First pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Lucas Giolito (4-3, 3.53 ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (8-1, 1.74 ERA)
Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians Predictions
While the National League hosts a Cy Young Award race that is very much up in the air entering the season’s final days, the American League features a much clearer picture in which the winner is all but announced. That will be Shane Bieber.
When the finishing touches are put on this once-in-a-lifetime 2020 campaign, Bieber is unquestionably one of the names that will be remembered most for the incredible performance he’s had since Opening Day.
That stellar first start of the year, which saw the third-year right-hander strike out a career-best 14 in six scoreless innings (the victorious under was our first bet of the season) would end up foreshadowing what turned out to be a memorable 2020.
Could Bieber even be any more dominant? He’s first in the Majors in earned-run average (1.74 ERA) and strikeout rate (13.9 K/9). The UC-Santa Barbara product also ranks third in WHIP (0.86) and fifth in batting average against (.171). All across the board, Bieber’s been just tremendous.
He has also maintained remarkable consistency. Each time out, Bieber racked up at least eight Ks and in all but one of his 11 assignments, he clocked in and produced a quality start. The one time he did not craft one, he was still really good in allowing one run and punching out 10.
So, even in a worst-case scenario, the Cy Young frontrunner is still capable of being very helpful for this bet. This is more so true considering he’ll be squaring off with another ace in Chicago’s Lucas Giolito.
Obviously, the former first-round pick has not been as dominant overall as his counterpart this evening but he’s still looked really solid after his breakout of a year ago. Giolito actually owns a strikeout rate (11.67 K/9) and BAA (.183) that is comparable to Bieber’s — and both marks would be career bests if he sustains them.
Making this even more appealing is that Giolito has had Cleveland’s number since entrenching himself as a frontline pitcher. Dating back to last season, the 26-year-old has faced the Tribe four times and yielded just a pair of runs (including zero homers) across 27.2 innings while compiling 32 strikeouts and a 0.94 WHIP.
There’s a reason this divisional showdown attracted one of the lowest totals of the season (for a normal nine-inning game). Strong pitching will be there to justify it.
MLB Leans - September 23
MIA/ATL Under 8
OAK/LAD Under 9
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “17-39-4,” -27.45 units
Yesterday’s Result: Orioles-Red Sox Under 10 (“loss”)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit