Tale of the Tape Breakdown: Playoff Contenders, Mariners vs Guardians
A few years ago, an article series like this would have seemed like a waste of time. Before 2022, comparing the Seattle Mariners to anyone other than the worst teams in baseball was a waste of time. Now? Now things are different. In part 6 of an 8 part series, I'm going to take a look at the teams that could potentially stand in the Mariners way of not only making the postseason but winning the American League.
Today, we'll take a look at the 3rd ranked team among my Tale of the Tape threats, the Cleveland Guardians. Other than the Seattle Mariners incredible 2022 season, there may not have been a better story in the American League than that in Cleveland.
Heading into the season, there were questions about whether Terry Francona would continue to manage after health concerns, and there was the debate about whether they should trade Jose Ramirez. Instead of folding, Francona performed a masterclass in managing a young team, and a newly extended Jose Ramirez carried the load offensively.
A dominant pitching performance, carried by former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber, future Cy Young contender Triston McKenzie, and one of the best bullpens in the game, the Guardians rolled through a weak AL Central. A 92 win season, an AL Central pennant, and within a game of making the ALCS, the Guardians are the biggest threats to the Mariners in terms of joining the two big dogs in the American League.