The Guardians are once again in first place in the AL Central.
You read that correctly.
In addition, they now have the best odds in the AL Central of making the postseason at 61%, according to 538.
Perhaps that’s a recognition (finally) that this team, while young, is special.
And no matter how average they look or how much they struggle in fits and spurts, somehow they always find a way back in the thick of things.
Or it’s a testament to the rather poor division as a whole, as the White Sox and Twins have yet to really get going post-All-Star Break.
Regardless, it’s cause for celebration!
Turning Things Around
After going 13-15 in July, the Guardians are off to a fast start in August.
Since flipping the calendar, the club is 6-3, with crucial series wins against the Diamondbacks and Tigers already bagged.
Further, the club managed a nice split against the Houston Astros, though were ultimately outscored 8-16 in that series.
The Guardians are currently riding a four-game winning streak, the team’s longest since a five-game run in mid-July.
A key to the Guardians’ success of late has been strong pitching performances from starters like Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill along with three straight saves by closer Emmanuel Clase.
Over the last four games, the Guardians are surrendering 1.25 runs per game, a testament to the strong pitching.
But while the mound workers have been strong, the run support has been, well, as expected.
Over the same four games, the Guardians’ offense is averaging just 3.25 runs per game.
It’s been enough against the Tigers, but the offensively potent Toronto Blue Jays are on the horizon.
And just a little further out, the San Diego Padres, with a brand new weapon in Juan Soto.
But that’s all for another day.
Right now, Cleveland is just happy to have made it back atop the division for the first time since June 22.
Fans were thrilled by the win on Wednesday that officially catapulted the club atop the AL Central:
Hey there! Your first-place @CleGuardians are in action this afternoon!
But wait, there's more! They're going for a series sweep in Detroit!@AlPawlowski and @JLEWFifty lead us off now on Bally Sports Great Lakes and the Bally Sports app!#ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/QJ2CJF3MgB
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) August 11, 2022
This Guardians team just keeps getting younger & younger…but they also just keep winning as well. #ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/m6laK69Sly
— David Hrusovsky Sports (@davehrus) August 10, 2022
The Cleveland Guardians are one of the best teams in modern MLB history while being at this young of an age. The only teams higher than them are the NL Champ Reds, WS-winning Mets, and a Bonds/Bonilla/Slyke-led ballclub.#ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/BMDmYBHpUC
— David Hrusovsky Sports (@davehrus) August 10, 2022
Steven Kwan just hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball and then hits the ball. #ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/6fc4MI5Prp
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) August 10, 2022
Woke up feeling dangerous.
No more looking up the standings- we’re looking down at everyone else.
Chills. #Fortheland pic.twitter.com/99weEuiQVL
— 216 Baseball Podcast (@216BaseballPod) August 11, 2022
WHEW! A WIN IS A WIN! #ForTheLand
— Derek Sparks (@sparkyd213) August 11, 2022
#ForTheLand 💪 Go Guards! pic.twitter.com/eRlTJ0LJRZ
— BrownsBackersMTL (@Montreal_Browns) August 11, 2022
Your 1st place Cleveland Guardians!#ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/KyyHhRUswf
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) August 11, 2022
This man has the youngest team in baseball alone in first place,with 52 game left. #ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/Ck6bv6bmdN
— ®️oss (@RedSauceRoss) August 11, 2022
First Place Guardians!#ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/Zas3j9du2Q
— Guardians of the Land (@OurCLEGuardians) August 11, 2022
Can we talk about how impressive the Guardians team has been, for a second?
Before the season started, ESPN predicted the Guardians to finish 77-85, way out of the race for the AL Central.
Now, the Guardians stand to flip those predictions, with 538 projecting the Guardians to finish 85-77.
ESPN was even higher on the Tigers than the Guardians heading into 2022.
Here’s what the experts had to say:
“For all the hand-wringing we tend to do over Cleveland’s outfield, this year’s group at least looks athletic. It will be well-situated to provide defensive help for the Guardians’ pitching staff. But beyond Ramirez’s all-around game and Franmil Reyes‘ power bat, the offense is questionable. Getting guys on base, for starters, looks to be a real problem. There are some young hitters who could take a leap — Amed Rosario, Josh Naylor, Bobby Bradley, for starters. For Cleveland to contend, some of them are going to have to do just that.
Most likely 2022 award winner: There isn’t a whole lot to celebrate about the current Guardians — but there is Jose Ramirez.”
Hey, at least they got José Ramirez right.
But once again, we stand over halfway through the season with those predictions essentially inverted.
Franmil Reyes has been DFA’d and yet the team continues to win.
Is this season an example of a best-case scenario?
Is Cleveland better than everyone gave them credit for to open the campaign?
Leave a Reply