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Sale among Best Starting Pitcher nominees

Left-hander approaching White Sox strikeout record

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale sits just 20 strikeouts away from a record-breaking 2015 season as part of White Sox franchise history.

His 250 strikeouts rank fifth in terms of White Sox single-season performances, with Ed Walsh holding the first four spots, including the team record of 269 in 1908. Sale's swing-and-miss ability stands as just part of the reason why he has been nominated for Best Starting Pitcher in the 2015 Esurance MLB Awards.

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.

Individual awards will go to the Best Major Leaguer in addition to the winners in the following categories: The Best Everyday Player, Starting Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Breakout Player, Bounceback Player, Manager, Executive, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer.

Winners will also be recognized for the year's best offensive play, defensive play, Moment, single-game performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan, Fan Catch, Interview, TV call, radio call, Player-Fan Interaction, Video Board Moment and Trending Topic.

Sale stands as the only White Sox nominee. He will be competing against Jake Arrieta, Dallas Keuchel, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom, Sonny Gray, Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Felix Hernandez, Chris Archer, David Price and Max Scherzer in this pitching category.

With three or four starts remaining this season, Sale features a 12-9 record with a 3.55 ERA. He has allowed 165 hits and 37 walks over 187 2/3 innings. He has a 2.55 FIP, 12 strikeouts per nine innings and a 6.76 strikeout to walk ratio.

Those statistics would stand out even more if not for his 1-4 record and 7.36 ERA over six starts against the Twins. But Sale countered those struggles with eight straight starts of 10-plus strikeouts.

Voting at ends tonight at 10:59 p.m. CT. Winners will be announced live on MLB Network and on Nov. 20.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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