Opening Day is upon us, and with it comes the time for predictions. Last year, my predictions didn’t turn out so well. Most of the standings positions in the National League were correct except a big whiff on the Giants, while the American League standings were a mess. The World Series prediction was way off and none of the awards were correct. Now that I just told you how wrong I was last year, let’s try again for this year!
1st. Atlanta Braves 95-67
2nd. Philadelphia Phillies 87-75
3rd. New York Mets 86-74
4th. Miami Marlins 78-84
5th. Washington Nationals 69-93
The N.L. East becomes one of two divisions to send three teams to the postseason, with the Braves, Mets, and Phillies all heading to October thanks to the added Wild Card spot. Matt Olson is an MVP finalist, the Phillies have a top five offense, and the Mets have a top five rotation despite a delayed start from Jacob deGrom. The Marlins move out of the cellar but trade away most of their veteran bats. Nats fans always have something to watch with Juan Soto, but a fantastic combo he makes with Nelson Cruz ends at the trade deadline when Cruz is shipped to a contender.
1st. Los Angeles Dodgers 117-45
2nd. San Francisco Giants 90-72
3rd. San Diego Padres 83-79
4th. Colorado Rockies 70-92
5th. Arizona Diamondbacks 63-99
The Dodgers break the modern record for wins and Freddie Freeman battles his replacement in Atlanta for MVP. The Giants regress but not by much and still claim the first Wild Card spot. The Padres suffer from the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr. and contemplate a revamp. Kris Bryant puts on a show in Colorado, but the Rockies still finish well below .500. And the Diamondbacks finish in the bottom five in wins but narrowly avoid 100 losses.
1st. Milwaukee Brewers 89-73
2nd. St. Louis Cardinals 85-77
3rd. Chicago Cubs 73-89
4th. Cincinnati Reds 69-73
5th. Pittsburgh Pirates- 60-102
The Brewers ride their pitching to a division crown despite a below average offense. The Cardinals are the first team out of the postseason but get to watch Albert Pujols move into fourth all-time in home runs. The Cubs’ new core centered around Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki begins to take shape. The Reds reluctantly agree to move Joey Votto to complete their payroll slashing, but at least they get to watch Hunter Greene every five days. The Pirates go head to head with the A’s in a tankathon for the ages.
1st. Toronto Blue Jays 97-65
2nd. Boston Red Sox 94-68
3rd. Tampa Bay Rays 93-69
4th. New York Yankees 88-74
5th. Baltimore Orioles 65-97
Toronto gets some sweet COVID regulation comeuppance as they enjoy an advantage after being exiled from their home stadium for two years and win the division for the first time since 2015. The A.L. East sends three teams to the postseason like its N.L. counterpart, but one of them is not the New York Yankees. The Yanks lose a stunning Wild Card race to the Seattle Mariners and finally decide to clean house. Adley Rutschman comes up mid-season for the Orioles and makes a serious rookie of the year push.
1st. Houston Astros 96-66
2nd. Seattle Mariners 89-73
3rd. Texas Rangers 81-81
4th. Los Angeles Angels 80-82
5th. Oakland Athletics 55-107
The Astros cruise to their fifth division title in six years, but can’t quite settle on a replacement for Carlos Correa. The Mariners finally end their two decade postseason drought and claim the final Wild Card, fueled by a dazzling rookie season from Julio Rodriguez who not only wins ROTY but gets some MVP buzz. The Rangers new middle infield of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien keep them slightly in contention until ultimately fading in late July and early August. The Angels waste another historic season from Shohei Ohtani and a return to form from Mike Trout, but they successfully trade Noah Syndergaard for a haul at the deadline. The A’s finish their embarrassing fire sale and are perfectly comfortable claiming number one overall in the draft.
1st. Chicago White Sox 92-70
2nd. Minnesota Twins 82-76
3rd. Detroit Tigers 79-83
4th. Kansas City Royals 75-87
5th. Cleveland Guardians 72-90
The White Sox ride a weak division to the postseason despite an early injury to Lance Lynn and losing Garrett Crochet for the season. The Twins rebound from a surprisingly poor 2021 but ultimately still fall well short of a postseason berth. The Tigers are one of the biggest surprises of the season as they enjoy a fun ride with a youth movement that provides promise but shows growing pains. Bobby Witt Jr. gives the Royals something to watch and finishes as the ROTY runner-up. Cleveland decides not to trade Jose Ramirez (as evidenced by his extension) but still find themselves in the basement.
World Series Prediction
Blue Jays over Dodgers in 7
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a Joe Carter moment and hits a walk-off homer off Craig Kimbrel to win it.