Five reasons why Shane Bieber is AL Cy Young

6:20 PM ET

Dominant from his first outing of the 2020 MLB season through his last regular-season appearance, Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber ran away with the American League Cy Young Award in unanimous fashion on Wednesday night. Here’s a closer look at the stats and performances that made the right-hander the AL’s best pitcher and unanimous Cy Young selection.

The number that says it best

One. As in No. 1 on the MLB leaderboard. Bieber’s 8-1 record, 1.63 ERA, 122 strikeouts and opposing OPS of .494 led not just the American League but all of baseball this year.

2 Related

Bieber became the first pitcher to lead the majors in wins, ERA and strikeouts since Johan Santana in 2006, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Before that, you’d have to go back another 20-plus years to when Dwight Gooden accomplished the trifecta in 1985. Sandy Koufax (1963, ’65, ’66) is the only other pitcher to do it since they started handing out Cy Young Awards in 1956.

Historic context

Bieber’s 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings is the highest single-season total in MLB history, besting Gerrit Cole‘s mark of 13.8 from a season ago. And before you go

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