The Cleveland Guardians were picked by some to finish near the bottom of the American League Central Division in early April, but instead the Guardians are hosting the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Wild Card Series in October.
The Guardians entered the final day of the season with a 91-70 record in 2022, surpassing the low expectations that were hoisted on one of the youngest teams in baseball to start the season. Buoyed by a strong rotation and excellent bullpen, the Guardians clinched the Al Central with more than a week to spare.
And now they turn their attention to the MLB postseason.
Cleveland Guardians:AL Wild Card Series times: Games 1 set for 12:07 p.m. Friday
The Rays were 91-69 entering the final day of the MLB season and finished second in the tough American League East, a division that sent three teams to the American League playoffs. A perennial playoff team for much of the last decade, the Rays travel to Cleveland for a best-of-three game series that will take place in Cleveland.
Here's what you need to know about the Guardians AL Wild Card Series with the Rays.
Cleveland Guardians to be among first teams to play in new MLB expanded playoff
Instead of the two, one-game wildcard games, eight teams will advance from the regular season to the Wild Card round with the two best divisional championship teams receiving a bye to the divisional series. This means in the American League, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees will await the winners of the Guardians-Rays and Seattle Mariners-Toronto Blue Jays Wild Card Series.
MLB playoff format:MLB's playoffs are about to get bigger – but will they be better?
In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, the defending World Series champions, will get a bye. The St. Louis Cardinals will play the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets will play the San Diego Padres in Wild Card round.
What is the Cleveland Guardians postseason schedule?
Cleveland will host the Rays on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if needed in Cleveland.
Cleveland Guardians roster:Projecting the Cleveland Guardians playoff roster for the American League Wild Card Series
Cleveland Guardians roster:Guardians add Bo Naylor, bring playoff roster options into clarity; Bryan Shaw designated
What time do the Cleveland Guardians play the Tampa Bay Rays?
Here is the schedule:
Game 1: 12:07 p.m. Friday
Game 2: 12:07 p.m. Saturday
Game 3, if necessary: 4:07 p.m. Sunday
What channel is Cleveland Guardians game on?
Game 1 of the series will be on ESPN. Game 2 will be on ESPN 2 and a possible Game 3 will be on ESPN.
Is there a Cleveland Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Rays live stream?
Yes. The Guardians and Rays will be streaming on any platform that offers ESPN, like Hulu Live or YouTube. The game will also be streaming on the ESPN+ app.
Who is calling the Cleveland Guardians game?
Here is the announce team for the Cleveland Guardians-Tampa Bay Rays series:
Jon “Boog” Sciambi
Who would the Cleveland Guardians play in ALDS? Spoiler: It's the team with Aaron Judge
The winner of the Cleveland-Tampa Bay series plays 2022 homerun champ Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees in the American League Divisional Series. That series starts on Oct. 11 and is a best-of-five series.
Judge broke Roger Maris' Yankees' all-time single-season home run record in 2022.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: What channel is the Cleveland Guardians playoff series on?