The Cleveland Guardians need a series win to stay in the AL Central hunt.
The Cleveland Guardians have hit those dog days of summer. The only consistent thing about them lately has been their inconsistency. Part of this is the schedule. They’ve missed so many games that the league has had to re-schedule games on days off or double-headers. Normally, I love double-headers but when you’re playing this many, and with next to no days off, that can cause issues with the squad.
We’re seeing those issues pop up. Fatigue, inconsistency, a mismanaged lineup with a glaring hole in the middle, so many minor issues have snowballed onto this squad and dampened their expectations. That said, this isn’t a team that can’t get back into it.
They’re only four games out of the AL Central title and three and a half out of the Wild Card. This is not a team that should dare think of selling at the deadline. They’re within earshot. They just need a bit more consistency from this team. Keep in mind the Guardians are not just the youngest team in the Majors, but they’d be the youngest team in Triple-A if they were a Triple-A club.
Yet, to stay in the race for the division and the playoffs, they can’t afford to lose or split with the Detroit Tigers.
The Cleveland Guardians have to start winning the expected-to-win series
The Guardians will have already started Game 1 of a four games series against the Tigers by the time you’ve started reading this. If the Guardians have any hope of keeping pace with the Twins for the AL Central, and the Orioles and Mariners for the Wild Card, they have to start getting series wins over the likes of the Tigers.
With four games before, all against the Tigers, before the All-Star break, this is the perfect opportunity to go into the break with a momentum boost. A 47-44 record would look a lot more digestible than a 46-45, or 45-46 record.
If the team doesn’t win this series, while I don’t want to think of them as “sellers”, moving guys like Franmil Reyes needs to become a priority. If you can “buy” by flipping him for another starting pitcher, that’s one thing, but trading him for prospects really shouldn’t be on the table right now.
Not unless the team loses the Tigers series and the next two after the All-Star break.