Guardians season comes down to this

Cleveland Guardians v Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Guardians v Minnesota Twins / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

Sitting five games back in the division is not an ideal spot to be in, but that is where the Cleveland Guardians find themselves. With 28 games remaining, Cleveland's next six games will determine whether or not the last few weeks of the season will be meaningful or just time to let the kids play.

Starting Friday, the Guardians are kicking off a six-game homestand, which will see them take on the Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins. Coming away with a series win against Tampa must be the starting point, but most of the focus is on that series with Minnesota that concludes next Wednesday. Being able to build upon their most recent series win with another to further cut into the Twins' lead in the American League Central division could make things a bit interesting.

There is a reason why the Guardians went out and claimed three former Angels pitchers on waivers Thursday. The additions of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Matt Moore should help bolster a Guardians rotation that has been leaning on the contributions of rookies far more than anyone could have reasonably expected. Going beyond just skill level, the experience of these three arms should be able to provide some valuable veteran experience in the locker room for a team that has the youngest average age for their pitching staff and second-youngest for their batters.

It has been a tough season for the Guardians, and yet, they are not entirely out of it, thanks to the Minnesota Twins being the most fraudulent division leader in all of baseball. If Cleveland can find a way to come out the other end of their next two series with a winning record and cut into Minnesota's lead by a non-insignificant amount, the Guardians could push the Twins for a playoff spot.

The Twins have hung around long enough to give Cleveland a chance and now is the time for the Guardians to channel their inner Tim Misny and Make Them Pay.