The two AL Cy Young candidates faced off in a terrific pitching matchup, but it was Sale who led his team to victory with a gem of a game.
Sale held the Tigers to one earned run on four hits in eight innings or work while striking out eight. His White Sox would win 5-1, as the offense roughed up Scherzer, who gave up five runs (four earned) in four innings pitched.
It was Scherzer's shortest outing of the season, while Sale won his 11th game of the season.
Both guys are competing for the AL Cy Young Award, along with a host of other candidates. However, Sale appears to have surpassed MLB's wins leader in Cy Young standing after the two went head-to-head on Monday.
Sale not only outshone one of his competitors in a head-to-head matchup, but his numbers are now better than Scherzer's in almost every category.
While Scherzer has the best record in baseball by far, he's been getting help from one of the best offenses in baseball. The Tigers rank second in runs scored and put up 161 runs over Scherzer's first 27 starts, when he won his 19 games.
Sale, on the other hand, is supported by the worst offense in the AL, and he has still managed to win 11 games. Had received the same run support that Scherzer has, Sale could already have 23 wins this season.
While wins will give Scherzer a big advantage, Sale has him beat in innings, ERA and walks among others.
Sale appears to have given himself a healthy lead over Scherzer in the AL Cy Young race with his performance on Monday. However, the last few starts for the year will be key in deciding who wins the race, as the two are so close.
As it stands, Scherzer will face the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. He has two easy teams in his final two starts of the season, which could be enough to open the door for him to come back and surpass Sale.
Sale, on the other hand, will face the Tigers and Kansas City Royals if the White Sox stick with a six-man rotation. He will have to face the second-best offense in baseball again, which could lead to some trouble.
Obviously the door hasn't closed on Scherzer, but for now it looks like Sale has taken a healthy lead over him in the Cy Young race.
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