It does not matter what outlet it is, the Cleveland Guardians have routinely been placed towards the bottom of MLB power rankings lists for some time now. That is why seeing them crack the Top-20 in Joel Reuter's latest power ranking on Bleacher Report is a bit surprising. The Guardians moved up from 24 to 19 in the latest edition with the following explanation provided as to why.
"The light-hitting Guardians scored 34 runs in seven games last week, matching a season high with 12 runs scored against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. The trio of Josh Naylor (9-for-22, 5 XBH), Andrés Giménez (11-for-28, 4 XBH) and Will Brennan (11-for-21, 3 XBH) all had strong weeks at the plate as the team looks to build some much-needed offensive momentum."- Joel Reuter on the Guardians
Reuter mentions the offensive momentum the team put together over the past week and as noted in a previous article appearing on Away Back Gone, the improved hitting is something that the Guardians must continue.
The Guardians find themselves in a weird spot right now. Their season can really go in either direction, contending for the division or bottoming out entirely. Cleveland trails Minnesota by just 3.5 games in the division, a division that is really up for grabs for anyone besides the Kansas City Royals. The Guardians havetwo players who realistically belong in the Rookie of the Year conversation while at the same time trading Shane Bieber is on the table. Even as contenders the Guardians could end up moving Bieber in order to bring some much needed thump to their lineup.
This upcoming week of games should be really telling about where the Guardians stand. A homestand with visits from the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros could ultimately shape the rest of their season. If they put up a good fight they can continue to be in the mix for the divison. If they are unable to at least split these six games at home, their season and any hopes to contend could end up being on life support.