Exciting Times for the Cleveland Guardians

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Exciting times for the Cleveland Guardians. They have taken over first place in the AL Central. With just 48 games remaining, the question becomes can they hold on and win the division or at least get a playoff spot?

Excellent Bullpen

The exciting times for the Cleveland Guardians is due in large part to their bullpen. Their reliever staff is one of the most important aspects of this team. They have a great closer in Emmanuel Clase, who, through Sunday’s games, has 26 saves and a 1.32 ERA.

They are also getting superb performances from, Enyel De Los Santos, Nick Sandlin, and Trevor Stephan. The bullpen’s 3.45 ERA is ranked eighth in ERA in all the Big Leagues. They have pitched the second-fewest innings and always have “fresh” arms. That leads to plenty of depth to go long in games and provides multiple options.

Timely Hits

This team is also winning with timely hits. They do not have a lot of home run power—they’re ranked 29 out of the 30 teams in home runs—but manage to find a way to get base hit after base hit and turn singles into doubles. They’re playing a lot of hit and run and rank in the top ten in all of baseball in doubles and triples and third in stolen bases. They find a way to make small ball work.

Unique Ways of Winning

Exciting times for the Cleveland Guardians means you must mention their record in extra-inning games this year. Their 9-2 extra-innings games record is the best in the AL. They are also winning at home, are currently seven games over .500, and hold a 20-13 record in one-run games. They also have 49 defensive runs saved, third in the majors.

Positive Impact

There are a few other reasons why they have been winning and one of them is their positive attitude. The players simply believe they are going to win every night, regardless of any deficit. This all comes from a club that has had 13 players make their MLB debuts this season. The players all get along. Manager Terry Francona has created an open communication platform and the players have responded.

Winnable Division

The AL Central is a winnable division. There are three teams—the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox, and the Guardians—who could go on a winning streak and clinch the division. The Twins, who have been leading the division most of the season, have not quite connected all year. However, at the MLB trade deadline, they did make several pitching additions to stay in the race. The White Sox just cannot seem to get healthy enough to play sound baseball. That gives the Guardians a chance to keep themselves in contention despite being the youngest team in baseball.

Rest of Their Schedule

The exciting times for the Cleveland Guardians is one thing, but this team knows there is still plenty of season left. However, with the Twins and White Sox struggling with consistency, this division is up for grabs.

The team still has 29 home games left, 27 of which are against division opponents. This includes eight against the Twins and six against the White Sox. They finish the season with a nine-game home stand, three against the Rays, and the final six with the Royals.

Outlook

If they can continue getting timely hitting—and maybe find some home run power while they’re at it—continue winning at home, and continue to win the one-run and extra-inning games, they should be a lock for a playoff spot.

Whether they can hold off the Twins and White Sox for the AL Central will certainly make for some exciting times for Guardians fans over the final eight weeks of baseball.

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Emmanuel Clase, Enyel De Los Santos, Nick Sandlin, Trevor Stephan