Pitchers and catchers report to spring training soon, so it’s only fitting for MLB.com to rank the Opening Day starters for the 2020 season.
After an injury-riddled 2019 for Chris Sale, it’s fair to temper expectations for the Boston Red Sox ace when it comes to this list. Still, MLB.com’s Will Leitch listed Sale at No. 5.
Here’s what Leitch wrote about Sale:
If history repeats itself, Sale will struggle early, freaking everybody out, before figuring it out and being Sale again.
Leitch makes a good point, as Sale has started off his three seasons with the Red Sox a bit rocky before reaching a monster pace. In 2019, Sale started his first month off with a 6.30 ERA before figuring it out in May and June to the tune of a 2.78 ERA while his strikeout numbers jolted back to normal.
Sale placed behind four pitchers who all had dominant 2019 seasons and were in the running for, or won, the Cy Young Award in their respective leagues. The New York Yankees’ prized offseason signing, Gerrit Cole, finished first, followed by the back-to-back NL Cy Young winner, Jacob deGrom, the Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander and the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer.