The Cleveland Guardians need to overcome a lack of home-run hitting to win it all.
As Han Solo once said, “Never tell me the odds”. That’s a pretty iconic line, one that means just as much and revolves around the same principle as a quote from the television series “Scrubs”. In it, Dr. Cox tells J.D. that “Statics mean nothing to the individual”. These are quotes that the Cleveland Guardians are going to need to embrace because history says that once the playoffs start, they’re screwed.
According to Sports Illustrated, no team since 2017 (excluding 2020) has won a playoff series when their team has failed to hit 200 home runs in a season. The Guardians as of the press time on the SI article had only hit 126.
That said, teams from 2013-2016 without 200 home run seasons made up 75% of the playoff teams, won 30 combined rounds, and won four straight World Series. The Red Sox had 178 on the year in 2013, The Giants in 2014 had just 132, the Royals in 2015 had just 139 and the Cubs in 2016 had just one shy of 200, at 199. The Guardians that year (then Indians) had 185.
So it isn’t doom and gloom for the Guardians in 2022, just recent history has been a bit wonky is all.
The Cleveland Guardians have power hitters, they just arrived late
To say the Cleveland Guardians don’t have power hitters would be a lie, they really do. They just don’t have many of them. Jose Ramirez, Oscar Gonzalez, and Josh Naylor have all been shown to have legitimate power.
Moreover, six Cleveland Guardians rank in the Top 40 in the American League for doubles alone. That includes Ramirez, Gonzelez, Naylor as well as Andres Gimenez, Amed Rosario, and Owen Miller. Doubles and triples count in the “power” category as well, so the notion that the team can’t hit for power shouldn’t be dismissed so easily.
Especially when you factor in that Rosario, Ramirez, and Steven Kwan are in the Top 10 in triples. This is a team that can hit for power, just not the power fans instantly think of.
Yes, the Guardians have an uphill battle, but so does everyone. The 100-plus-win teams of the 2001 Mariners and 2017 Guardians got bounced early, while the 86-win 1997 World Series team did the unthinkable.
The odds and statistics are against the Guardians, but as we already know, they don’t matter when it comes down to it.