BetOnline has released their opening betting lines for the 2020 season. They’ve set the Indians at 87.5 wins, second in the American League Central behind the Twins’ 92.5 wins.
The full AL Central lines are as follows:
- Twins: 92.5 wins
- Indians: 87.5 wins
- White Sox: 84.5 wins
- Royals: 65.5 wins
- Tigers: 56.5 wins
For my money, the more worrying thing than being second in the division is the White Sox creeping up on the Indians. Minnesota proved last year that a team can make a sudden jump and surprise everyone. If the White Sox are the next to do that with a mix of young talent and big-name free agent acquisitions, do the Indians stumble further down the standings? Unlikely, but it seemed unlikely that they’d lose the AL Central last year, too.
The Twins and White Sox still have holes on their rosters, but combined the two clubs have spent nearly $300 million this offseason in an attempt to repeat their AL Central win from a year ago (in the case of the Twins) or make the jump to a true competitor (in the case of the White Sox).
The Indians have stood pat to this point, shedding payroll and adding only César Hernández on a small deal. There have been, and still are, options for the Indians to fix their outfield. Marcell Ozuna recently signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves, but Yasiel Puig and Nicholas Castellanos are still on the free agent market. Internally they could look to Daniel Johnson to make the leap to a solid contributor, or they could just ride or die with what they have and hope their division rivals are undone by sub-par pitching.
Other curiosities in the lines include the Cubs being worse than the Indians at 86.5 wins, the Angels pegged for the first 85+ win season since 2015, and the Astros being left off the board entirely. The full lines can be seen at BetOnline.ag.