We’re just two days away from the Tribe Opener. It’s feeling pretty real now.
Today we present reason #2 why the Tribe will rock in 2016:
The Cy Young Award-Winner from 2014 had a great season in 2015, regardless of what the numbers indicate at first glance.
Kluber went 9-16 with a 3.49 ERA, but that win-loss record is deceiving because Kluber received the fourth-lowest run support of all qualified starting pitchers.
The Tribe only averaged 3.3 runs per nine innings pitched when Kluber was on the mound.
It’s also worth noting that the only three pitchers who received less run support were all National League pitchers, and the NL is known for being much lower-scoring than the A.L.
In the American League, four or five runs is needed on average to expect to win on a consistent basis.
Kluber received half as many runs per game as Toronto Blue Jays Starter Mark Buehrle, whose team average 7 runs per game when he pitched.
Buehrle ended up winning 15 games with an ERA of 3.81, just a bit higher than Kluber.
The point is that if Kluber just duplicates what he did in 2015, and the Tribe’s offense is just average, he will have another great season.
One area where Kluber is without a doubt one of the elite pitchers in baseball is strikeouts. Kluber fanned 245 batters in 222 innings. Kluber finished 5th in all of MLB in strikeouts, with the third-most in the American League.
We’re not expecting Kluber to finish with a 2.44 ERA like he did in 2014 when he won the Cy Young Award, but as long as he stays consistent and the offense does their job, the Tribe will have a great chance to win every time Kluber is on the mound.