CLEVELAND — As months of anticipation -- and negotiations -- the 2020 MLB season is finally here.
And while there's no telling how this year might play out for the Cleveland Indians considering the unique circumstances of the season, that won't stop us from giving our best guesses heading into Friday night's opener against the Kansas City Royals.
From the team's record to breakout players and the final destination, the possibilities for the Indians' 2020 campaign appear endless. With that in mind, we surveyed some of our staff's best experts and biggest fans for their predictions on how the Indians will fair in an MLB season unlike any other.
Final record (out of 60 games)
- Ben Axelrod: 36-24
- Nick Camino: 35-25
- Tyler Carey: 35-25
- Laura Caso: 34-26
- Dave Chudowsky: 34-26
- Jay Crawford: 35-25
- Dave "Dino" DeNatale: 34-26
- Jim Donovan: 34-26
- Mike Polk Jr.: 14-16 (interrupted season)
Final place in American League Central
- Ben Axelrod: First
- Nick Camino: Second (Wild Card)
- Tyler Carey: Second (Wild Card)
- Laura Caso: Second (Wild Card) - "We are making the playoffs - no doubt!"
- Dave Chudowsky: First
- Jay Crawford: Second (Wild Card)
- Dave "Dino" DeNatale: Second (Wild Card)
- Jim Donovan: Second (Wild Card)
- Ben Axelrod: James Karinchak
- Nick Camino: Cesar Hernandez
- Tyler Carey: Franmil Reyes
- Laura Caso: Nolan Jones
- Dave Chudowsky: Franmil Reyes
- Jay Crawford: Bradley Zimmer
- Dave "Dino" DeNatale: Aaron Civale
- Jim Donovan: Franmil Reyes - "With all of his power and with those hitters in front of him in the order he could knock in a lot of runs."
- Mike Polk Jr.: Franmil Reyes - "For some reason. Just because it would be weird."
- Ben Axelrod: Mike Clevinger
- Nick Camino: Aaron Civale
- Tyler Carey: Shane Bieber
- Laura Caso: Mike Clevinger
- Dave Chudowsky: Franmil Reyes
- Jay Crawford: Shane Bieber
- Dave "Dino" DeNatale: Shane Bieber
- Jim Donovan: Shane Bieber - "I think he ran out of gas at the end last year so the short season shouldn’t bother him."
- Mike Polk Jr.: Mike Clevinger - "He's seems oddly confident."
Does Francisco Lindor get traded? (And if so, where?)
- Ben Axelrod: "No. I think the shortened season put the Indians in a tough spot regarding his value. At this point, the best option is to probably let him play out his contract."
- Nick Camino: "No, not this season."
- Tyler Carey: "No, and I actually think the team may just play out the string with him at this point."
- Laura Caso: "No way."
- Dave Chudowsky: "He does get traded but not until after the season."
- Dave "Dino" DeNatale: "I don’t think so. I believe the Indians will look to get lightning in a bottle and keep Frankie for one last playoff run."
- Jim Donovan: "I don’t think Lindor gets traded. I think they play the year out with him and see how far they can go."
- Mike Polk Jr.: "Yes. Perfect opportunity with this weird season for the Dolans to unload him and take the hit from the fans. Opportunity in chaos. I'll go Angels."
How does the Indians' season end?
- Ben Axelrod: "Exit in the ALDS. I think the Indians' roster is perfect for taking advantage of more games against the American League Central, but there's still a gap between them and the American League's top tier."
- Nick Camino: "Make Playoffs as a wild-card team, advance to ALDS."
- Tyler Carey: "Lose in ALDS to Twins."
- Laura Caso: "Make the playoffs"
- Dave Chudowsky: "If ever we had a year the Indians win it all it’s 2020, but I just don’t think they are the best team in the AL, so lose in the ALCS."
- Jay Crawford: "We make the playoffs before losing in the ALDS."
- Dave "Dino" DeNatale: "Indians will advance as far as ALCS before losing to the Yankees, ugh."
- Jim Donovan: "I think they make the playoffs but get knocked out in division series."
- Mike Polk Jr.: "I don't see them playing 60 games, but if they do I'll say they get to the wildcard and get knocked out in game 5."