Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland Indians
It might seem odd to say that Aaron Civale has exceeded expectations this year since he was expected to play well, but he’s managed to do just that. In fact, there could be an argument made that Civale is the best starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians this season. Even better than defending Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber.
Before he went on the injured list, Civale was the first pitcher in the game to reach double-digit wins with 10, heading into the break with a 10-2 record. He also posted the second-best ERA among starters for the Tribe, behind Bieber, and the second-best WHIP as well, trailing just Zach Plesac.
Starting a team-high 15 games, Civale concluded the first half with an ERA of 3.32, just 0.04 higher than Bieber’s and that’s with an extra start. He also allowed just one more hit than Bieber, despite throwing seven more innings. Those trends continue with only two more runs allowed, three more earned runs and three more home runs.
Civale also walked 10 fewer batters than Bieber despite facing one more batter in total. The only stat that Bieber still blows Civale out of the water in is strikeouts where Bieber has 130 and Civale has 76.
Outside of strikeouts, Civale has been able to keep pace with Bieber, giving Cleveland two Cy Young caliber pitchers. Bieber might still have a bit of an edge, but Civale isn’t too far off from being on the same level.