Welcome to my 3rd annual Major League Baseball postseason prediction blog, the one sport that is often impossible to correctly predict. The 2022 season was the first one since 2019 that did not have the stench of COVID-19 attached to it. There were significant rule changes that modified the games for a modern day audience including the National League adoption of the designated hitter, a radical change to extra innings in which the last batter of the previous inning starts the next extra inning as a runner on second, and finally, the addition of a 6th playoff team in each league. After 162 games, the playoff field has been set.
Here are the National League Playoff Teams:
Here are the American League Playoff Teams:
The Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN playoff teams until the expansion of the playoffs was incorporated in 2022. The playoff format is set up similarly to the NFL until they decided to add their 7th playoff team per conference in 2020. The division winner with the worst record now has to play a wild card series against the 6th and final seed. The first and second wild card teams meet in the other playoff series. The wild card has also been expanded to a three-game series instead of a one game elimination that takes place at the home stadium of the team with the higher seed. Unlike the NFL, the postseason also has one other minor difference. The playoff brackets are fixed. The top two seeds both receive byes. The top seed in each league plays the winner of the 4/5 seed wild card series. The second seed plays the winner of the 3/6 seed wild card series. The NFL readjusted its playoff bracket where the higher seed always played the lowest remaining seed. The MLB did not do this with the new playoff format.
Since my own busy schedule is forcing me to post this blog late, here are my predictions for each round of the playoffs. Additional Note: I have a rooting interest in this 2022 postseason. My beloved San Diego Padres have made the field and my picks regarding this team is based on pure emotional attachment. But logic also wins the day. So, I am realistic about where their season ultimately ends.
AL WILD CARD SERIES
Cleveland defeats Tampa Bay 2 Games to 1
Seattle defeats Toronto 2 Games to 1
NL WILD CARD SERIES
St. Louis defeats Philadelphia 2 Games to 0
San Diego defeats N.Y. Mets 2 Games to 1
AL DIVISIONAL SERIES
Houston defeats Seattle 3 Games to 1
New York Yankees defeat Cleveland 3 Games to 0
NL DIVISIONAL SERIES
Atlanta defeats St. Louis 3 Games to 0
L.A. Dodgers defeat San Diego 3 Games to 1
AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
New York Yankees defeat Houston 4 Games to 3
L.A. Dodgers defeat Atlanta 4 Games to 3
L.A. Dodgers defeat N.Y. Yankees 4 Games to 1
I will make this prediction very specific. The Yankees will likely win Game 1 against Clayton Kershaw. After that, the Dodgers’ pitchers will dominate the Yankee lineup and wipe the team out in 4 straight games. This will be the Dodgers 8th MLB Championship and 7th for the city of Los Angeles. This will also give the city of Los Angeles its 2nd championship in less than a year (Los Angeles Rams are the defending Super Bowl Champions from the 2021 season) and the state of California its 3rd championship during that same timeframe (Golden State Warriors are the 2022 NBA Champions). The only teams that fell outside this California domination would be the 2022 Colorado Avalanche who are the defending 2022 Stanley Cup Champions and the NYC Football Club who are the defending MLS Champions in 2021.
Enjoy the postseason!
EXPERT OF SOME