2021 Cleveland Indians Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
Since 1995, the Cleveland Indians have been a franchise that has produced mixed results. The Indians earned spots in two World Series in a three-year span between 1995 and 1997 but would ultimately lose out on both of them to the Braves and Marlins, respectively. Since then, the Indians have two appearances in the ALCS (losses) and one World Series appearance, which was also a loss.
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Last season, the Indians finished with a record of 35-25, which was good enough for the second spot in the AL Central and good enough to earn them a wild-card spot. They would ultimately get swept by the Yankees 2-0, so the wait for the franchise’s third World Series title goes on another year.
The Cleveland Indians will open the regular season on April 1 with a three-game series at Comerica Park against the Detroit Tigers. From there, the Indians will return home for a two-game series against the Kansas City Royals before welcoming the Tigers in for another three-game set. The Indians come into this season as long shots to win the World Series as they check in at +5000. They are +2800 to win the AL Pennant and +950 to win the AL Central. Their win total has been set at 81.5.
Indians 2021 Projected Lineup
One quick look at the Indians batting order and you’ll quickly see why they are projected as outsiders this season. Their projected lineup for opening day looks like this:
- Cesar Hernandez
- Eddie Rosario
- Jose Ramirez
- Franmil Reyes
- Josh Naylor
- Jake Bauers
- Roberto Perez
- Andres Gimenez
- Ben Gamel
If the first thing you noticed was the absence of Francisco Lindor, you are not alone. The Indians are going to miss Lindor and everything that he brought to the team from both an offensive and defensive perspective. The haul they received for Lindor was respectable given the fact that Lindor was set to walk away in free agency because the Indians couldn’t afford to pay him.
The two everyday players the Indians received are Gimenez and Rosario. Gimenez will get the everyday start at short-stop and he will bat eighth in the lineup. He’s coming off a season where he hit .263 with just three homeruns and eight stolen bases. He’s definitely not the focal point of the Indians lineup as that’ll be left up to the big guys up top.
The combo of Rosario and Ramirez had stellar seasons last year despite the 60-game season. They combined for 30 homeruns (Ramirez 17), and 13 stolen bases (Ramirez 10). If they can turn in such great production this season, the Indians may be a thorn in the rest of the division’s side. The projections are looking up for the duo as they are projected to hit a combined 62 homeruns and steal 32 bases. If we include the No. 4 hitter, Reyes, into the equation, he’s projected to contribute 37 longballs and slug around .493. Outside of those three guys, the production just doesn’t appear to be there from a projection’s standpoint. Hitters five through nine are young, averaging in age from 22-28, except for Perez, who is on the wrong side of 30. It’ll be interesting to see how competitive the Indians can stay with this relatively unintimidating roster.
Indians 2021 Projected Rotation & Closer
The Indians pitching staff will be the biggest question mark for this season. As of writing this, they have only four pitchers slotted into the starting rotation, with Shane Bieber leading the pack.
Bieber had an amazing season last year, culminating in winning the AL Cy Young Award. He started 12 games and posted a record of 8-1, with a 1.63 ERA. He’s the undoubted ‘ace’ of the staff, and it will be up to him to continue the winning streaks or stop the bleeding should it come to that. The projections for Bieber look more normal this season as he’s slated for around 30 starts and a win/loss record of around 15-8 with a 3.20 ERA.
Beyond him, Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale and Triston McKenzie are all pitchers looking to continue the upward trajectory of their careers. Each one of these pitchers had a sub-5.00 ERA, with Plesac leading the way at 2.28. In a shortened 60-game season, you can get away with trotting out unknowns as hitters don’t have enough time to adjust. In a full season, this quartet might find the sledding tough and the projections show just that.
As for the bullpen, James Karinchak will become the season as the closer and he’s projected to save around 25 games. His setup men will be Nick Wittgren and Emmanuel Clase, both of whom are projected to have respectable seasons.
Indians 2021 Predictions
FanGraphs projects the Indians to finish with a record of 81-81, which would put them third in the AL Central and miss the postseason. Without Lindor and Carrasco, this team won’t be very good. They have a few big hitters at the top of the lineup, but the bottom half is bad. As for the rotation, is Beiber and then everyone else, but the chances of Bieber following up his CY Young season with another is very slim. Give me the under on the win total.
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