Cleveland Guardians Preview The 2022 MLB Playoffs


(CTN News) – Cleveland Guardians entered the 2022 season as underdogs after losing much of the core that took them to the postseason four out of five years.

According to FanGraphs, they had a 7.5 percent chance to win the AL Central and a 15.2 percent chance to make the playoffs.

They were just one game ahead of the White Sox at the All-Star break, with a 20.6 percent chance of winning.

Since then, things have changed quite a bit, thanks to Cleveland Guardians stellar play (46-26 in that time) as well as the Twins’ collapse and the White Sox’s continued disappointment.

A young team won the Central by double digits. The team has some star power at the top and a deep pitching staff. What’s the limit?

Record: 92-70

Manager: Terry Francona

Top Position Player: José Ramírez (6.1 FWAR)

Top Pitcher: Shane Bieber (4.9 FWAR)

When it comes to the Cleveland Guardians, there’s no better place to start than at the top. Cleveland’s José Ramrez is one of baseball’s top five or so third basemen.

He’s been the third most valuable player in the sport by FWAR since 2016, posting wRC+ marks of 167, 138, and 139.

Additionally, Cleveland’s lineup has had some big breakouts. In the Guardians infield, Andrés Giménez reached new heights in virtually every category, posting a 140 wRC+. An impressive rookie outfielder with excellent contact skills, Steven Kwan has a .373 OBP and a 124 wRC+ to round out his 4.3 fWAR debut. With a 117 wRC+, Josh Naylor hit 20 home runs in 122 games in his most successful season to date.

Recently, Cleveland Guardians trademark has been its ability to consistently produce quality arms from its organization.

Their top-three starters all pitched 186 innings or more with ERAs of 3.38 or better this year. At the top of the rotation, Shane Bieber is a legit ace, followed by Triston McKenzie, who rebounded from a subpar rookie season with a 2.96 ERA.

The back end of the playoff rotation is likely to be rounded out by Cal Quantrill and Aaron Civale.

Similarly, the bullpen’s best quality is probably its depth.h. Clase and Karinchak are great. The two of them have a stable full of high-strikeout relievers behind them – Trevor Stephan, Sam Hentges, Enyel De Los Santos, and Eli Morgan.

We’ve seen bullpens like this propel deep October runs because they’re both quality and quantity.

Cleveland Guardians biggest problem has been lineup depth, which has plagued them for years. In terms of top guys, they’re pretty good, but bottom guys aren’t so great. Outside of Kwan, the Guardians only had five qualified hitters this year.

Even though they have a couple of league-average bats, they’re consistently running out Austin Hedges and Myles Straw, two of the worst hitters in baseball.