Terry Francona Shares Thoughts About Using Shane Bieber on Short Rest in Potential Game 5
The Cleveland Guardians have already faced a few hurdles during the MLB postseason. Finishing with the worst record of the three AL division winners, Cleveland was forced into a three-game Wild Card series instead of earning a first round bye.
They ultimately jumped the Tampa Bay Rays in two games before securing this ALDS date with the New York Yankees. And now, Game 2 of this series has been postponed due to rain in the New York City area.
The lack of a first round bye meant using ace Shane Bieber in the Wild Card round, and potentially only setting him up for one start in the ALDS. Bieber will still start Game 2 on Friday, Oct. 14, but he'll have to come back on short rest if Francona wants to see him again in a potential Game 5.
Francona opened up about the situation on Thursday.
According to Guardians insider Zack Meisel, Francona is still "up in the air" for potential Games 4 and 5. Although he's "leaning towards not" starting Bieber on short rest should the Guardians force a winner-take-all Game 5.
It's a tricky situation. The added rest days during playoff baseball, especially in the five-game round, usually allows managers to bring just three starting pitchers on the roster.
The rainout certainly complicates the matter. Instead of usual travel days booked into each change of venue, the Yankees and Guardians will now play four straight days (if necessary) including a trip to Cleveland and one back to New York in between.
Bieber is the unheralded ace of this staff. Not only does he tout a Cy Young and pitching Triple Crown on his resume, but he's the only Guardians starting pitcher who entered the playoffs with more than 1 game of postseason pitching experience.
Cleveland has to worry about forcing potential Games 4 or 5 first, but it sounds like Francona is leaning away from giving his ace the ball without proper rest. For now, the Guardians are +310 underdogs in the series betting, per MLB odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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