Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
When and Where: Wednesday, Sept. 26, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Ill., 8:10 p.m. EDT.
Rookie Shane Bieber could be pitching for his spot on the postseason roster Wednesday night when the AL Central champion Cleveland Indians wrap up a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox.
Bieber, trying to become just the third Indians rookie to win 11 games this century, may be bumped depending on how Trevor Bauer pitches in the final week of the season following his return from a leg injury. Bieber has not helped his cause as he enters this contest on the heels of losing back-to-back decisions in his last two outings.
Bieber gets last chance to make an impression
The 23-year-old got a sampling of what life as a long reliever in the playoffs could be like in his last outing Friday, when he followed Bauer and took the loss in a 7-5 defeat to the Boston Red Sox.
Bieber (10-5, 4.80 ERA) labored through 4 2-3 innings, giving up six runs and eight hits — two of them homers — while throwing 82 pitches to keep his workload consistent. But in keeping with the team-first mantra ahead of the postseason, the rookie was glad to see Bauer back on the mound.
“He’s one of the best pitchers,” Bieber told the club’s official website. “It’s really big for this team if he’s able to come back and be his normal self, which I’m sure he will. We can do a lot of special things with him in our rotation.”
Bieber is trying to join CC Sabathia (17 in 2001) and David Huff (11 in 2009) as the only Indians rookies to win at least 11 games since the turn of the century. The right-hander’s lone start against the White Sox was a strong one, firing 6 2-3 shutout innings and striking out eight while scattering three hits and two walks before the Indians wound up on the short end of a 1-0 scoreline.
ChiSox likely to go bullpen route in series finale
The White Sox have yet to name a starter for this game, opting to give Reynaldo Lopez two extra days of rest to let him pitch the opener of Friday’s doubleheader at Minnesota.
Their bullpen day will start with Jace Fry (2-2, 4.32 ERA), who will make his first major league start after 57 relief appearances this season and 68 over his two-year career.
The left-hander has not pitched more than two innings this season and only did so in four outings, the last on Aug. 14 against Detroit. Fry also maxed out at 39 pitches in that game, striking out four of the six batters he faced.
This will be his eighth overall appearance against the Indians this year and has given up two runs over seven innings previously. He picked up a win Aug. 10 by retiring two batters in the ninth inning of a 1-0 victory. Fry has also struck out nine batters in those seven games.
The White Sox are:
- 2-5 in their last seven during game 3 of a series.
- 1-5 in their last six games with Jeff Nelson as plate umpire.
- 2-8 in their last 10 home games.
- The under is 4-1 in their last five during game 3 of a series.
- The under is 19-7-2 in their last 28 games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The under is 4-0-2 in their last six games vs. right-handed starters.
The Indians are:
- 5-0 in Bieber’s last five road starts.
- 8-3 in Bieber’s last 11 starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 5-2 in Bieber’s last seven road starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
- The under is 5-2 in Bieber’s last seven starts during game 3 of a series.
- The under is 6-1 in their last seven road games vs. left-handed starters.
- The under is 3-0-2 in their last five games vs. AL Central teams.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It would not be surprising to see Indians manager Terry Francona let Bieber go deep into this game to be able to have him fresh for the postseason in whatever capacity he eventually decides. The 23-year-old has been a solid addition to the rotation in picking up the slack when Bauer was sidelined and supplanting Adam Plutko at the back end.
Prediction: Pick: Indians -190
Full-Game Total Pick
Bieber’s lone start against Chicago was a good one, and while trusting a bullpen day is somewhat haphazard, the teams failed to combine for double digits in runs in seven of the last eight games between them.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 9 runs (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The teams have combined to reach 28 just twice in nine games in Chicago and surpassed it only once. Additionally, they have combined for under 20 in four of the games at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 28 runs+hits+errors (-115)
First Five Innings Side Pick
This a conservative pick by taking the straight money line, with the hedge Bieber will continue his trend of pitching well enough on the road as he enters this game looking for his fifth straight winning start outside Cleveland.
Prediction: Pick: Indians -180
First Five Innings Total Bet
Bieber has allowed two runs or less over the first five innings in three of his four starts during his road winning streak. Fry has been effective enough to believe that the White Sox could keep this a low-scoring game through the first five innings.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 5 runs (-120)
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
Bieber kept the White Sox off the scoreboard in the first of his lone start against them and has gotten through the opening frame unscathed in seven of his previous 10 starts overall. Fry has been effective against the Indians and should be able to get Chicago through the top of the first inning scoreless.
Prediction: Pick: NO to 1st-inning run (-110)