Another Cleveland team begins a new season tonight which puts into focus how the Cleveland Indians remain the top title contender in town.
Two Cleveland teams will be in the midst of their respective seasons starting tonight when the Cavaliers open up the season on the road.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians are at home watching what looks to be a great World Series.
The Cavaliers open yet another season without LeBron James and enter with zero postseason expectations. The team is in the midst of another rebuild and winning 20-25 games will be seen as a success.
There there is the Browns. The team is 2-4 and will face a tough task this Sunday in New England to avoid going 2-5. The team entered with postseason expectations and some even brought up the thought of a Super Bowl victory. That is still technically possible, but unlikely in 2019 with the way the team has started the year.
The Indians may be home this postseason, yet the team has the best title chances of any of the three teams over the next few years. I know Browns fans may argue me on that point, but I see it as true.
The Indians have two years left of Francisco Lindor, barring an extension, and those still stand out as title contending years. The only problem is that if no extension can be worked out, the team would try to trade Lindor in the summer of 2021. I could see that happening regardless of how the team is performing.
Talk about a scenario where fans will revolt against the front office.
We can simplify this by saying that between the 2019 and 2020 seasons the Indians have the best chance of winning a title. 2021 will be a different animal depending on Lindor’s situation. If he does sign an extension, the title window remains open much longer as the team has young pieces all over the roster.
In terms of talent and hype the Browns entered the NFL season as the hope of Cleveland. Yet we are now seeing it may take some time for all the parts to gel together. If it takes a few years for that to happen, that is fine as long as the team does indeed play in January and hopefully February.
The Indians set high expectations with a surprise World Series run in 2016 and now fans expect such an outcome every year. Or they are at least hoping for such a run once again.
Which team do you think has the best shot to win a title next?