Sale completely embarrassed the Los Angeles Angels last Sunday on his way to pitching an absolute gem. He threw nine innings of one-hit ball and failed to give up a single run. He struck out seven batters in the career outing and it was good for his fourth win of the young season. He didn’t walk a single batter, so the one hit was the only base runner LA had all evening.
The southpaw had some very tough critics earlier in the season, but he has finally settled in and started to pitch like a true ace. Since his eight-run debacle against the Cleveland Indians on April 13th, Sale has lasted at least seven innings in all six of his starts and has not allowed more than two earned runs. He has seen his ERA drop from 5.21 all the way down to 2.53 and has gone 4-1.
The former reliever may not post the staggering strikeout numbers he did when he was in the pen, but he is still sitting down a respectable 8.58 batters per nine innings. He has also surprisingly issued just 15 walks all season and has shown amazing control over his fastball/slider combo.
According to FanGraphs, Sale’s fastball averages 92.7 MPH, while his slider averages 79.7 MPH, so the difference between the two has been near impossible for opposing hitters to track. You can tell in the first inning if his snap is in his slider and more often than not, it has been there this season for the young lefty.
Sale is among the next generation of superstar fantasy aces, that includes Matt Harvey, Shelby Miller, Matt Moore, and Madisom Bumgarner. It is a thing of beauty watching him pitch lately and he will be one of the most sought after pitchers this off-season in any type of keeper format.