The Cleveland Indians surprisingly traded former two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber this offseason, making the team’s new ace – all due respect to Mike Clevinger – young right-hander Shane Bieber. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Bieber’s 2020 MLB season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Shane Bieber MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
Frankly, Shane Bieber overtook Kluber as the Indians’ ace during last season, but it truly became official back in December when Kluber was sent to Texas for outfielder Delino DeShields and right-handed reliever Emmanuel Clase. Owed $17.5 million this year and under contract with a team option for $18 million in 2021, Kluber is a massive bargain. In nine years with the Indians, Kluber was 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA and has been an All-Star three times.
Many around baseball thought the Indians could have gotten much more for a two-time Cy Young winner, Kluber fractured his forearm on May 1 last year and worked his way back to a rehab assignment in August before straining an oblique muscle that kept him out for the remainder of the year. He made seven starts, but was 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA.
DeShields is nothing special, but Clase is a fireballer who could be the Tribe’s closer in the near future (Brad Hand will be in 2020 but could be traded too). In 2019, Clase threw 238 pitches that clocked in at 98+ mph, while all of the Tribe’s pitchers only threw 12. Cleveland relievers lost 18 games last season and had a 3.76 ERA, struggling in the second half.
Several teams called the Indians about trading for Bieber, too, but he’s basically untouchable right now at age 24 and under team control for several more season. Drafted by the Indians in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of UC-Santa Barbara, Bieber was in the majors less than two years later.
Last year, Bieber made 33 starts and was 15-8 with a 3.28 ERA (78 ER/214.1 IP). He led the club in nearly every category in 2019 and collected the third most strikeouts (259) in baseball. At 24 years and 107 days, Bieber became the youngest Tribe pitcher to throw 200.0+ innings in a season since CC Sabathia did so at 21 years old in 2001. Bieber led MLB in complete games (3) and shutouts (2) in 2019 and finished fourth in AL Cy Young Award voting.
Bieber was a late addition to the 2019 American League roster for the All-Star Game in Cleveland, and tossed a perfect fifth inning in the Midsummer Classic, striking out all three batters he faced — Willson Contreras, Ketel Marte and Ronald Acuña Jr. — to win All-Star MVP honors. Bieber only was added to the team as a replacement for Texas Rangers lefty Mike Minor.
“To be able to do it in front of the home crowd and my first All-Star Game is definitely not something I expected, especially being added to the game four or five days ago,” Bieber said afterward. “I didn’t really know what to think. I kind of lost all feeling in my body.”
Bieber became just the third player to win the MVP award in his home ballpark, joining Cleveland’s Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1997 and Boston’s Pedro Martinez at Fenway Park in 1999.
Bieber has tremendous control. His walk rate as a rookie in 2018: 4.7%. His walk rate as a sophomore in 2019: 4.7%. That’s really low — fewer than one walk in every 20 batters faced. Last year Bieber ranked sixth among qualified starters, in a “5% or lower” group with pitchers like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, Kyle Hendricks, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Walker Buehler. While Bieber’s walk rate stayed identical his strikeout rate shot up from 24.3% to 30.2% in 2019.
Manager Terry Francona had named Bieber to start Opening Day this season on March 26 vs. the Detroit Tigers after a strong first few spring starts. If the season does resume, Bieber should still get the call.