Indians' 2020 Playoff Odds Opened at +150; Cleveland Now Favored to Make Postseason at -121

Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians failed to make the playoffs in 2019 for the first time in four seasons. Photo by Keith Allison (Wiki Commons).
  • Cleveland now has the fourth shortest odds to make the playoffs in the American League
  • The Central projects as the weakest division in the AL, and Cleveland has the second softest schedule in baseball
  • Read below for analysis on if Cleveland is a good bet to make the postseason at its new price

Cleveland missed the MLB playoffs for the first time in four seasons last year, but online sportsbooks certainly don’t expect that to happen again in 2020. The 2016 World Series finalists have seen a major shift in their postseason price over the last few months, and are now favored to be playing October baseball.

2020 AL Playoff Odds

Team Odds to Make Playoffs at FanDuel Odds to Miss Playoffs
Baltimore Orioles +2500 -10000
Boston Red Sox +270 -355
Chicago White Sox +210 -265
Cleveland Indians -130 +106
Detroit Tigers +2500 -10000
Houston Astros -480 +350
Kansas City Royals +2500 -10000
Los Angeles Angels +225 -290
Minnesota Twins -215 +172
New York Yankees -800 +520
Oakland Athletics -120 -102
Seattle Mariners +1800 -8000
Tampa Bay Rays -138 +112
Texas Rangers +730 -1300
Toronto Blue Jays +730 -1300

Odds as of July 16th.

Cleveland’s 2020 MLB playoff odds opened at +150 back in March, and have been getting shorter ever since. They’ve had a .562 winning percentage or better in each of the last four seasons and they’ll have the benefit of playing a very favorable schedule in 2020.

Cleveland Crushes Soft Competition

Cleveland will play 40 of its 60 games in this year’s shortened season against its Central Division rivals, which just happens to be the weakest division in the AL according to FanGraphs’ projections.

They posted a .631 winning percentage against divisional opponents last season, and were 18-1 against the Detroit Tigers alone.

Cleveland’s remaining 20 games will come against NL Central opponents, which projects as the worst division in baseball. No NL Central team is currently projected for a winning percentage above .533, and only the Cincinnati Reds are among the top-12 World Series contenders at online sportsbooks.

2020 World Series Odds Tracker

A Talent Rich Team

The most compelling reason to bet on Cleveland is the talent they’ll roster in 2020. Mike Clevinger anchors a staff that also features reigning All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber and former 18-game winner Carlos Carrasco. Both Clevinger and Bieber are top-seven Cy Young candidates, and the backend of the rotation is filled out by promising sophomores Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac.

Francisco Lindor headlines a dangerous offense that also includes Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez. Ramirez in particular will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2019, and return to his form from the previous two seasons.

Jose Ramirez Last Three Seasons

Year AVG H HR RBI SB
2019 .255 123 23 83 24
2018 .270 156 39 105 34
2017 .318 186 29 83 17

With Lindor and Santana batting in front of him, Ramriez will have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs and if he gets off to a hot start, he’s already shown that he has MVP upside.

With a potent attack and arguably one of the best starting rotations in the league, Cleveland should win plenty of games but there’s still one more reason to be bullish on this club.

No Substitute for Experience

The 2020 season is going to be a sprint to the finish line, and who better to navigate a promising team to the playoffs than a manager who’s seen it all? Terry Francona is well equipped to deal with all the variables that will pop up over this challenging season, and you can bet he’ll have Cleveland ready for every contest.

He’s a two-time Manager of the Year, and has guided his teams to the postseason in nine of the past 15 seasons. When you add up his experience, with a wealth of talent and a soft schedule, it’s pretty easy to see why Cleveland has such short odds to get back to the playoffs.

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