No run to the World Series will be easy. However, the Guardians seem to have the ideal matchup in both the wild-card series and (if they make it that far) ALDS rounds. The Guardians went 4-2 against the Rays, who enter the playoffs in a serious skid, having lost eight of their last ten games. The only playoff team that Cleveland played better this season was the Blue Jays, who enter the playoffs on a hot streak of their own. Add in home-field advantage for all three games in the wild-card series and the Guardians have an ideal setup to advance.
If they were to advance, the Guardians would face the Yankees, who have at times looked like the best team in baseball, and at other times looked like a complete disaster. They seem to have stabilized somewhere in the middle, but also have to deal with a long five-day layoff between games. Long layoffs typically mean rust, and in a short series that could allow the Guardians to steal a game (or two) in New York and be in excellent position to advance to the ALCS.