Major League Baseball’s lockout continues. But although the lockout overhangs any baseball talk, it’s too early to worry about a delayed season. We’ll have a better idea of where the 2022 MLB Season is headed later this month. In the meantime, it makes sense for us to consider what might happen once MLB’s next stanza officially starts. Check out early betting predictions for the MLB season.
The Houston Astros will play the San Francisco Giants in the 2022 World Series
The Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants look like World Series participants. Both are built to win today and both send solid rotations to the mound. Houston welcomes back Justin Verlander. Now 39-years-old, Verlander won’t be counted on to carry the Stros. Not this season with young arms like Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia also on the roster. Lance McCullers could very well serve as Ace 1 and Verlander Ace 2. If Justin stumbles, Valdez and Garcia, both of which should improve from terrific 2021 seasons, will be there to step up. The San Francisco Giants boasted the best record in baseball. Ace Logan Webb went 11-3 with a 3.03 ERA. Second ace Anthony DeSclafani went 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA. The G-Men may not have to worry so much about making the playoffs. The Dodgers ended the regular season with the second best record in baseball. If LAD falls back, read the next section for why it should happen, the Giants will in the NL West and have a clear path to the 2022 World Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers won’t win more than 90 games
For the first time in a long time, the Dodgers won’t send the most feared starting rotation in MLB to the diamond. Clayton Kershaw is a free agent. The only reason Kershaw hasn’t found a new team is because he didn’t sign before the lockout. Max Scherzer has bolted to the New York Mets. Trevor Bauer may play this season. Or he may not.
Even with Bauer, the Dodgers’ rotation shouldn’t be great. Walker Buehler had a fantastic 2.47 ERA but he often pitched behind an ace like Scherzer. This season, Buehler must carry the load. There’s a chance he doesn’t. And even if he does, Bauer may not step to the mound at any point during the season, putting even more pressure on Julio Urias. 90 wins is a possibility. More than 90 doesn’t look probable.
The Atlanta Braves will repeat as NL East Champions
Max Scherzer is a New York Met, and because of that, the Mets are again one of the choices to win the NL East and the NL Pennant. The defending World Series Champions, though, don’t have much to worry about. Max Fried came into his own last season. Fried has a shot to win the NL Cy Young. He should go under the radar with so many lively arms in the pitcher’s league. If 23-year-old Huascar Ynoa improves again, he can be a viable second ace in the rotation. Ynoa improved his ERA from 5.82 in 2020 to 4.05 in 2021.
This could be the season Ronald Acuna Jr. wins the NL MVP. His stats from 2021, .283 batting average and 24 home runs, aren’t bad. Acuna Jr. must stay healthy. So before writing off the Braves, realize they might be better in 2022 than they were last year. That’s a scary thought for the rest of the National League.
Shohei Ohtani will lose the AL MVP to fellow Halo Mike Trout
No doubt, Shohei Ohtani played great this past season. But Major League Baseball is about adjustments. Batters have an entire season of data to pour over Shohei’s pitching tendencies. Pitchers have an entire season of data to check out Ohtani’s habits at the plate. That’s not to say Shohei doesn’t have a g00 season. It is to say Ohtani will have a much tougher time dominating at the plate and on the mound this year than he did last year.
But the Angels should be okay even if Ohtani doesn’t hit 46 home runs. Mike Trout, the best player in baseball, batted .333, hit 8 home runs, batted in 18 and post 1.090 OPS in 36 games. If Trout stays healthy, he should go back to his dominating ways, which means among the two, Trout, by far, is the better pick to win the AL MVP.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.