2022 MLB Postseason Preview

MLB postseason 2022 via Wikipedia

MLB postseason 2022 via Wikipedia

With the MLB season coming to an end, there is a lot to look forward to in the postseason. Young stars such as Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners can begin their baseball legacy and legends such as Albert Pujols, have a last chance effort to solidify their place in baseball glory. The postseason brings the best out of baseball, and here is how the playoffs are looking going into the last month of the regular season.

St. Louis Cardinals
Record: (83-59)
Division: NL Central
The St. Louis Cardinals is our team to be the “darkhorse” contender for the world series. They have not one frontrunner of the National League Most Valuable Player but two. Another thing is that they also have been the most consistent team this whole season. They didn’t go on any win streaks or losing streaks which is good for the playoffs because in the playoffs if a team is on a downward spiral at that moment they can do really bad in the postseason. Lastly, they have a great veteran presence with Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and Albert Pujols who have all won a World Series before. In addition they can pass on their knowledge to the younger players on the team to help them stay calm and perform to the best of their ability.

Albert Pujols hitting his 698th homerun of his career via The San Diego Union-Tribune.

World Series Contenders
Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: (98-43)
Division: NL West
The Dodgers have been the top team in the entire National League for many months now. Although they were catching the Mets for the most part of the first half of the season, the Dodgers continue to be the frontrunners in their respective conference. With their stellar pitching with a league leading 2.89 ERA average as well as a league leading 5.39 runs per game. Veterans Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman account for a total of 175 RBIs so far this year. On top of that, teammate Mookie Betts, a world series champion with the Boston Red Rox in 2018, homered 33 times while missing most of the season due to injuries. Their pitching staff is led by the southpaw, Julio Urías, the current National League leader in ERA with 2.29, and is supported by right hander Tony Gonsolin. Key contributions are made from their other starters of Tyler Anderson, who punched out 117 batters this year, and their soon to be Hall of Famer, Clayton Kershaw.

Houston Astros
Record: (92-50)
Division: AL West
The Astros have always been a powerhouse in the AL in the past 5 years. They have made it to the Fall Classic 3 of the last 5 years, with the other two years finishing just one series short. Although they have lost George Springer to the Blue Jays and Carlos Correa to the Minnesota Twins, the championship DNA is still in their blood. Ace Justin Verlander continues to impress the league with his ageless performances with his league best ERA this year of 1.84. Star infielder Jose Altuve is one of the original Astros to win the World Series back in 2017, who has the team’s best batting average of .290 as well as the most hits team with 130. Framber Valdez is the second man behind Verlander who carries an impressive 2.64 ERA with 161 strikeouts which makes this one-two punch so lethal.

New York Yankees
Record: (86-56)
Division: AL East
The New York Yankees have always had the expectations to be World Series contenders every year; however, recently they have been coming up short. This year started off great for the Bronx Bombers as they were led by soon to be AL MVP Aaron Judge. The 30 year old has carried the team as his back for the whole year, but especially in the second half. The team started off 64-28, which was the franchise’s best start in history. But the daydream turned into a nightmare as they have gone 19-27 since then. They have just got out of a record-setting low in wins in the month of August and are limping into the playoffs. However, the team has shown promise of being World Series champions. Judge has played out of his mind hitting for 55 home runs as of September 8, 2022 and looks to beat Roger Maris’ franchise record 62. He also leads the league in RBIs with 118. The pitching staff has been just like the record, great at the beginning, but they started to hit rocky waters: however ace Gerrit Cole has stayed strong with a league leading 218 strikeouts. The emergence of Nestor Cortez has been huge for the pitching staff as he boasts a 2.73 ERA with great efficiency and misdirection. Clay Holmes has shown sparks of greatness with his demon sinker, but hitters have started to figure it out a bit. The Yankees are an experienced team with most of their players over the age of 30, so their veteran presence will be huge going into the playoffs. They have struggled against the Astros this year with only winning 1 of the 6 times they’ve played which is alarming because they are the team to beat as of right now. If they can get over the hump of the Astros, they have a great chance of winning it all.

Aaron Judge hitting his 60th homerun of this season via Fox 5 New York 

New York Mets
Record: (89-54)
Division: NL East
The New York Mets have always been in the shadow of the Yankees when it comes to the Big Apple, but this year they have proven that the “little brother” can fight back. The Mets have played great this year even without one of the best pitchers in baseball, Jacob Degrom, for the majority of the season. The addition of Max Scherzer has created one the best one-two punches we have seen, which is what makes them extra scary for the playoffs. Playoff series can be won or lost in the first three games, if a team goes up 3-0 it is almost impossible to come back. So if the other team has to face these two in the first two games, it’s a good chance that they’re heading back home down 0-2. A free agent pickup from last year in Fransisco Lindor showed to be a rough fit in 2021, but this season has bounced back with 140 hits and 89 RBIs. Back-to-Back Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso carries the load on offense with the team’s best 32 Home Runs and 106 RBIs. The internet sensation of Edwin Díaz has locked down games with a 1.52 ERA and 29 saves.

Atlanta Braves
Record: (88-54)
Division: NL East
Coming off of a World Series win, the Atlanta Braves did a little reconstruction going into the 2022 season. Freddie Freeman, their all-star first baseman, left for the Dodgers back in the offseason, so they picked up star first baseman Matt Olsen from the Oakland A’s. This move seems to be a win-win statistically for the two teams as both have shown out for their respective teams. Matt Olsen specifically has hit 28 home runs while driving in the team’s best 91 RBIs. Third Basemen Austin Riley has been carrying the load as well on offense with 36 home runs and one less RBI than Olsen. Pitching has been good enough to get victories. Kyle Wright and Max Fried carry the load with ERA’s of 3.23 (Wright) and 2.50 (Fried) with Wright having the Major League best 17 wins on the year so far. Right-handed closer Kenley Jansen shuts games down which is shown by a league leading 33 saves.


On the Fence/In the Hunt
Cleveland Guardians
Record: (75-65)
Division: AL Central
The Guardians have been the most consistent team in the AL central this year. They have been leading this division for the entire season. The team’s best offensive player this year is Jose Ramirez which has been shown through his 26 home runs and 109 RBIs (Runs Batted In) this season in 134 games. Ramirez has had good help as well from Josh Naylor who has hit 17 home runs and 66 RBIs in 103 games, and Andres Gimenez who has hit 16 home runs and 16 RBIs. In addition to this, they have a pretty good pitching rotation with Shane Bieber with an ERA(Earned Run Average) of 2.91, Triston Mckenzie with an ERA of 3.05, and lastly, Cal Quantrill with an ERA of 3.50. With this we believe the Guardians will make the playoffs because there consistent playing and good team atmosphere.

Baltimore Orioles
Record: (74-67)
Division: AL East
The Orioles were a team no one had going to the playoffs during the preseason but this young star-studded team has shown scary flashes of greatness. With the average age of 26.5 years old, they have the youngest starting lineup in the league. Adley Rutschman, who is 24 years old, was the #1 prospect in his class. He was brought up this year and is a special catcher due to his ability to hit on both sides of the plate. Anthony Santander leads the team with 27 home runs and 79 RBIs. Cedric Millins, the all-star center fielder, has tallied 140 hits on the season with the team’s best 0.265 batting average. With John Means injured and on the 60-day IL, Jordan Lyles has had the burden to carry the load and has done well enough with 126 strikeouts.

Seattle Mariners
Record: (79-62)
Division: AL West
The Mariners are a team that before the 2022 season had very high hopes because of great leaders like Jesse Winker, Carlos Santana, Eugenio Suarez, and Ty France. In addition to this they have a great young star such as Julio Rodriguez who is 21 years old and has a batting average of 0.277. He has also hit 25 home runs and 71 RBIs. The Mariners’ ace Robbie Ray, who won the AL Cy Young(an award for the best pitcher in the league) last year for the Blue Jays. During the offseason he got traded to the Mariners and has made a good impact with 12 wins on the season. With all of this, they still had some early season struggles, but this has been canceled out with their great playing since the all-star break. They seem to not be slowing down which is great heading in the playoffs.

Julio Rodriguez winning the homerun derby via Peninsula Daily News

Toronto Bluejays
Record: (80-62)
Division: AL East
The young star studded Blue Jays have shown that young age and inexperience isn’t always a bad thing. They have a group of young players with tons of energy and electricity. Vladimir Guerrero is their all-star first baseman and has hit 27 home runs on the year with a 0.278 batting average. Bo Bichette is their captain of the infield at shortstop and has tallied the most RBIs on the team with 87 as well as having a very respectable 0.282 batting average. Blue Jays’ ace Alek Manoah has had a stellar 2022 campaign with an all-star appearance that was backed up by his 2.43 ERA and 14 wins on the season. Jordan Romano locks games down with his 1.94 ERA and 33 save total. Knowing this, it seems likely that these guys will find a way to cement a wild card spot.

Minnesota Twins
Division: AL Central
The Minnesota Twins are in the AL Central which is highly competitive right now with only a five game gap between first and third place. The Twins are the team in third place, but don’t knock them off yet. Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton are two veteran leaders for this team who have hit a combined total of 48 home runs and 108 RBIs. These numbers would be higher too if not for his problems with injuries. He has been said to be uncertain for coming back this season, but if he does that would help their playoff push a ton. Carlos Correa brings postseason experience as well since he was on the Houston Astros the past couple of years. On the pitching side of things Sonny Gray has an ERA of 3.09 and 7 wins, with fellow right-hander Joe Ryan adding the team’s most wins with 11. If they can find a way to scratch some wins and the Guardians and White Sox lose some, this may be a playoff team.

Chicago White Sox
Record: (73-69)
Division: AL Central
The Chicago White Sox had a great season last year with 93 wins and it seemed as if they were going to do the same exact thing this year since they did not really lose any of their key players except for one of their starting pitchers. The problem with the White Sox was the turmoil with their manager. Tony La Russa has always been hated for being “too old school” which means he is not really letting the players enjoy the game, but it just got way worse when the team was not winning. In addition to this, their star players like Yasmani Grandal, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, and Jake Burger all have been injured during the year for several games. Even with all of this the team still has a chance to make the playoffs behind the great playing by Jose Abreu having a batting average of 0.312 and hitting 15 home runs and 67 RBIs. This follows with great pitching this season from Dylan Cease with a record this year of 14-6 with a 2.06 ERA which is the second best ERA in the league and is fourth in the league for strikeouts with 206 strikeouts. With this information don’t be surprised if the Chicago White Sox make a strong late season push to the playoffs.

San Diego Padres
Record: (78-64)
Division: NL West
The San Diego Padres have been stuck with the hard job of competing in the NL West which has the team with the best record in the MLB in the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the Wild Card is definitely in the picture for the team as they are competing against Milwakee and Philadelphia for the last two spots in the Wild Card. With the news of Tatis testing positive for PEDs the team took a hit, but nothing was more exhilarating than getting generational talent Juan Soto from the Nationals. Manny Machado has led the team throughout the year with team leading statistics in home runs (28), batting average (0.302), RBIs (90), and hits (152). Yu Darvish is the team’s ace on the mound with a total of 14 wins to go along with a 3.16 ERA and has been helped out by Joe Musgrove who has a similar ERA of 3.28 on the season. They have definitely a lot of promise going into the postseason, but they first got to find a way to get there.

Juan Soto hitting his first homerun as a member of the Padres via MLB.com

Philadelphia Phillies
Record: (79-62)
Division: NL East
The Phillies have been in the shadow of the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves this entire season but that doesn’t mean they are out of the playoff picture. The NL East has been one of the best divisions in the whole MLB, which is partly because of the Phillies being the third place team, but still in the hunt for the postseason. Kyle Schwarber leads the team with 37 home runs which is second in the league as well. Bryce Harper has been helpful when healthy with his 120 hits and 0.307 batting average. Zack Wheeler has been the ace for the Phillies with his team leading ERA (3.07) and wins (11). Aaron Nola has been second-man with 9 wins and an ERA of 3.31. It will take a strong finish to the season, but this team has a high chance of sneaking their way into one of the two open wild card spots.

Milwaukee Brewers
Record: (76-66)
Division: NL Central
The Milwaukee Brewers have been a great team the five seasons making the playoffs four out there past five. This year the team has been good, but they have just been the shadow of the other great team in their division, the Cardinals. This does not mean they are not in the playoff picture, they are only 2 games behind a spot in the wild card so with 20 games left in their schedule they have more than enough time to gain a spot. With this information, they have the talent to get being led by Rowdy Tellez having 30 home runs and 80 RBIs. In addition, there is more support from the shortstop Willy Adames who has 28 home runs and 85 RBIs and Hunter Renfroe who has 25 home runs and 63 RBIs in only 107 games. In addition to this the Brewers ace Corbin Burnes has been great having 10 wins and having an ERA of 2.93, also Brandon Woodruff and Eric Lauer also have 10 wins this season. Even with this great starting rotation they have a great bullpen as well, with the bullpen leader being Devin Williams with a 1.83 ERA. This team definitely has the talent to do great in the postseason, they just have to make it there.

Tampa Bay Rays
Record: (79-62)
Division: AL East
The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the best teams if not the best team the last two years winning their conference both years. In addition to this, they made it to the World Series in 2020. A crazy fact about the Rays is that they are doing so well with one of the worst budgets in the MLB. Right now the Rays are very close with the two other teams in the wild card standings, with the other teams rotating positions with them. This is great that they are in the playoff picture now because they have just got their young Superstar Wander Franco so they will only get better. The Rays have been doing great this season because of great pitching from Shane McClanahan who has 11 wins on the season and the third best ERA in the league at 2.20 ERA. In addition to Shane, Jeffrey Springs has 8 wins and an ERA of 2.41 and Drew Rasmussen has 10 wins and an ERA of 2.77. Also on the offensive side of the ball, the Rays star outfielder Randy Arozarena has hit 19 home runs with 78 RBIs and has helped the team into a playoff position. With this information, the Rays are definitely a contender to play great through the playoffs, but they need to find a way to settle into one of the Wild Card spots first.