Sale to face first real challenge vs. Sanchez and Tigers

Chris Sale faced Phil Hughes and the Minnesota Twins in his last start which was also his first start since coming off the disabled list, having fractured his foot during spring training.

Anibal Sanchez. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.
Anibal Sanchez. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.

While the Hughes and the Twins are worthy opponents, Sale now faces his first big test of 2015. Saturday the left-hander will take on right-hander Anibal Sanchez and the 9-1 Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers have the best record in baseball right now having barely hung on to beat the White Sox and starter Jeff Samardzija on Friday by a score of 2-1. Despite the close score, the Tigers proved once again that they are the team to beat in the American League and in all of baseaball.

Sanchez is one of the league’s most solid starters, being sometimes overlooked as a member of the Tigers due to the likes of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Now the 10-year veteran is the team’s number two starter after David Price.

Unlike Sale, who’s been in the league for six years, Sanchez has never been an All-Star, but he led the league in ERA in 2013 and has a career 3.53 ERA.

Victor Martinez. Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports
Victor Martinez. Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Sale has the slight advantage here being younger, a three-time All-Star and having a career 2.75 ERA but that is no reason to underestimate what Sanchez can do especially when paired with the Tigers’ extremely potent lineup.

Even if slugger Victor Martinez, who has been being rested recently because he felt a “tweak” in his surgically repaired knee, remains out of the lineup the Tigers still have 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera**, J.D. Martinez who is leading the team in home runs (4) , Ian Kinsler and Yoenis Cespedes who are both batting over .300 and Jose Iglesias who is leading the team in on-base percentage (.529) and batting average (.484).

With or without Martinez, Sale’s second start of 2015 will be a true challenge for the southpaw, who I think could be the next A.L. Cy Young Award winner.

**Today is Miguel Cabrera’s 32nd birthday! Happy Birthday Miggy!! Sorry that I am rooting for you to lost but 9-1?? Come on it’s going to happen and it will be at the hands of someone like Chris Sale!

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