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Cleveland Indians' 2020 MLB Playoff scenarios: Who will they play?

The Cleveland Indians enter the final weekend of the 2020 regular season with several possibilities in play for their Wild Card Round opponent.

CLEVELAND — Entering the final weekend of the regular season, the Cleveland Indians have already clinched a spot in the 2020 MLB Playoffs.

Now, it's just a matter of who they'll play.

RELATED: More Cleveland Indians coverage from WKYC

With three games remaining in the 2020 campaign -- all against the Pittsburgh Pirates -- the Indians are currently slated to be the No. 7 seed in the upcoming American League Wild Card Round, but could wind up as high as the No. 2 seed by the end of the weekend.

Where Cleveland winds up will largely depend on how it fares against Pittsburgh, as well as how the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins play against the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds in their respective three-game series' this weekend.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the Indians' remaining postseason possibilities:

How the Indians can get the No. 2 seed

  • Indians go 3-0
  • Twins go 0-3
  • White Sox go 2-1 (or worse)
  • Oakland A's go 1-2 (or worse) vs. Seattle Mariners

In this admittedly unlikely scenario, the Indians would win the American League Central Division and rank only behind the Tampa Bay Rays in playoff seeding. Cleveland would then play the No. 7 seed in a three-game series in the Wild Card Round.

How the Indians can get the No. 3 seed

  • Indians go 3-0
  • Twins go 0-3
  • White Sox go 2-1 (or worse)
  • Oakland A's go 2-1 (or better)

If the Indians win the American League Central, their seeding will be determined by how the Oakland A's fare in their three-game series vs. the Mariners. Should the A's win at least two games against Seattle this weekend, they would stay ahead of Cleveland for the No. 2 seed.

How the Indians can get the No. 4 seed

  • Indians go 3-0
  • White Sox go 2-1 (or worse)
  • Twins go 1-2 (or better)

Or

  • Indians go 2-1 (or better)
  • White Sox go 1-2 (or worse)
  • Twins go 1-2 (or better)

Or

  • Indians go 1-2 (or better)
  • White Sox go 0-3
  • Yankees go 2-1 (or worse)
  • Twins go 1-2 (or better)

In this scenario, the Indians fall short of winning the American League Central, but lock up the top Wild Card spot in the league. Reaching at least the No. 4 seed would be crucial, as only the top four seeds in each league will host games at their home ballparks during the Wild Card Round before the playoffs advance to neutral bubble sites beginning in the Division Round Series.

In this scenario, the Indians would play the No. 5 seed Yankees in the Wild Card round, who they hold the tiebreaker over should the two teams finish with the same regular-season records.

How the Indians can get the No. 7 seed

  • Indians go 3-0 (or worse)
  • White Sox go 3-0
  • Twins go 1-2 (or better)

Or

  • Indians go 2-1 (or worse)
  • White Sox go 2-1 (or better)
  • Twins go 1-2 (or better)

Or

  • Indians go 1-2 (or worse)
  • White Sox go 1-2 (or better)
  • Twins go 1-2 (or better)

Or 

  • Indians go 0-3
  • Blue Jays go 2-1 (or worse) vs. Baltimore Orioles

In this scenario, the Indians remain in third place of the American League Central and finish as the league's No. 7. Because of tiebreakers, the Indians need to have a better record than the Twins to pass Minnesota in the standings, but can finish with the same record as the White Sox to pass Chicago. Should Cleveland finish the season in third place of the A.L. Central, however, seventh will be as high as it can finish in playoff seeding.

How the Indians can get the No. 8 seed

  • Indians go 0-3
  • Blue Jays go 3-0 vs. Baltimore Orioles

One more Indians win or Blue Jays loss would clinch at least the No. 7 seed for the Indians. The only way that Cleveland could fall to eighth is if it loses out and Toronto wins out vs. Baltimore.

    

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