Usually, the MLB season is spoken about as a grind, like a marathon. But the 2020 season is going to be a strange one for the Indians and every team. This season will be a full out 60-game sprint to the finish line for a championship opportunity. So it’s with that in mind that we present the three key series for the Cleveland Indians in 2020.
Key Series #1: Opening Series against the Kansas City Royals￼
In a shortened 60-game season, every game counts even more than in a regular 162-game season. So opening up the season against one of the worst teams in the Central Conference bodes well for the Cleveland Indians. Kansas City isn’t expected to be very good and will likely face an adverse season in 2020. And when deep-diving into the full 60-game schedule, the Indians will face off against the Royals ten times, and seven of them will be at home at Progressive Field. The Indians are going to be looking to bounce back and reclaim the top spot in the AL Central. And that mission will begin on Opening Weekend against KC.
Key Series #2: 9 Game mid-August Stretch against Bottom Feeders
Right in the middle of the 60-game season for Cleveland will reside a nine-game stretch against the two worst teams in the Central Conference, the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. These nine games will come sandwiched in between stretches against competitive teams like the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins. The Indians will look to capitalize on this stretch, much like their opening series against KC. And if the Indians can manage to with this nine-game set, they could elevate themselves atop the AL Central standings in 2020.
Key Series #3: Final Series of the Season
The final series of the 2020 campaign for the Cleveland Indians will see the Tribe once again take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. And much like the nine-game stretch in mid-August, this series will also be pivotal. Winning or better yet, sweeping this series could give the Indians the boost and advantage over the rest of the AL Central Division. Playing games against solely your conference can benefit teams like the Indians who are dealing with some less than stellar teams. (i.e., Tigers, Royals, and Pirates.) However, playing against teams with “nothing to lose” means they can also play spoilers. Should the Pirates play up a notch and the Indians fall a level, this same series could knock Cleveland out of contention. Thus this series turns out to be more meaningful than expected.