4) Cleveland Indians
2019 Stats: W/L 62-51, 3.81 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 17.9 fWAR
Despite shipping out ace Corey Kluber and workhorse Trevor Bauer in the past year, the Indian’s rotation is still one of the best in the AL. This is in thanks to ace Mike Clevinger, rising star Shane Beiber, and veteran Carlos Carrasco.
Mike Clevinger took the next step in 2019, finishing the season 13-4, with a 2.71 ERA, and 169 strikeouts in 21 starts. According to Blake Ruane of SB Nation’s, Let’s Go Tribe,
"“It was easily the best stretch of Clevinger’s career thus far, made possible by career-low walk and home run rates and a career-high strikeout rate. One of the keys to this stretch of success was his four-seam fastball, which we’ve already identified as the most valuable pitch thrown by the Indians in 2019. The velocity on his fastball has been increasing with each successive season, according to Baseball Savant, from 92.5 MPH in 2017 to 95.4 MPH in 2019. In a 2018 interview with The Athletic, Clevinger attributed the rise in his fastball velocity to retooled mechanics, and the results speak for themselves. Opposing hitters batted .192 against his fastball in 2019 (compared to .263 in 2018) and his whiff rate was up to 30% (20.4% in 2018).”"
The 29-year-old is fully healthy and will be looking to build on his excellent campaign. Joining him is co-ace, Shane Beiber. Beiber took over the rotation while Clevinger dealt with injuries during the first half of the season. He went 15-8, with a 3.28 ERA, and 259 strikeouts, while posting a 3.32 FIP.