Chris Sale's slider is the nastiest pitch in baseball, according to MLB players

The nastiest pitch in baseball is the one that ended the 2018 season. Other Major League Baseball players didn’t laugh as Manny Machado dropped to his knee trying to hit a Chris Sale slider to end the World Series, they nodded in agreement.

Plenty of other players have been fooled by Sale’s slider, which is why they voted it the nastiest pitch in baseball, according to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince.

MLB.com polled 85 players and asked them to name the nastiest pitch in baseball right now. The survey was done toward the end of the 2018 season. Sale received 16 votes, which was five votes more than the second-place pitch — more on that in a second.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sale’s slider ranked No. 1 among the players. It doesn’t take a baseball scout to recognize it’s a dominant pitch that makes hitters look silly.

To get a better idea of what it’s like to face the pitch, MLB.com asked a couple players to explain their answers. New Washington Nationals catcher Yan Gomes explained Sale’s angle helps with deception, and that it often looks like the pitch is coming from first base and then somehow ending up in the strike zone.

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Chris Sale through his MLB career
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Chris Sale through his MLB career
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox reacts before the 89th MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - AUGUST 27: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox poses for his official team headshot prior to the game against the New York Yankees on August 27, 2010 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - AUGUST 29: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches during the game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, August 29, 2010, at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 2-1. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - JUNE 07: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with teammates after the game against the Seattle Mariners on June 7, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Mariners 5-1. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 03: Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox poses for his official team headshot during photo day on March 3, 2012 at The Ballpark at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 29: Starting pitcher Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 29, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 12: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox throws to the Kansas City Royals in the first inning of their MLB game at U.S. Cellular Field on May 12, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 19: Pitcher Chris Sale #49 poses for a portrait during Chicago White Sox Photo Day on February 19, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 17: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox looks on from the dugout against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 17, 2013 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: American League All-Star Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox is seen during the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby at Citi Field on Monday, July 15, 2013, in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Paige Calamari/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: American League All-Star Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox looks on during the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The American League defeated the National League 3-0. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 05: Starting pticher Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the San Diego Padres during the spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 5, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 12: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox waits as umpires review a play during the seventh inning in a game against the Detroit Tigers on June 12, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 24, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 7-4 in ten innings. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 23: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on May 23, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox is congratulaed by manager Robin Ventura #23 after the win over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 13, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.The Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Yankees 7-1. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox reacts during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 13: Pitcher Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox leaves the clubhouse before a workout on February 13, 2017 at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox) *** LOCAL CAPTION *** Chris Sale
FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait on February 19, 2017 at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 5: Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale fires a first inning pitch. The Boston Red Sox host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park in Boston on Apr. 5, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 27: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox looks on before a game against the New York Yankees on April 27, 2017 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON - MAY 13: Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale gets high fives in the dugout after pitching seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Boston Red Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park in Boston on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox speaks to the media as he is announced as the starting pitcher during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Marlins Park on July 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 1: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox walks to the dugout during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park on August 1, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 9: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Fenway Park on September 9, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 20: : : : : Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait during the Boston Red Sox photo day on February 20, 2018 at JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 29: Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale follows through on a pitch. The Boston Red Sox visit the Tampa Bay Rays for Opening Day of the 2018 MLB baseball season at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL on March 29, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 8: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox walks out of the bullpen before a game against the Chicago White Sox on June 8, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 11: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on July 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox speaks during a press conference during All-Star Workout Day at Nationals Park Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
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St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong said it feels like Sale’s slider moves three feet.

“It honestly looks like a fastball out of his hand, and all of a sudden it looks like it’s coming across slightly the way you look at it on the TV, but it moves like three feet and you’re like, ‘How the [heck] am I even supposed to hit that?'”

While Sale’s slider received top honors from players, it wasn’t a run-away favorite. Oakland Athletics closer Blake Treinen received 11 votes for his sinker. Behind him, Corey Kluber got eight votes for his slider, Craig Kimbrel got seven votes for his knuckle-curve and Blake Snell and Jordan Hicks tied for fifth with six votes. Snell’s curveball was highlighted. Hicks received praise for his sinker.

There were a number of other pitches and players mentioned, but we’ll leave you with a top-5 for now. You can always view the full list at MLB.com.

While it’s tough to argue with the players, it’s fun to debate the results. Which pitch do you think deserves more credit from players? We’ll start by saying that while Stephen Strasburg‘s changeup does get a mention toward the end, it deserves to be higher.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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