Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 8/16/12

As the 2012 regular season hits the final stretch, fans and analysts alike are starting to predict this year’s MVP, CY Young and Rookie of the Year Awards. Names have started to be thrown out in the spotlight in order to gather hype for certain players that are deserving of an accolade. At this very moment, the NL MVP Race seems all but secured by Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen, as long as the Pirates can sustain their playoff spot for another month and a half. The NL CY Young on the other hand is too close to call. There have been cases made for at least 10 different starting pitchers, ranging from ERA Leader Ryan Vogelsong to Wins Leader Johnny Cueto to Strikeouts Leader RA Dickey to reigning winner Clayton Kershaw. The AL MVP Award looks to be a two-way battle of vet vs. youth, as Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera and Angels OF Mike Trout are the two most deserving candidates. They might as well have handed the NL and AL ROY Awards out in June because I do not see any possible scenario that has neither Trout or Bryce Harper collecting their respective AL and NL titles. That brings us to one final category: AL CY Young.

At this very moment, the gathered hype for the AL CY Young has been revolved around a handful of big names. Jered Weaver (15-2) of the Angels is the current frontrunner. Before his loss to Seattle on Sunday, Weaver had recorded 9 consecutive victories and had not given up two HRs to the same player in a single game in nearly two years. Behind Weaver, the East Coast Bias is attempting to push Rays Ace, David Price (15-4), and last year’s AL MVP, Justin Verlander (12-7). Price has been dominant as of late. In his last 10 starts, he has pitched at least 7 innings, has lowered his season ERA from 3.08 to 2.50 (2nd in the AL), and boasts a 7-0 record in that span. Verlander, despite struggling in his All Star Game start, is one of four pitchers in baseball who has not had a monthly ERA above 3.00. He also leads the entire league in strikeouts (174) and is one of two pitchers in baseball to have a WHIP under 1.00. While the CY Young hype surrounding these three superstars may be justified, there is one small name pitcher who needs his name to be thrown into the mix: LHP Chis Sale.

The Chicago White Sox young lefty has been nothing but spectacular this season. Although he is not a league leader in any pitching category, Sale ranks towards the top of almost every single pitching statistic. Despite only starting 20 games thus far, Sale ranks 3nd in the AL with 14 wins, only 1 win behind the co-leaders Price and Weaver (who have each pitched in more games than Sale!). Sale also ranks in the AL’s top 10 in strikeouts (132), ranks 3rd in WHIP (1.02), 2nd in Wins Above Replacement (5.1), and 9th in Quality Starts (14). Sale has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball throughout the entire season. In fact, this year there are only 4 American League pitchers who have an ERA under 2.60: Weaver, Verlander, Price, and yes, you guessed it, Chris Sale. The scariest part of all is that, unlike Price, Weaver and Verlander, the Chi Sox lefty is putting up all of these numbers while pitching in a hitter friendly ballpark!

I am not saying that Sale is my pick for the CY Young (Weaver is the obvious favorite). What I am trying to put across is that sometimes as fans, we tend to only hype the big market, big name superstars and leave out the guys who do not have as rich of a history. Sale represents more than a few numbers and statistics. He is the face of all ‘the little guys’ who don’t get very much media attention. In other words, DON’T SELL OUT (pun intended).

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