Is this for real?
The Cleveland Guardians have 45 games remaining in the 2022 MLB season. They are currently in first place. Will it last? Will they make the playoffs? Let’s go to the statistics. According to FanGraphs, as of August 17th, the Guardians have a 50.7% chance of making the playoffs.
So, technically it is more likely than unlikely that the Guardians will make the playoffs. 0.7% more likely, but still.
Guardians manager Terry Francona said “I don’t know, but I think there’s something to be said for not putting your head down when things don’t go right.” I also think our bullpen gives us a chance.” Clearly there is something to the positive attitude of the Guardians. Also, clearly their bullpen is a considerable asset.
Relief in sight
Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase has been a force all year and currently has an excellent 1.27 ERA. Fellow relief pitcher Brian Shaw spoke about Clase saying,
“Normally in extra innings, Clase comes in and it’s close, and you don’t really get a hit off of him ever,” said Shaw. “Clase, last year he was younger, just throwing the ball. He’s starting to learn his finger pressure, he’s starting to learn to command better, he’s starting to become an elite pitcher. … He’s adding things to his repertoire and it’s gonna be ridiculous.”
Ridiculous indeed. In a positive way.
The Guardians are an interesting team because they don’t hit home runs, only the Tigers have hit fewer home runs and they are the youngest team in the MLB. However, the Guardians rarely strike out, and they lead the majors, by a wide margin, in least number of strikeouts. They consistently put the ball in play and lead the league in sacrifice flies and are top 3 in sacrifice bunts. They call that “small ball” where I come from, and it’s working.
I think if the Guardians can continue what they have been doing over the first 72.2% of the year, they can make the playoffs. Do you agree? Will the good times stop rolling? Let me know in the comments and Go Guards!