2024 MLB Division Preview: AL Central

Spring Training has officially started, and with that, the 2024 MLB Season is right around the corner. It's time to kick off the 2024 Division Preview Series, starting off with the American League Central.

Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Four
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Four / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Cleveland Guardians

Jose Ramirez
Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

Key Additions
- RHP Scott Barlow
- RHP Carlos Carrasco
- RHP Austin Heges
- OF Esteven Florial

Key Loses
- RHP Enyel De Los Santos
- OF Oscar Gonzalez
- RHP Cal Quantrill

The Guardians had a pretty quiet offseason, especially in comparison to the previously previewed White Sox. The most impactful change in the Guardians organization very may well be from the manager position, after Terry Francona stepped away. Replacing him will be Stephen Vogt, a change that will be very interesting to watch. Cleveland seems to be following the same mold they have been for years now, maintaining a strong pitching staff with an offense that leaves a lot to be desired. The main cog of their offense will once again be Jose Ramirez, who arguably had Cleveland's biggest highlight last season.

With Jose Ramirez continuing to put up MVP-like numbers as the center piece of Cleveland's lineup, it will be up to those around him to help in making a more well rounded lineup. Steven Kwan and Andres Gimenez will be looked at as two major bounce-back candidates for Vogt's squad this year. Cleveland's lineup does provide a unique opportunity for two guys specifically, as brothers Josh and Bo Naylor will most likely get to be starters in the same major league lineup. Josh has established himself as a power source in the middle of their lineup, and hopefully his younger brother Bo can follow along.

2020 AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber headlines their rotation, alongside Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, and Gavin Williams. McKenzie will look to remain healthy this year, after being sidelined for the majority of the 2023 season, while the latter three look to improve upon rookie flashes shown last year and establish themselves as major league arms. The Guardains also have one of the best closers in baseball in Emmanuel Clase, with his lethal cutter and slider duo. As of right now, I don't see the Guardians as a playoff squad, but more like one of the first teams looking on from the outside. Baseball is hard to predict and Cleveland may very well be the biggest competitors to Minnesota's quest to repeat.

Team MVP: Jose Ramirez

Team Cy Young: Shane Bieber

Team X-Factor: Andres Gimenez

The Nationals will travel to Cleveland and play the Guardians for a three game set from May 31-June 2.