Can the Cleveland Guardians Still Make the MLB Playoffs?
The Cleveland Guardians have been competing for a playoff spot throughout the year as they are currently second in the AL Central with a 56-52 record and are a single game back in the AL Wild Card spot.
This team is going to be interesting to watch as they did not make any big moves in either direction at the MLB Trade Deadline. Let's discuss whether or not the Cleveland Guardians can still end up in the 2022 MLB Playoffs.
How the MLB Playoffs Work in 2022
This is the first season that there is a new playoff format so let’s make sure we know what is happening.
The divisional leaders are the same but now there are three Wild Card spots available as well. The divisional leader with the worst record will play a best of three series against the team with the best record hosting all three games.
The Cleveland Guardians are not standing out offensively with a .699 OPS as a team with just 86 home runs as a whole. This offense goes with how All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez has gone as he has 21 home runs, 87 RBI, 14 stolen bases on 18 attempts, and more walks than strikeouts. They are a run of the mill offense as they scored 468 total runs so far.
However, they finally designated for assignment Franmil Reyes. He was supposed to be a player to dominate in the middle of their lineup, but now they'll give a younger outfielder those opportunities.
Their pitching as a whole has also been sitting around league average as they have a 3.90 team ERA through their first 108 games. They have a solid starting pitcher rotation as they have Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, Cal Quantrill, and Triston McKenzie as their five-man rotation so it will be difficult to have a better five-man rotation down the stretch.
The bullpen has been one of their biggest strengths as they are eighth in the majors with a 3.41 reliever ERA and a .222 batting average against up to this point. Their closer Emmanuel Clase has been dominant as he has 24 saves ith a 1.36 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning so getting that bridge from the starting pitcher to Clase’s hands are critical for their success.
The Verdict: Can The Guardians Make The Playoffs in 2022?
The Cleveland Guardians have been doing well throughout the season as they are in the top eight teams in the American League. Their best bet is in the division to win, but it will be a difficult stretch as the AL Central is getting tough. The Minnesota Twins have been playing well and improved their pitching at the Trade Deadline while the Chicago White Sox are climbing back into the race.
The Cleveland Guardians are a good team, but also feel just like they will a couple games out of the final AL Wild Card spot as they finish third in the AL Central behind both Minnesota and Chicago, with better overall rosters. There is a chance that the Cleveland Guardians can sneak into a Wild Card spot as the Baltimore Orioles can drop and hope one of the Tampa Bay Rays or the Toronto Blue Jays as well.
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