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Odds on Cleveland Indians’ New Team Name Favor Spiders at +250

Matt Loede

by Matt Loede in MLB Baseball

Updated Dec 14, 2020 · 3:42 PM PST

Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco falls to the ground
The Cleveland MLB franchise is likely to have a new name for the 2021 season. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
  • After 105 years, the Cleveland MLB franchise is set to undergo a name change
  • “Spiders” is the betting favorite to be the new nickname
  • See the odds for all the potential nicknames, below

There will be a new nickname for the Major League Baseball team in the city of Cleveland, as after months of speculation, a report Sunday from the New York Times states that the franchise will move away from the nickname “Indians.”

The nickname “Indians” has been under fire after years of protests from Native American groups. Finally following the NFL team in Washington moved away from the nickname “Redskins” in July, Cleveland announced they were having internal meetings to discuss the possibility of changing the name.

Fans of the Major League Baseball team in Cleveland have been split for a long time about the “Indians” nickname, some embracing it and saying that the name is a sign of respect to its namesake – Louis “Chief” Sockalexis.

Others have said with the climate in the country it’s simply time to move away from any type of nickname that could be considered disrespectful to a group of people, and to find another way to represent the baseball franchise.

Odds on Cleveland Indians’ New Team Name

Name Odds
Spiders +250
Cleveland Baseball Team +450
Guardians +450
Wild Things +900
Blue Sox +1000
Crows +1000
Naps +1000
Rocks +1200
Buckeyes +1300
Dobys +1500
Cuyahogas +2000
Rockers +2500

Odds as of Dec. 14, 2020.

What Name Has the Real Edge?

In looking at the odds and options, one name that has popped up since the moment it was announced in July that the nickname “Indians” was likely to be done away with is that of “Spiders,” and it sits as the current favorite at +250.

“Spiders” was the nickname for the baseball franchise in Cleveland from 1887 to 1899. The name “Spiders” carries some inauspicious history; the team recorded the worst record for a single season in MLB history, going 20–134 in 1899.

Many people have stated on social media that they want to stay away from the “Spiders” nickname.

The simple nickname of “Cleveland Baseball Team” follows the current format of what the NFL team in Washington has done.

While a simple nickname, it’s one that the city of Cleveland will balk at, and likely be looked at as a joke, so don’t waste your money on this potential name despite the odds sitting at +450.

One name that could be worth the money is “Guardians,” which also sits at +450.

The term is something that the city of Cleveland can get behind, “a defender, protector, or keeper,” and there is a statue of a pair of guardians as you enter Downtown Cleveland. There is meaning behind it.

People in the city have seemed to be behind this nickname more so than any other over the last five months since things broke in July.

The nickname “Wild Things” (+900) comes directly from the 1989 baseball cult-classic movie “Major League.”

Based around the Cleveland Indians as a down-and-out franchise that turns it around, to this day it’s a movie that Cleveland fans still embrace and adore, especially the character known as “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn, played by Charlie Sheen.

Some Longshots

There are a number of names on the list above that won’t be under serious consideration

The “Blue Sox” is a name that makes little to no sense. It holds no real connection with the city of Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox play in the same division. Aat +1000, it’s a real waste.

The “Crows” is an interesting name, and you can do a lot with it when it comes to characters and designs for using a “Crow” as the name of the team, but it seems far fetched to go this route.

“Naps” comes from former Cleveland player Nap Lajoie, who was a player-manager when the franchise was known as the “Naps” from 1902 to 1914. While it may be a part of Cleveland baseball history, it’s not one that many fans know much about, so it’s hard to see this being the new name.

The Final Five

Don’t waste your money betting on any of the final bottom five, there will not be a longshot nickname selection in this race.

Rocks +1200, Buckeyes +1300, Dobys +1500, Cuyahogas +2000, and Rockers +2500 all for the most part have something to do with the city of Cleveland, but not to the extent where the franchise will go with any of these nicknames.

Name It and Claim It

At the end of the day, a lot of Cleveland fans do want something that has a connection with the city, and of course in this day and age there has to be a name that won’t offend a group or a lot of people.

With that, “Guardians” or “Wild Things” would be two names that would fit the agenda of Cleveland fans, and also be easy to market and sell when it comes to merchandise.

Cleveland is a very proud city, and it would be best to tie in a new name with something that has to do with the city, which is why either “Guardians” or “Wild Things” makes a great deal of sense.

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