Are the Cleveland Guardians overachieving?

Cleveland Guardians v Houston Astros
Cleveland Guardians v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians ended the month of April with a 19-10 record and one of the best run differentials in all of baseball (+45). They have been one of the feel-good stories early on in the year, as they have managed to win at a rate few were expecting. In fact, their performance so far has led some to believe that they are overachieving, but is that true?

Cleveland was named alongside the Milwaukee Brewers as the biggest overachievers in the first month of the season in a recent article appearing in The Athletic (subscription required). While it is fair to say that expectations for both clubs entering the season were a bit on the cautious side, it appears that a preseason power ranking entry is clouding judgment here.

The Guardians were tied for 20th before the season began, and while it is difficult to argue with keeping them on the bottom half of the list, given how things transpired last season, putting any stock into that ranking at this point in the season is completely worthless, and that is the real issue here. It appears that because the Guardians were ranked that low before a single game was played, anything better than that is classified as overachieving, rather than a team actually proving that last season was not an accurate indicator of where they are from a competitive standpoint. Despite currently ranking sixth, they are being punished by a completely arbitrary number, which becomes irrelevant once the first pitch of the seasonis thrown.

Is it possible that the Guardians are an average to above-average team rather than an elite one, as they have shown to be so far this season? Absolutely, but tagging them as an overachiever because the initial assessment of the organization has been proven incorrect very early is just plain wrong. This team is good, perhaps great, but an overachiever? No, that is just trying to discredit their success to make a preseason power ranking look more accurate than it really is.