Series with Nationals gives the Guardians a chance to get back on the right track

Cleveland Guardians v Colorado Rockies
Cleveland Guardians v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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To say the Cleveland Guardians' trip to Colorado was disappointing is an understatement. The Guardians are a vastly superior team when compared to the Rockies but managed only to win one of their three matchups. What is truly frustrating with that series loss is that Cleveland held early leads in all three contests, which should have resulted in at least a series win against Colorado. With this series now behind them, the Guardians can now turn their attention to their next opponent, the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals come in with a 26-29 record and currently sit in third place in the National League East division. Washington currently possesses a -9 run differential with 222 runs scored, ranking 24th in all of baseball. For comparison, Cleveland is 37-19, owns a +74 run-differential, and their 286 runs scored rank third, two behind the second-place Dodgers and 13 back of the MLB-leading Philadelphia Phillies. It is quite clear that the Guardians and Nationals are on opposite sides of the competitive spectrum, and Cleveland needs to take full advantage of that while they have an opportunity to do so.

Cleveland currently owns a three-game lead in the American League Central division over the Kansas City Royals while being just two games behind the American League-leading New York Yankees. This series with Washington should allow the Guardians to maintain, if not build upon, their division lead and hopefully close the gap between themselves and the Yankees.

This is a very important series for the Guardians, as there are days off on both sides of this three-game set. Cleveland should be well rested and be able to take care of business against a Nationals team that has not had an off day since last Thursday. Winning at least two out of three will further cement their status as one of baseball's elite teams this season.

There is a secondary factor in play here as well. Should the Guardians find success against Washington, it could also set themselves up for potential success in their next upcoming series against second-place Kansas City, as they will be squaring off for the first time this season. Being in the best shape possible against a team looking to make some noise in the AL Central this year should allow them to create a little more space between themselves and the upstart Royals.