Cleveland Indians: Bieber, Carrasco to lead rotation in Wild Card Series

Can Bieber & Carrasco lead the way for the Cleveland Indians pitching staff in an important series against the New York Yankees to advance to the ALDS?

The playoff field is set, let the “Fall Frenzy” begin. After Sunday’s game to finish off the 2020 MLB regular season, it was unknown who the Cleveland Indians would face in their upcoming Wild Card Series. Once the Chicago Cubs defeated the Chicago White Sox it became clear that the Indians would be facing the New York Yankees as the hosting fourth seed. Tomorrow the Indians will host at least two games at Progressive Field in that Wild Card Series.

It’s been clear since last Tuesday night who will be pitching for the Indians in their Wild Card Series. The Cleveland Indians will be starting their series by putting out Shane Bieber to start game one followed by Carlos Carrasco for game two.

The thing Indians fans want to know, among other things, is can Bieber & Carrasco lead the way to a series win to advance to the American League Divisional Series? The answer is, if both pitchers keep up their pace from this year, there is a good chance.

In the past it has been a mixed result for both pitchers against the Bronx Bombers. Bieber has only faced the Yankees twice compared to twelve for Carrasco.

In the two games for Bieber he does sport a 1-0 record, although he does have a career ERA of 8.31 over those two games. Back in 2018 in his one appearance, Bieber went seven innings pitched giving up three earned runs while striking out six, and walking two. That gave him a 7.7 K/9 line with an ERA of 3.86 for the one and only match up in 2018. In 2019, Bieber only managed to pitch 1.2 innings while giving up five runs with four strikeouts, and two walks. His ERA that season was a 27.00 in that one start.

Despite that, Bieber this year has shown that he has grown as a pitcher in a season where he won the Triple Crown for pitchers leading the league in Wins (8), ERA (1.63), and Strikeouts (122) in 77.1 IP. If Bieber stays on this streak he has a solid chance to beat the Yankees in game one Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, that is predicated on if the offense that has struggled for most of the season can get to Yankees starter and ace Gerrit Cole. For the game two starter in Carrasco, he has had an interesting few games against the Yankees.

In his twelve games against the Yankees, Carrasco does give way to Indians fans being curious to how he will do in game two of the Wild Card Series. In his career verses the Yankees, Carrasco has a 5-5 record with an ERA of 4.04 lifetime. Over 55.2 innings pitched, Carraaco does have 60 strikeouts while walking 15 in that process. That gives him a 9.7 K/9 over those twelve games while giving up 25 earned runs over that span.

The last time Carrasco faced the Yankees was back in 2018 where he only pitched one inning while getting two strikeouts in that one game. It does make it interesting how he will fare against a team that he hasn’t faced in two seasons despite the Indians only facing Central Division teams in 2020. But, in 2020 Carlos Carrasco does have a record of 3-4, which doesn’t fully give a good picture to how good he really was because of no run support, with an ERA of 2.91. He also sported a stat line of 12 games started with 82 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched. If Carrasco gives the Indians his usually good performance, there is no reason to believe that he wouldn’t do well in game two.

When it is all said, and done, there is a solid chance that Bieber and Carrasco can give the Cleveland Indians a solid chance to beat the New York Yankees to advance to the ALDS to face the winner of the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays series that will be hosted San Diego in October.

It will all come down to how the offense fares against Yankees pitching. One thing is for sure though, it will a series worth the watch if not for the hitting, but the excellent pitching match ups between both teams.