Indians vs. White Sox Odds, Predictions, Preview: How to Fade Shane Bieber On Tuesday (June 1)
Jason Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Shane Bieber.
- The White Sox take on Shane Bieber for the third time this season with Dylan Cease starting opposite Bieber on Monday night.
- Bieber threw a complete-game shutout in the first meeting and allowed three runs over six innings in the last matchup.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the betting odds for this AL Central clash, delivering his analysis and best bet for the game below.
White Sox vs. Indians Odds
|White Sox Odds||+125|
|Time||Tuesday, 6:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday and via DraftKings|
The White Sox look to extend their lead atop the American League Central when they face off against 2020 AL Cy Young Award-winner Shane Bieber and the Indians.
Chicago has been cruising right along this season, playing some of the best ball of anybody on the Junior Circuit. The White Sox have a +80 run differential and have been solid in every phase of the game so far in 2021. Chicago currently sits 3 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland after splitting a doubleheader to open this series on Memorial Day.
Cleveland has been fantastic on the mound this season, but its offense has not enjoyed similar success. The Indians’ offense has scored the fifth-fewest runs in baseball and will be facing a much-improved Dylan Cease.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have one of the best offenses in baseball, entering this game tied for the second best wOBA of .332. They’ve been crushing both left- and right-handed pitching with over 110 wRC+ against both this season.
The South Siders don’t have many weaknesses from a pitch-mix standpoint. They rank in the top 10 against fastballs, sliders and curveballs, which are Bieber’s three main pitches. Chicago should have a good matchup against Cleveland’s ace.
Cleveland’s offense has been really bad so far this season, ranking in the bottom five of baseball with a .292 wOBA and 84 wRC+. Most of the Indians’ struggles have come against right-handed pitching, against which they’re hitting .213 and have the fewest extra-base hits in the majors.
The Indians have a difficult matchup against Cease because the Indians have really struggled versus fastballs (-2.3 weighted fastball runs per FanGraphs), which is the pitch Cease goes to most often at almost 50% of the time. Cease also goes to his slider over 30%, which is another pitch the Indians have struggled against (-8.6 weighted slider runs per FanGraphs).
Starting Pitching Matchup
Dylan Cease vs. Shane Bieber
2021 Stats (via Fangraphs)
White Sox Starting Pitcher
Dylan Cease, RHP
2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Cease has made great improvements in what is his third big-league season. Most notably, he’s lowered his xERA and xFIP by almost two runs from 2020. The biggest reason for those improvements is because of his control. Cease has increased his K/9 rate to an incredible 11.46 and lowered his HR/9 rate to 0.70 compared to over 1.80 in each of the last two seasons.
As far as Cease’s pitch mix is concerned, the biggest improvement has come on his fastball. Last season, he allowed a wOBA over .380 on his heater and only had a 17.2% whiff rate with it. This season, he’s lowered the wOBA against his fastball to .313 and has a 29.0% whiff rate.
The Indians have struggled versus both right-handed pitching and fastballs, so Cease should have a good matchup tonight.
Indians Starting Pitcher
Shane Bieber, RHP
2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Bieber is not quite having a repeat of his Cy Young Award season, but he’s still been incredibly solid, posting a 3.61 xERA and 2.57 xFIP. His strikeout rate is still fantastic at 13.67, but where he’s seen a dip from last season is with his fastball.
Last season, Bieber started to utilize his off-speed pitches more often, which was met with great results, especially helping his fastball. However, this season, opponents have been tagging his fastball to the tune of a .356 wOBA, which is a massive jump from last season when it was .253. The White Sox lineup crushes fastballs, so Bieber will have to be on point.
Bieber has faced the White Sox twice this season, throwing a complete-game shutout in the first meeting and giving up three earned runs over six innings in the second matchup. Chicago has had a ton of success against his three main pitches, so I think Bieber’s going to have some issues this time around.
The bullpen matchup in this series is essentially going to be a wash because these are two of the best relief corps in baseball. The White Sox lead MLB with a 3.58 xFIP, while the Indians are not far behind at 3.74 xFIP, which ranks seventh.
White Sox-Indians Pick
Given Cease’s improvement and how bad the Indians have been versus right handers, fastballs and sliders, I think there is fantastic value on him to out-pitch Bieber.
Since I have the White Sox projected at +113 for the first five innings, I am going to back their moneyline of +150.
Pick: White Sox First Five Innings (+150)