Max Scherzer is having a very good season. This has been the best season of his career, by quite a large margin. He’s missing bats, his walks are down, and he’s turned into one of the best pitchers in the American League. Still, the most important thing to help his case for the Cy Young Award happened four years ago: he joined the Detroit Tigers.
Scherzer currently leads the league in wins, with an absurd 18-1 record. He nabbed his latest victory on Sunday when his Tigers topped the Kansas City Royals, 6-3. In fact, Sunday’s game represented Scherzer’s season perfectly. Scherzer pitched eight strong innings, gave up just two runs and five baserunners, and struck out four batters. Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera launched his 40th homer of the season, four Tigers doubled, and every batter who came to bat for Detroit got at least one hit.
This is not an anomaly. The Tigers have scored 626 runs this season, averaging a majors-best 5.05 runs per game. 151 of these runs have come in Scherzer’s 25 starts, giving him an average of 6.04 runs of support per game, the best in the majors.
For White Sox starter Chris Sale, July 27 was a representation of his season. On that fateful Saturday evening, Sale tossed a complete game, striking out seven and allowing just one run. The South Siders, however, were completely helpless against Royals starter Wade Davis and his then-5.92 ERA, and the Sox lost 1-0. Sale took the loss, his tenth of the season.