The Boston Red Sox have taken people by surprise this season, sitting in first place in the AL East with a 49-31 record. They've done so without the services of their ace Chris Sale, who hasn't pitched since August of 2019.
Chris Sale Injury Update
Sale was throwing live batting practice on Wednesday, and his fast ball reportedly clocked in around 94-95 MPH, according to Red Sox beat writer Julian McWilliams. This is notable, as he topped out at 92 MPH last week.
All of this makes it sound like the 32-year-old is heading for a second-half return. While there's nothing concrete about his timeline, it seems like he could be back in the bigs sometime in August if all goes well. And make no mistake, that would be huge for Boston.
When Sale is right, he's still one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league.
Putting aside his disastrous 2019 campaign (when he clearly wasn't healthy), Sale has been terrific in Boston. From 2017-18 he made 59 starts and sported a 2.56 ERA with a whopping 545 strikeouts in 372.1 innings pitched. He finished second in AL Cy Young voting in 2017 and fourth in 2018, when he won the World Series with the team.
Getting that kind of talent back down the stretch could be huge for a Red Sox rotation that currently owns a league-average 4.12 team ERA. Armed with the MLB's third-best offense, averaging 5.05 runs per game, Boston could be a legitimate World Series contender if Sale looks like his Cy Young-caliber self in the second half.
The Red Sox are currently tied for the league's seventh-best odds to win the 2021 World Series (+1500), according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.