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Aces, Bieber and Giolito Battle In AL Central Rubber Match

Shane Bieber set to throw a baseball

The Cleveland Indians are 4-1 SU and ATS over their last five games since going 0-4 SU in their previous four games. However, the lone defeat during this hot streak came in the series-opener with the Chicago White Sox. The two teams will close out the series with a pair of aces on the mound.

Cleveland Indians vs Chicago White Sox
  • Date/Time: August 9, 2020, 7:08 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Guaranteed Rate Field
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Cleveland -131 | O/U 7.5 runs (Line History)
  • Indians vs White Sox (Matchup Report)

Opening Odds Analysis

The line on this game has remained steady since opening with Cleveland as a -131 road favorite over the White Sox as +121 home underdogs. The total is set at 7.5 runs. All but two of Cleveland’s 15 games this season have gone UNDER the posted total.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Shane Bieber is off to a brilliant start in 2020 with a perfect 3-0 record, a 0.83 ERA, a 0.69 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched. At just 25 years old, Bieber looks to have a long future ahead of him as a top of the rotation ace.

At first glance, Lucas Giolito’s 5.17 ERA and 1.40 WHIP on the season look ugly. But those numbers are heavily skewed by a disastrous season opener in which the White Sox ace allowed seven runs in 3.2 innings against the Minnesota Twins. Giolito has allowed only two runs and struck out 15 batters in his last two starts, including six shutout innings against Cleveland last month.

Cleveland News & Notes

With Bieber leading the way, the Indians have an embarrassment of riches in their pitching staff and bullpen. Mike Clevenger’s 3.24 ERA and 1.32 WHIP would make him a top-two pitcher on just about every team in the majors, but on Cleveland’s staff so far in 2020 he has the worst ERA and WHIP on the team. The Indians own a dazzling 1.99 ERA and 0.89 WHIP as a team, both best in the majors.

But despite their brilliant pitching, the Indians are only 9-7 SU this season due to an offense averaging only 3.38 runs per game with the worst team batting average in the league at .196. After scoring 13 runs on Thursday against Cincinnati and seven against Chicago on Saturday, the Indians hope they are finally turning things around at the plate.

Chicago News & Notes

The White Sox have been quite streaky through their first 15 games. Chicago opened 2020 with a 1-4 SU record, reeled off six straight wins including a series sweep against the Kansas City Royals, and have since lost three of their last four games. Interestingly, all six wins on the team’s six-game winning streak came on the road; the White Sox are just 2-5 SU at home this season.

Chicago’s offense has been fairly strong this season, but injuries to Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez have left the White Sox’ pitching staff shorthanded. The team ranks 22nd in the major leagues with a team ERA of 4.47.

Betting Pick: Cleveland -131

A case could easily be made for taking the UNDER here as Bieber and Giolito are very likely headed for a pitcher’s duel. But with Cleveland’s offense heating up this week, taking Bieber to pick up his fourth straight win seems like a safe play.

Shark Bites
  • Francisco Lindor is batting .417 in 12 career at bats against Giolito.
  • The UNDER is 7-4 in Chicago's last 11 games.
  • The UNDER is 13-2 in Cleveland’s last 15 games.