Cleveland Indians in playoff picture with 60-game projection

Cleveland dIndians Jose Ramirez (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Cleveland dIndians Jose Ramirez (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians are projected to earn postseason spot in 2020.

The Cleveland Indians will be contenders in what’s sure to be a unique 2020 MLB season, according to projections.

The forecast comes from’s Dan Szymbroski, who updated ZiPS projections to account for the shortened 6-game season.

The prognostication has the Tribe finishing with a mark of 34-26, one game behind the Twins in the AL Central. Fortunately, there would be a postseason for Terry Francona’s group, as the Indians would stave off the A’s (33-27) by a game for the final AL Wild Card spot.

Szymbroski actually gives the A’s better odds of winning a Wild Card spot with 18.7 percent, with Cleveland just a tick below at 18.3 percent. Alas, his record projections have Cleveland sneaking past Oakland.

It’s great these projections have the Indians giving them a shot to end their World Series championship drought, but these predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. Sixty games is simply too small a sample size to draw any realistic conclusions.

Never forget the 2002 Indians, who won 11 of their first 12 games. That club went on to drop nine of their next 10 and finished 74-88. A

The bottom line: Anything can happen.

The ZiPs are projections are nice, but it doesn’t take a degree in advanced analytics to know the Indians have a shot in a shortened season. The Indians pitching staff is one of the great strengths of the team, but how the hurlers are able to ramp up will ultimately decide the Tribe’s fate. Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac are all very promising, but they’re still young.

Offensively, besides Frankie Lindor,  Franmil Reyes appeared on his way to locking up the right field job in Spring Training 1.0. He’s really an exciting player at the plate and will be one to watch this season.

Jose Ramirez may be the straw that stirs the drink. If he’s playing well, the Indians have a shot. If he struggles through these 60 contests, much like he struggled through the first half of 2019, then the offense could see its fair share of rough patches.

Also, let’s not forget the Indians signed Cesar Hernadez to play second base.

The Yankees (37-23) and Astros (36-24) are projected to win the other divisions.

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In the National League, the Braves (34-26), Cubs (32-28) and Dodgers (38-22). The wild cards berths would belong to the Nationals (34-26) and the Padres (32-28).