Not only is Shane Bieber the favorite to take home the AL Cy Young Award, but he also has a legitimate chance at becoming the first pitcher to win an MVP Award since Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers did so in 2014.
In 11 starts this season, the Indians right-hander is 8-1 with a 1.74 ERA. Bieber leads baseball in wins (eight), strikeouts (112) and innings pitched (72.1).
After leading the Indians to their streak breaking victory over the Detroit Tigers, Bieber’s next start is scheduled for Tuesday when Cleveland hosts the division-leading White Sox in the second game of a four-game set from Progressive Field.
With the way Chicago has swung the bats of late, this may be the start that finally sees Bieber get knocked around.
Chicago has won eight of their last 10 games, hold the best record in the AL (33-17) and have clinched their first postseason berth since 2008.
The strength of their bull club is the offense that ranks second in the majors in batting average (.272) and hits (467), fourth in runs scored (267) and fifth in home runs (83).
As they look to close out their first AL Central title since 2008, expect them to have no mercy on an even a pitcher of Bieber’s caliber and knock the Indians ace to 8-2 on the year in what could be his final regular season start of the campaign.