Looking forward

Hopefully, you’ve completely put that embarrassment of a game yesterday out of your mind and you’re looking forward to a three-game weekend series in the Bronx against the Cleveland Guardians. I guess if we’re looking at the glass half full, that’s the way to do it – there’s another game to look forward to pretty much every day for six months, so let’s forget yesterday. (He wrote, without much conviction…)

Here’s what you need to know about the Guardians:

They weren’t supposed to be very good this year with most respectable prognosticators expecting them to finish either in fourth or fifth place in an awful AL Central. Over the course of 162 games, that may turn out to be true, but we know that after 12 games they’ve played very well. Currently, they’re 7-5 and in first place in the AL Central, but with a run differential of 68-43, their Pythagorean W/L is an impressive 8-4.

They’re prevented runs well as their pitching staff and defense both rank in the top third in the league in every important category (although the Yanks catch a break, as Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac are unlikely to make appearances this weekend). But the story of the Guardians so far has been the offense that’s bludgeoned their opposition.

The team’s 5.67 RPG leads all of baseball while their .280/.346/.442 triple-slash line puts them at second, third, and second across MLB respectively in those categories. Furthermore, the BA and SLG are second only to the team that plays in a pasture in Denver a mile above sea level – when that’s accounted for the Guardians 135 OPS+ is the best in MLB by a good margin. We know that José Ramírez is one of the best players in baseball and that Franmil Reyes hits two irons, but keep your eyes on outfielders Steven Kwan and Myles Straw, who are both off to great starts.

Jameson Taillon gets the ball tonight for the Yankees, who have to treat the visitors from the Forest City like the doormats they were expected to be. Taillon of course has been good so far for the Yankees posting game scores of over fifty in his first two starts, throwing a combined 9.2 innings while allowing only eight hits and one walk, while fanning eight.

I think a good team sweeps this series, but I won’t complain about two out of three – let’s start with one tonight.

Catch the game (if you can) on Amazon Prime Video, and listen to it on WFAN 101.9 FM and 660 AM, or WADO 1280. You can follow along with me @mybaseballpage1 on Twitter and the My Baseball Page on Facebook.

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