HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsInside Look at the 2023 Cleveland Guardians – Guardians Surging

Inside Look at the 2023 Cleveland Guardians – Guardians Surging

As of May 29th, the 2023 Cleveland Guardians have gotten off to a slow start to the season with a record of 24-29. However, there are still reasons for hope that they could make a playoff run.

Image: IMAGO / NurPhoto

The starting pitching rotation was projected to be a strong point for the Guardians this season, with 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber leading the way. Unfortunately, injuries to Triston McKenzie and Aaron Civale, as well as a demotion to AAA for Zach Plesac, have made it difficult for manager Terry Francona to find enough arms on a game-to-game basis.

On the bright side, the Guardians do have an elite player in Jose Ramirez leading the lineup. However, the rest of the batting order has been struggling this season, with five regulars batting under .250.

Unfortunately, the team is currently last in the AL when it comes to runs scored. Overall, the Guardians have both strengths and weaknesses that must be addressed if they desire to have a successful season.

Strengths:

  • Shane Bieber, Logan Allen, and Cal Quantrill: Bieber leads the team in wins, Allen leads in strikeouts per nine frames and Quantrill has five quality starts.
  • Jose Ramirez: The Guardians All-Star 3B is an MVP candidate, and is having a terrific season.
  • Terry Francona: Francona is one of the best managers in the game.
  • Emanuel Clase: His 17 saves and five blown saves lead all MLB closers.

Weaknesses:

  • Defense: The Guardians have a below-average defense. The team has made 27 errors this season, and they have struggled to turn double plays. SS Ahmed Rosario has seven errors and 2B Andres Giminez has three.
  • Offense: The Guardians have scored the least amount of runs in the American League.
  • Experience: The Guardians are a young team, and they lack experience. The team has a number of talented players, but they are still learning how to win consistently in the major leagues.

Guardians Inside Look

Despite their struggles with injuries and underperforming players, the Guardians have managed to hold their own thanks to a strong farm system, the leadership of Jose Ramirez, and a skilled manager.

Unfortunately, the starting rotation has been hit hard by injuries, resulting in a lack of quality starts from the staff. While there is hope for the return of McKenzie and Civale, the loss of Battenfield to injury is a setback.

Bieber and Quantrill have been standouts, but the rest of the rotation outside of rookie Tanner Bibee needs to step up. The bullpen has been inconsistent, with Clase shining but blowing some saves, and some pitchers struggling with control.

On the offensive side, Ramirez is still a force to be reckoned with, and Naylor has shown power despite a low batting average. However, Rosario, Andreas Giminez, and Myles Straw, have all struggled to contribute consistently, leading to a lack of scoring.

With some improvements to the pitching and more consistent hitting from the offense, the Guardians could still be contenders in their division.

Can the Guardians Win the AL Central Division?

The preseason favorite to win the AL Central, Cleveland, has seen a drastic change in their odds according to DraftKings, now sitting at +340. Despite being 3.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the standings, the division is still up for grabs with over 100 games remaining.

The Guardians’ starting rotation is expected to improve once McKenzie and Civale return, allowing for Hunter Gaddis or Allen to stabilize the bullpen. However, Cleveland needs to rely less on Ramirez’s performance at the plate and find consistent contributions from the bottom of the lineup.

If they can do so, the Guardians have a chance to compete for both a division title and an AL Wild Card spot.

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