sale should feel comfortable making his first postseason start.