The Cleveland Indians finished 35-25 in the shortened 2020 MLB season and made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs before falling to the New York Yankees. It was the fourth time they made the playoffs in the last five seasons, yet they are being disrespected heading into 2021.
The Indians' projected win total sits at just 81.5, according to MLB odds posted on FanDuel Sportsbook. That number ranks tied for the 16th-highest in the league alongside the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. However, Cleveland has the roster to be a top 10 team in the MLB once again.
Cleveland Indians Projected Win Total
The Indians have thrived off of top-tier pitching in the last few seasons and there is no reason that can't happen again in 2021. Reigning American League Cy Young winner Shane Bieber will look to repeat the numbers he posted last year as he finished 8-1 with a league-leading 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 77.1 innings pitched.
He is followed by Zach Plesac (145 strikeouts in last two seasons) and Aaron Civale (career 3.69 ERA) in what is one of the stronger starting trios in the league. Yes, the Indians did trade away starting shortstop Francisco Lindor, but they still maintain a balanced offensive lineup with third baseman Jose Ramirez and power hitter Franmil Reyes leading the way.
No matter how you look at it, the Indians are being severely underrated heading into the season. They will likely be in contention for another AL Central division title and could crush a projected win total that expects them to finish with a record just a bit above .500.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.