The 2022 MLB regular season is sadly coming to an end, but it was an entertaining one to say the least. It’s crazy to think that at one point this season was in danger of being canceled due to the MLB lockout. Luckily, we were able to experience a full 162 game season once again. Baseball fans witnessed history in the final month of this season, with legend Albert Pujols joining the 700 home run club, and Yankee slugger Aaron Judge hitting an AL record 62 home runs this season. However, the fireworks have just begun because it’s October, and that means postseason baseball is upon us. With an extra Wild Card team in this year’s playoffs, there’s six teams from each league looking to win the World Series. Let’s take a look at the competition:
At the top of the AL, the Houston Astros continue to be a juggernaut, as they look for their fourth World Series appearance in the last six seasons. The New York Yankees take the #2 seed as they stayed on top of the AL East for basically the whole season, despite having a rough start to the second half. The last division winner is the Cleveland Guardians, with an impressive 90+ win season which easily exceeded expectations. For the three Wild Card spots, the Toronto Blue Jays take the 4th seed with their 2nd straight 90+ win season. Playing against Toronto is the Seattle Mariners, who finally break their previous MLB long playoff drought of 20 seasons. Lastly, the Tampa Bay Rays take the sixth seed and will face the Guardians; this is the 4th straight season of playoff action for Tampa.
There’s also a familiar face standing at the top of the NL, which is of course the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers had a historically dominant regular season, winning 110 games, which is the most in franchise history. Next up is the defending champion Atlanta Braves, who miraculously came back from a 10.5 game deficit to win the NL East for the 5th straight season. The St. Louis Cardinals are back in first in the NL Central as well, clinching the #3 seed. In the first Wild Card spot we have the 100 game winning New York Mets. The Mets led their division all season long until the Braves swept them in their final three head-to-head games of the season. The last two spots broke long postseason droughts; the first being the San Diego Padres. They did make the playoffs in 2020 but it was just a 60 game season, this is their first playoff appearance in a full season since 2006. In the #6 seed, the Philadelphia Phillies snapped their 10 season playoff drought, making it their first October since 2011.
Wild Card Round (Best of 3)
Seattle Mariners Vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Playing three straight playoff games in Toronto is certainly a disadvantage for the away team, but Seattle has enough offensive firepower behind Rookie of the Year favorite Juilo Rodriguez, and their fantastic bullpen. I’ll take Seattle in an upset.
Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Cleveland Guardians
Both of these ballclubs are led by excellent pitching, and a scrappy play style on offense. This will be a very close series but I’ll take the Rays in another upset, due to the many great pitching arms that manager Kevin Cash will have in his disposal, including former ace Tyler Glasnow.
San Diego Padres Vs. New York Mets
The Mets may have choked their division away but this team is no slouch. Facing Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in back-to-back playoff games is hard for any team, and it will overwhelm the Padres in this matchup.
Philadelphia Phillies Vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Phillies have a high power offense and it will make things tough for the Cardinals. However, St. Louis has a great offense as well, led by Nolan Arenado and NL MVP favorite Paul Goldschmidt. The Cards will win this round because they have the advantage defensively and in the bullpen.
Divisional Series (Best of 5)
Seattle Mariners Vs. Houston Astros
Seattle’s Cinderella story will end prematurely as the Astros will take care of this team with ease. Houston is just too stacked, with Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, and Kyle Tucker leading the offense, and Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander at the top of the rotation.
Tampa Bay Rays Vs. New York Yankees
Last time these teams faced each other in October, the Rays beat them in five games back in 2020. I actually believe history will repeat itself once again, as I’m very skeptical about the Yankees rotation, in particular Gerrit Cole. Cole lasted just two innings in his last postseason appearance in 2021, and his 3.50 ERA this season isn’t great.
New York Mets Vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Call me crazy but I think the Mets are gonna pull off an incredible upset against the Dodgers. LA has always choked in the playoffs despite their ring in the shortened 2020 season. I also think the Mets will go under the radar this postseason; this team is extremely talented and can match up with any team in the NL.
St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Atlanta Braves
This will be a fun matchup that’s pretty evenly matched. The Braves definitely have the advantage when it comes to pitching however, with Max Fried, ROTY favorite Spencer Strider, and Kyle Wright all starting games for Atlanta. The Braves will make their 2nd straight NLCS.
Championship Series (Best of 7)
Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Houston Astros
Like I said with the Mariners series, the Astros just have too much talent for the pesky Rays. I think Tampa can win a few games at home to keep the series interesting, but ultimately the Astros will be back in the World Series.
New York Mets Vs. Atlanta Braves
This would actually make for a great storyline, seeing the Braves and Mets battle for the NL pennant. Atlanta got the upper hand last time, but the Mets will get their revenge. In a back and forward battle between two amazing teams, the Mets will make it to the World Series for the first time since 2015.
Houston Astros Vs. New York Mets
So here is my World Series predictor. Both of these teams have extremely talented offenses, starting pitching, and bullpens. In a very tight series, I have the Mets once again proving the doubters wrong, and they will be crowned the 2022 World Series Champions. Look, the Mets were my WS pick since before the regular season started, and I’m committing to it. Sure, they blew a 10.5 game division lead but they still won 100+ games this regular season, and they have the talents of deGrom, Scherzer, and Edwin Diaz for pitching, and hitters like Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte. This team will have the underdog mentality this postseason and I think they will shock the world.