Everybody talks about the Boston Red Sox, the Atlanta Braves, and the New York Yankees as the hottest teams in MLB in the last few weeks.
And they are right: all of those squads have been winning games often in June and most of May.
But how about the Cleveland Guardians?
They may be a small-market team, but are showing their dreams are big in 2022.
“Don’t look now, but the @CleGuardians have won 6 straight series,” MLB tweeted on Monday.
— MLB (@MLB) June 19, 2022
The Guardians weren’t early-season favorites to fight for the AL Central crown or even make the playoffs.
But they have gotten the best of their limited resources and have put together a fine season so far.
A Solid Ballclub
As of Monday afternoon, they are second in the division with a solid 34-28 record, only one game behind the Minnesota Twins for the top spot.
The Guardians have a +35 run differential, better than the Twins’ +25: both teams have been solid all year long, and there is an argument to be made that the Guardians have been slightly better despite what the standings might say.
At the moment, Cleveland is hopeful that its biggest star, Jose Ramirez, doesn’t have to miss significant playing time with a jammed thumb.
He sat Saturday and Sunday’s games with the ailment, and the Guardians are optimistic that Monday’s off day will do the trick and he can return on Tuesday.
As long as Ramirez (.305/.397/.642, 16 home runs, 11 stolen bases) can stay healthy, Cleveland will be competitive.
The Guardians are, therefore, a surprising contender, even with their limitations.