Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Why I'm Not Afraid of Shane Bieber for Game One Tonight

 The New York Yankees begin their quest for the franchise's 28th World Series Championship tonight inside Progressive Field when the team takes on the Cleveland Indians in Game One of the AL Wild Card Round. The Yankees will have their ace on the mound, Gerrit Cole, while the Indians will counter with an ace of their own in Shane Bieber. Bieber has had an amazing 2020 campaign which included him winning the Triple Crown for pitchers, leading both leagues in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. That would normally spell disaster for the Bombers in October, but for some reason (and maybe it is actually having an ace of our own on our side this time around) I still feel confident tonight with Cole on the mound. Bieber is tough, but Bieber is not unbeatable, and here is why. 


  • Bieber has a batting average against of .092 this season when the ball is hit to an infielder, but has a BAA of .506 when hit to an outfielder. Easier said than done, but don't hit it to an infielder and the Yankees should be fine... right?


  • Bieber has never started a postseason game. Fans or not, that means something in my opinion. 


  • Bieber is susceptible to damage in the second inning, posting a 3.75 ERA in the second inning in 2020. 


  • Bieber compiled many of his stats against opposing team's offenses that do not stand up well when compared to the Yankees offensive capabilities. Facing DJLM, Judge, Voit, Stanton, etc. is not the same as facing Detroit, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Milwaukee or even Cincinnati. 


  • We still have Gerrit Cole on our side.


  • Bieber has not allowed a single home run inside Progressive Field in 2020. Zero. 


  • Bieber has been money with five and six days rest, and last pitched on 9-23. Bieber should be sharp and on his game tonight in Cleveland. 


  • Bieber is a strike out pitcher that will throw right-handed against a predominantly right-handed offense that is prone to the strikeout. 

Yankees fans, there's hope tonight. While the Bombers offense may not string together many hits or put up many crooked numbers, one thing you have to remember is that Bieber's stats were accumulated by beating up on the AL Central and NL Central, not the AL East. Don't get me wrong, the NL Central is tough and they sent four teams to the postseason in 2020, but Bieber hasn't really faced an offense like the New York Yankees much. 

Bieber faced the Royals twice, Detroit twice, and Pittsburgh once while facing off with the Minnesota Twins three times (twice without Josh Donaldson), Milwaukee once (barely slipped into the 8th seed in the NL) and the White Sox twice including Bieber's final start of the season. 

Bieber is good, Bieber is damn good in fact, but he is not unbeatable. It won't be easy, but if Cole World and Higgy can hold down Jose Ramirez and their offense I feel supremely confident that we will leave tonight with a victory and a 1-0 series lead. I've been right about a lot this season, and I don't expect to start being wrong now. 

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