Mike Clevinger MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season

Mike Clevinger MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season

Written by on April 15, 2020

Can Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger stay healthy this season? He couldn’t for all of in 2019 and the Tribe absolutely need him to for any shot at a pennant in 2020.  Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Clevinger’s 2020 MLB season – assuming there is one – and an overview.

Mike Clevinger MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season

MLB’s shutdown actually helped new Indians ace Mike Clevinger because he had knee surgery in mid-February and was to miss 6-8 weeks so he clearly wasn’t going to be ready for the original Opening Day. Clevinger suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee while working out at the team’s training complex in Goodyear, Arizona.

“He was doing some drills,” manager Terry Francona said before Clevinger had the procedure. “He felt something. We took him to the training room. Then we let him go home to see how he feels. I think our trainers were a little nervous at the outset that this has meniscus written all over it. He was pretty sore so they got him an MRI.”

The 29-year-old is set to enter his fifth MLB season, and he is expected to be the ace of Cleveland’s staff after the organization traded Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers during the offseason. Clevinger is among the most underrated pitchers in baseball, as he has posted an ERA of 3.11 or better in each of the past three seasons.

Last season, Clevinger went 13-4 with a career-best 2.71 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 169 strikeouts in 126 innings. If not for back and ankle injuries limiting him to just 21 starts. He probably would have gotten some Cy Young consideration if not for the injuries.

Before a loss at Washington in the season finale last year, Clevinger had logged a career-high 18.0 straight scoreless innings. He also had won each of his last 8 road starts, tied for the second-longest run in franchise history (since 1908) behind Bob Lemon (Sept. 3, 1946-May 7, 1948) and Addie Joss (Sept. 14, 1908-July 31, 1909) with 11, and the longest streak in the Majors since the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta won 9 from Oct. 2, 2015-June 27, 2016.

Over his last 15 starts dating back to July 3 before that finale, Clevinger was 12-1 with a 1.76 ERA (20ER/102.0IP), 25 walks and 134 strikeouts. He had the most wins in the Majors over that stretch, and ranked 3rd in strikeouts and 4th in ERA.

Right-handed batters have hit just .195 against Clevinger since the start of 2017, the best mark in the American League (min. 200.0IP) and 4th-best mark in the Majors in that stretch behind the LA Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (.193), Washington’s Max Scherzer (.170) and the Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish (.188).

Clevinger struck out 10-or-more batters in each of his first two starts of 2019, becoming the 6th Cleveland starter to strike out 10+ in consecutive starts to begin a season since 1908 and the first since Danny Salazar in 2015. Clevinger had 7 double-digit strikeout performances in 2019. Batters hit just .205 off him with runners in scoring position.

Clevinger owned the 3rd-highest swing-and-miss rate in the Majors on his four-seam fastball (min. 400 pitches) last season at 30.8 percent behind Houston’s Gerrit Cole (37.2) and Justin Verlander (31.1), while his 50.4 percent swing-and-miss rate on his slider was the 4th-best mark in the Majors (min. 200 pitches) behind Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson (52.6) and Washington’s Patrick Corbin (52.0) and Max Scherzer (50.8).

Clevinger’s fastball got a significant velocity spike last season (from 93.6 mph in 2018 to 95.5 mph last year). Clevinger complements his fastball with a wipeout slider that posted a 38.6% chase rate in 2019. He also features a passable curve (33.7% chase rate) and changeup (33.8% chase)

Clevinger is one of the game’s more valuable pitching commodities, as he’s just entering his first of three arbitration-eligible seasons and earn just $4.1 million this year. The Angels showed trade interest in Clevinger this spring with the Indians reportedly responding by asking about elite prospect Jo Adell. That was a non-starter.