The race for the American League Central division crown has come to an end, with the young, upstart Cleveland Guardians emerging victorious.
After a quiet offseason, there wasn’t much of an expectation that the Guardians were going to accomplish anything in 2022.
Many were expecting it to be a runaway, with the Chicago White Sox repeating as AL Central champs.
The White Sox never recovered from a difficult start and the Guardians took complete advantage of that.
At the beginning of the year, the Guardians were given a 7.5% chance to win the AL Central by FanGraphs.
Right now, that all seems like a distant memory.
That's why they play the games. 👏 pic.twitter.com/X0KkQwgPr1
— MLB (@MLB) September 26, 2022
Guards Silence The Doubters
This is the perfect underdog story.
The White Sox were heavily favored to win the division yet again.
Not even the Minnesota Twins, who had themselves a busy offseason, were expected to compete with the South Siders, much less the Guardians.
But the race is over, and we have a new champion in the Central division.
The Guardians are that team.
Led by Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber and buoyed by the breakout performances of young stars such as Andres Gimenez, Steven Kwan, Triston McKenzie, and Josh Naylor, the Guardians surprised us all and proved all their doubters wrong.
There’s nothing like a little underdog story, especially in baseball.
Nobody gave this team a chance.
Nobody expected that they’d be in this position now.
But baseball is rarely that simple.
You can never count a team out or take them for granted.
The Guardians are the prime example of that this season.
They’re ready to go for the playoffs and will likely match up against the Seattle Mariners in the Wild Card Series.