The American League has a plethora of fantastic starting pitchers to choose from to start for the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Miami, Florida at Marlins Park, but who should be the starter? That answer lies in a field of overall stats, last game pitched before the all-star break, and how many pitches were thrown in that last start.
The choices are the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish, Detroit Tigers’ Michael Fulmer, the Houston Astros’ Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, the Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber, the Boston Red Sox’ Chris Sale, the Minnesota Twins’ Ervin Santana, the New York Yankees’ Luis Severino, and the Kansas City Royals’ Jason Vargas. Those are some pretty great names for Indians’ manager Terry Francona to select from.
Who is the best choice, you might ask? The top two pitchers are, by a long way, the Royals and Red Sox’ starters. Sale and Vargas are the two pitchers who lead in every sortable stat.
Earned Run Average and wins belong to Vargas, who is directly followed in each category by Sale. Sale leads in Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched, while Vargas is seventh, Sale leads in lowest opponent batting average, while Vargas is tenth, and Sale leads in strikeouts, while Vargas is 30th.
Vargas is 12-3 with a 2.22 ERA, but Sale is a close second with an 11-3 record and a 2.61 ERA. Sale’s WHIP is 0.90, his opponent batting average is .197, and he’s struck out a Majors leading 166 batters, which averages out to about 9.8 K’s per game, which rounds up to 10 K’s per game. Vargas has fallen behind him at a WHIP of only 1.12, an opponent batting average of just .237, and a strikeout title of merely 74 K’s.
It’s pretty clear which American League pitcher is best equipped to face off against the powerful National League lineup… The BoSox’ starter isn’t starting near the break, in fact, the Beantown pitcher’s last start before the ASG is most likely this Thursday, July 6, 2017 (he started yesterday, Saturday, July 1, 2017, and the 6th is exactly five games after his last start, the 1st). The annual Mid-Summer Classic, the famed bout between the best of the AL versus the best of the NL should be a thriller if it’s kept low-scoring early on, but the NL lineup won’t be shut down at all if Sale isn’t starting on the hill.