The Cleveland Indians know the schedule, will they will be able claim the Central?
The schedule is out, and the Cleveland Indians now know who they’ll face, and when they’ll face ’em, as the season commences in Kansas City July 24.
There will be plenty of storylines to follow, but here’s a look at three big consequences the Indians will face.
1. Cleveland Indians chasing Twins
Aug. 24-26: IF the Twins keep catapulting. balls out of the park like they did a season ago, the Indians will likely be fighting with Minnesota throughout the entire campaign. One analytical projection had the Twins edging out the Tribe by 1.0 game for the AL Central Crown.
The Indians chased the Twins last season, ultimately coming up short, but the Tribe did win the season series 10-9. Additionally, while Mashing Minnesota averaged 6.0 runs per game– that number shrunk to 4.2 against Cleveland, speaking to the strength. Starting pitching will be the barometer on the 2020 season, and there just isn’t any other way around it.
The Tribe got the short end of the stick this season, as seven of the 10 games giants the Twins will be in Minnesota. Will home field advantage being a thing without any fans?
This will be a big one if the Tribe is either to make up ground or perhaps pull ahead a little bit.
The Indians final series against Minnesota comes Sept. 11-13 on the road.
2. Cleveland Indians: Strength of schedule
Based off how 2019 ended, the Indians were given the second easiest strength of schedule. A big factor, undoubtedly, is the Tribe playing all its games against the AL Central and NL Central. Both Centrals are regarded as the weakest divisions in their respective league, with the junior circuit’s being the easiest.
The Tribe will play four games against the Tigers–a team they went 15-1 against last season, four against the Royals and four against the White Sox. Getting 9-10 wins against the these three clubs will be critical if the Tribe is challenge Minnesota.
ESPN writer Bradford Doolittle declared Minnesota as the biggest winner of the schedule release.
The author ran “10,000 Monte Carlo simulations” and found that the Twins got the second-biggest bump from the schedule. He noted the Twins earned 35.2 wins in those situations.
Since the Twins were already the favorite to win the Central, he gave Minnesota the nod as the biggest schedule winner.
3. Dog days and travel
Summer camp will quickly turn into the dog days, as the players will be thrust into summer heat and the Indians will be tested, with their first 17 days coming without a day off.
Additionally, the Indians didn’t get breaks when it comes to traveling during the pandemic. The Tribe, along with the Rays, will have to change markets 15 times.
The Orioles, for example, have to change markets 12 times. That number does not include the hour trip they’ll make to play the Nationals in Washington D.C.
The season concludes against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which is a miss on MLB’s