Chris Sale
Chris Sale
29-Year-Old PitcherSP
Boston Red Sox
2018 Fantasy Outlook
A late fade took some of the shine off Sale's first season in Boston, but he was excellent for most of the year, finishing as a top-three pitcher in terms of earned 5x5 fantasy value. The lefty didn't just add back to his strikeout rate; he posted the highest K/9 of his career (12.9), boosted by 18 double-digit strikeout performances. He also had the sixth-lowest walk rate among qualified starters and kept the home runs in check at home, resulting in the best FIP among all pitchers with at least 70 innings. Sale's consistency over the years and (surprising) durability should keep him near the top of starting pitcher rankings in 2018. The only real question is: where does he fit in among the entire player universe? A case can be made for anywhere in the 10-25 range, even though he pitches in a tough division, as he has the tools to be the most valuable pitcher in fantasy baseball in 2018. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the White Sox in March of 2013. Traded to the Red Sox in December of 2016. Red Sox exercised $12.5 million team option for 2018 in November of 2017. Contract includes $13.5 million team option ($15 million buyout) for 2019.
Fans seven in short start
PBoston Red Sox
September 21, 2018
Sale struck out seven and walked none over 3.1 innings Friday against the Indians, allowing two runs on five hits in a no-decision.
ANALYSIS
Sale stretched out his pitch count again, throwing 73 pitches (48 strikes) in Friday's outing, the most he's thrown in three starts since coming off the disabled list. He would figure to extend things a little further in his next start as the Red Sox gear up for the postseason. The left-hander has a crisp 2.00 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and a 229:33 K:BB in 153.1 innings this season. His next scheduled start will be a matchup with the Orioles at home.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-3%
BAA vs LHP
2016
 
 
-15%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .190 371 123 12 66 8 0 8
Since 2016vs Right .210 1967 640 109 382 81 8 53
2018vs Left .165 104 40 3 16 3 0 0
2018vs Right .177 476 182 30 77 18 2 10
2017vs Left .203 132 41 6 25 1 0 3
2017vs Right .209 719 267 37 140 33 3 21
2016vs Left .197 135 42 3 25 4 0 5
2016vs Right .232 772 191 42 165 30 3 22
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-18%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-9%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-14%
ERA on Road
2016
 
 
-26%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 3.14 1.01 251.0 20 10 0 11.4 1.9 1.3
Since 2016Away 2.58 0.93 338.0 26 12 0 11.8 1.8 0.6
2018Home 1.82 0.99 59.1 4 2 0 13.2 2.4 0.5
2018Away 1.99 0.74 90.2 8 2 0 13.4 1.7 0.7
2017Home 3.16 1.00 88.1 7 3 0 11.9 1.8 1.3
2017Away 2.71 0.95 126.0 10 5 0 13.6 1.8 0.8
2016Home 3.88 1.04 104.1 9 5 0 10.0 1.6 1.8
2016Away 2.87 1.04 122.1 8 5 0 8.6 2.0 0.4
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Stat Review
How does Chris Sale compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
K/BB
6.94
 
K/9
13.4
 
BB/9
1.9
 
HR/9
0.6
 
Fastball
94.8 mph
 
ERA
2.00
 
WHIP
0.85
 
BABIP
.300
 
GB/FB
1.37
 
Strand %
80.8%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
There was a great disturbance in the fantasy baseball force at the start of 2016 when Sale declared he was looking to be more efficient in 2016 with his pitches. By season's end, Sale struck out at least 10 batters just four times, matching his career low from 2012 when he threw 34 fewer innings and made three fewer starts than in 2016. This came on the heels of 2015, when he struck out 10 or more 13 times. He still carried a 9.3 K/9 and was as stingy as ever with walks. How does moving from The Cell to Fenway Park affect him? Fenway is also hitter-friendly, but he's pitched in dangerous conditions for home games throughout his career. Of course, his numbers won't rival those of the top NL aces, considering he's had an ERA over 3.30 in back-to-back seasons. He is the best real-life rotation arm in the American League, which makes him good enough to scrape the top five or, more comfortably, top 10 fantasy starters.
Sale was one of the best starting pitchers in the American League in 2015, finishing in the top five in the Cy Young vote for a third straight season. His 2.73 FIP led the league, and his 11.8 K/9 was best among all qualifying pitchers. He had a record eight consecutive games with double-digit strikeout totals, and walked more than two batters in just four starts. His slider is nearly unhittable, and his high-90s fastball is also a very good pitch. Sale's unconventional delivery will continue to trigger injury concerns, but he has averaged over 197 innings since becoming a full-time starter in 2012. The anchor of the White Sox’s staff, he will likely be among the league’s elite once more.
Sale led the AL with a 10.8 K/9 and 178 ERA+, but a month-long stay on the disabled list with a flexor strain curtailed his innings in such a way that he only finished third in the Cy Young race. Still, opposing left-handed batters managed just a meager .393 OPS against him, while hitters of all stripes only hit .137 against his slider. He allowed one run or fewer in 14 of his 26 starts, and struck out eight or more in 14 of his 26 starts. Sale looks to be the ace of the White Sox staff for the 2015 season, and should continue to be one of the top AL starters on the board.
Sale's win total dropped from 17 in 2012 to 11 in 2013, but the rest of his repertoire was impressive enough to lead him a fifth-place finish in the AL Cy Young race. His 9.5 K/9 was tops among the league's left-handed starters, and his walk rate fell to a career-best 1.9 BB/9. Opposing batters hit a measly .138 off his slider, and the pitch was virtually unhittable for left-handed batters. Sale was pegged as a reliever in his early days in the league because of durability concerns, but he threw 214 innings in 2013 and led the league with four complete games. There should not be much cause for concern about regression in 2014. Sale will potentially be an injury risk to some due to his "inverted W" delivery, but he has yet to hit the disabled list through his first 512 professional innings. Look for him to lead the White Sox's rotation again in 2014.
The White Sox drafted Sale in 2010 as a starter, but it looked like he was shaping up to be the team's closer of the future through his first two professional seasons. He threw nearly 200 innings after throwing fewer than 100 in 2010 and 2011 combined. The extra workload may have worn on him as the season progressed, as he had a sub-1.00 WHIP and 3.92 K/BB leading up to the All-Star break, and he allowed 14 home runs in the second half. Opposing left-handed hitters had a mere .601 OPS against him, and he only issued 46 unintentional walks over his 192 innings. Sale will open 2013 as the White Sox's 24-year-old ace, and he should continue his ascent into the league's top tier of starters.
Sale squandered his chance to be the White Sox's full-time closer in 2011, but he made for one heck of a setup man/sometime closer. He struck out 79 batters in 71 innings in his first full professional season, and he increasingly utilized his plus-slider and change-up. It looks like Sale will finally make the move to the rotation in 2012, and there may be some growing pains as his innings total reaches triple digits. If he were staying in the bullpen, Sale may have been the first in line to close with the team's decision to trade Sergio Santos to Toronto in December.
Just one year ago, Sale was pitching at Florida Gulf Coast University and rated as one of the top amateur pitchers. His funky delivery caused him to fall to the White Sox at No. 13 overall in the June 2010 draft, and he was in the majors by August. He started in college but was used in a relief role in the pros. That funky delivery helped him strike out 32 major league batters in 23.1 innings, and he struck out 51 over 33.1 across three levels. The White Sox insist they will give him a shot to start in 2011, but his name will also be in the closer mix.
More Fantasy News
Lined up for two more starts
PBoston Red Sox
September 19, 2018
Sale will make his next start Friday against the Indians, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Next start scheduled
PBoston Red Sox
September 19, 2018
Sale will next start Saturday against the Indians, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports.
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Works three scoreless frames vs. Mets
PBoston Red Sox
September 16, 2018
Sale tossed three shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out one in Sunday's win over New York. He didn't factor into the decision.
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Will throw multiple innings Sunday
PBoston Red Sox
September 16, 2018
Sale is scheduled to pitch three or four innings Sunday, Stephen Hewitt of the Boston Herald reports.
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So far, so good after start
PBoston Red Sox
September 13, 2018
Sale reported no ill effects after his one-inning, 26-pitch appearance Tuesday, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports.
ANALYSIS
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