Boston, MA - Chris Sale is now set to appear on the disabled list for the next 10 days due to an inflamed shoulder.

Now that Major League Baseball's 2018 season is more than halfway completed, it is time to start evaluating the end of the year awards categories. One of the races that has been the tightest all season is the race for the American League Cy Young award. Luis Severino, of the New York Yankees, Corey Kluber, of the Cleveland Indians, and Justin Verlander, of the Houston Texans were all in the mix for the most part of the season, but it seems one pitcher in particular has pulled away from the pack.

Boston's own Chris Sale solidified himself as the front runner for the Cy Young trophy in his past nine starts, which have been nothing short of stellar. This, coupled with the stagnating of Kluber and Verlander and Severino's drop off means that Sale stepping on the gas has accelerated his chances.

In Sale's past nine starts, he is 7-2, but this is no indication of how lights out he has been. Honestly, he should be 9-0, but his other statistics back this up. In his sixty innings pitched, he has only given up thirty-two hits, which is good for an opposing batting average of .153. He walked only twelve batters and has only given up five earned runs, which results in a 0.75 earned run average in these nine games. What's most impressive, however, is that Sale struck out ninety-seven batters in his last nine starts, which is an average of 10.8 per game. Most pitchers would love to rack up ten strikeouts in just one game.

Sale is putting on an absolute clinic against American League foes. More specifically, in his last six starts, Sale has an 0.23 ERA, which is the lowest of any Red Sox pitcher in six consecutive starts since Babe Ruth in 1916, per Elias Sports Bureau. He became the first pitcher to give up no runs and strike out ten batters in three consecutive starts at Fenway Park, en route to becoming the fastest pitcher in American League history to record two hundred strikeouts (only 136 innings).

If you're watching Red Sox games, you know Chris Sale has been the best pitcher in the game. But by providing you with these statistics, it helps you see how stunning he has been.