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Chris Sale to start the All-Star Game

No surprise here.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

When Chris Sale was brought to the Red Sox last winter, fans expected an All-Star caliber pitcher who would compete for being one of the best arms in the game. So far, they’ve gotten exactly that, and the lefty will be awarded with the closest thing we have to a midseason Cy Young award. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, Sale is going to start the All-Star Game for the American League.

As the tweet from the Red Sox twitter account notes, this will be the second consecutive All-Star Game start for Sale. Last season, of course, he represented the White Sox in the game. He is the first pitcher to ever start back-to-back All-Star Games representing different teams. There was really no other contenders to start the game ahead of Sale, whose strikeout prowess has made him easily the best pitcher in the league. His closest competition may have been Jason Vargas, and we just can’t live in a world in which Vargas starts over Sale.

Also starting the game for the Red Sox is Mookie Betts, who was not voted in but was added to the starting lineup as a replacement for Mike Trout. The Red Sox right fielder will be manning center field for the American League and he’ll be batting ninth. Craig Kimbrel is the only other Red Sox representative, and while there is no plan yet on when he’ll pitch, one has to imagine he’ll get into the game at some point in the later innings.