Cleveland Guardians 2022 MLB season preview, odds, and predictions

Cleveland Indians' Franmil Reyes watches his solo home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Cleveland.
Photo of Keith Schmelter

Keith Schmelter

MLB· 3 months ago

Show Bio

A Bostonian with a love for stats and baseball. Using knowledge and passion to find the right bet in MLB, NBA, NFL, and more. A lover of bold sports takes and sweat free plus odds picks. Go Sox!

Are you missing baseball too? For those that don’t know me, hello! My name is Keith Schmelter and I was the most profitable MLB writer on the Pickswise staff last season. I finished +37.6 units on money line/run-line picks, +52.9 units on game totals, and +39.3 units (21-6-1) on three-star plays for Pickswise. I am a die-hard baseball fan with an even greater passion for statistics who loves to watch and bet on baseball. While the MLB is in a lockout, I will be analyzing every MLB team and giving my predictions for their 2022 season.

Moving along in the AL Central, let’s analyze the Cleveland Guardians.

Cleveland Guardians breakdown

2022 World Series odds: +8000

2022 AL Central odds: +850

2021 record: 80-82

2021 O/U record: 85-72-5

Key players in: None

Key players out: Roberto Perez (C), Harold Ramirez (RF),

Story of last season

For the first time since 2012, the Guardians finished with a losing record. With the mix of Shane Bieber making only 16 starts and their offense lacking consistency from top to bottom, the Guardians were forced to rely on a lot of younger players who lacked MLB experience. In fact, the average age of a Guardian batter was 26.7 years old which is the youngest average they have had since 1992.

Although there weren’t a ton of save opportunities, the Indians found their closer. Emmanual Clase was traded to Cleveland in the Corey Kluber deal and had a stellar 2021 season with a 1.29 ERA and 24 saves in 69.2 innings. The hard-throwing righty has a cutter with an average velocity of 100.2 MPH and a 4-seam fastball of 100.7 MPH, so the Guardians will try to center their bullpen around the 23-year-old.

And as always, Jose Ramirez continued to thrive as he earned his third All-Star nomination after posting a .266 average with a .284 xBA, but with only one year left on his contract, will this be his last season in Cleveland?

Cleveland Guardians 2022 MLB season predictions

The Guardians made relatively no moves prior to the lockout starting. With numerous holes in the field, the Guardians will need to make a splash in the free-agent market in order to be a competitive team and keep Ramirez happy in Cleveland. The left side of their infield is set with Ramirez and Amed Rosario who had an excellent first year in Cleveland as he posted a .282 average in 141 games, but first base is their biggest infield hole at the moment.

The Bobby Bradley experiment at first base has been a huge failure thus far as the 25-year-old hit for a .178 average in 2019 and a .208 average in 2021. Bradley has a lot of pop and could be perfect for the lineup, but his 35.5 strikeout percentage and lack of consistent contact has made it tough for Terry Francona to keep him in the lineup. In the free-agent market, the Guardians could target Brad Miller or Colin Moran who are affordable options for Cleveland.

The Guardians’ below-average outfield is also a problem that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. The acquisition of Myles Straw from Houston during the 2021 season added a component of speed to their lineup, but Cleveland’s corner outfield consists of Josh Naylor and Bradley Zimmer who both had subpar 2021 seasons.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, they do not have a single prospect in the top 50 rankings which could impact their ability to trade and bolster their outfield, but the free-agent market is still full of quality corner outfielders such as Nick Castellanos, Michael Conforto, Eddie Rosario, and more. If Cleveland wants a chance at competing with the White Sox and the rest of the AL Central, they need to make a few moves.

Although the Guardians’ starting pitching is solid, they have too many holes to compete for a World Series. A big question that I see rising during the season is Ramirez’s future in Cleveland because if the Guardians have a poor first half of the season, they could move Ramirez in order to guarantee a return for the star third baseman. This season could be the start of a bigger rebuild, so I won’t be taking any Guardians future bets this upcoming season.

2022 MLB season team previews

Check out the rest of our team previews for the upcoming baseball season!

Pickswise is the home of free sports picks, news and best bets. Check out our expert NFL Picks, NBA Picks, MLB Picks and NHL Picks for the latest game picks.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 on either NYY or CWS to win the Sunday Night Baseball matchup (30-1 Odds)!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Place a $5 bet on the Yankees or White Sox to win the Sunday Night Baseball matchup

If your teams, get 30-1 odds and win $150!

Must be 21 years or over to participate. Reward paid in site credit. Offer valid for new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If ANY NBA Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NBA game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game makes a 3-pointer

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 on any NBA team, Get $150 in Free Bets if they win!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any team to win an NBA playoff game

Win $150 in free bets if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If A Goal Is Scored In ANY NHL Game!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NHL game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game scores a goal

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,100

Get up to $1,100 in First Bet Insurance!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.