After the most painful baseball season I can remember in a long time from a personal fan perspective, I am so not looking forward to watching this season. It’s shaping up to be all the teams I hate (with freshly acquired players from my team) at the top, and my Nats about as far down as they can be. With that being said, we almost didn’t get to have baseball this year due to Rob Manfred hating the sport he leads, so I suppose I’m just gonna have to sack up, enjoy the tickets cheaper than the beers at Nationals Park, and watch our Lord and savior Juan Soto win his first of hopefully many NL MVPs in the Nation’s Capital.
Back to the point of this blog, my win totals last year went 4-2 to make some profit, so hopefully we can build on that heading into the 2022 season. This year I have six win totals again, and I’m adding some player futures for the cherry on top.
Los Angeles Dodgers o98.5 wins
This one pains me to my absolute core as my hate for the Dodgers grows more and more each year, but this lineup has absolutely no holes. They’re going to be throwing out some variation of a lineup that consists of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, Will Smith and AJ Pollock. What the hell. Fresh off being eliminated by the Braves in the playoffs, I expect LA to get into triple digits in the win column rather easily and make a probable run at the Commissioner’s Trophy. Walker Buehler will toe the rubber on Opening Day, followed by lefties Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw.
Along with the Dodgers’ win total, I’m also playing Trea Turner to lead the MLB in hits at +1400. Trea won this title last year by four hits, and that was with half the season in DC. Now he gets a full season in a lineup where he will have to see pitches, and he’s going to get his. The value on this is great if he stays healthy, so take it and run with it.
Los Angeles Angels o83.5 wins
Staying out in LA but on the other side of the league, we find ourselves in Anaheim, where the Angels look to improve on their 77 wins from the 2021 campaign. With reigning AL MVP dual-threat monster Shohei Ohtani and GOAT Mike Trout in this lineup, they have the star power to do so. First baseman Jared Walsh broke out in 2021 with his first All-Star appearance and 29 home runs. Jo Adell busted onto the scene as a top prospect, but with only a .703 OPS, this is a big year for the blue-chipper. With the addition of Noah Syndergaard on the mound, the overlying question for the Angels is can they stay healthy. If – and it’s a big if – the Halos can stay healthy; the lineup of Trout, Ohtani, Rendon, Walsh and Fletcher could be a dark-horse to win the AL West. But! I have something else in mind for that division up next…
Seattle Mariners o84.5 wins
One of the teams I’m most looking forward to watching in 2022 are the Seattle Mariners. Hot off last year’s season that saw the M’s win 90 games for the first time since 2003, the rebuild finally took shape, and they pounced on the opportunity in the offseason. A huge trade with the Reds brought All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker and slugging third baseman Eugenio Suarez to the Pacific Northwest, and free agent signings of Adam Frazier (.305 BA in 2021) and Robbie Ray (2021 AL Cy Young winner) show that this team is in win-now mode. An electric young trio of outfielders in Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez bring that fun spark that baseball so desperately needs. Ray and fellow lefty Marco Gonzales head a rotation that needs to improve; but coming off a hot season with a farm as good as they have, I really like this squad. I’m all over this win total and will also be playing the Mariners to win the AL West at +450.
Chicago White Sox o91.5 wins
Ah, the Southsiders. Another team that’s going to be a ton of fun in 2022, the WSox are about as well-rounded as any team in the league. 93 wins in 2021 saw Chicago bow out in the ALDS against the pennant-winning Astros. Their lineup features a top six that can go toe-to-toe with anyone on the schedule. Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal all just flat-out rake. The staff is also top of the line, with Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease and Dallas Keuchel. We can’t forget about the bullpen either. Flame-throwers like Michael Kopech and Garrett Crochet, along with two All-Star closers in Liam Hendriks and Craig Kimbrel, will make it very tough for opposing lineups to score runs. In a weak AL Central, the White Sox should cruise if they stay healthy, and I also like them to win the AL pennant at +450.
New York Mets u90.5 wins
This is the Mets’ year, right?!?! Wrong! I’ll be taking the bet that makes me money year in and year out and let me tell you why. I will say, I’m more nervous this year as I have been in the past, but you gotta risk it to get the biscuit. Some upgrades were definitely in order from Uncle Steve Cohen’s first year of being the richest owner in baseball, and he delivered. Max Scherzer (sad) will be playing second fiddle to the best pitcher to ever grace the planet Jacob deGrom, while Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha were added to beef up the lineup. Obviously, the Mets are returning Lindor, Alonso, McNeil and Cano; so, Jake, why are you taking the under?? That would be because the Mets are gonna Met. Still with a trash bullpen and an inconsistent roster, I don’t see this team winning 90 games in a very good NL East. Join me or not but let me say I told you so now, so I don’t have to later.
Pittsburgh Pirates u65.5 wins
This year’s Pirates have a truly hilarious roster. Ke’Bryan Hayes is a confirmed stud, but there’s really no one else on this roster that even makes me think twice about this bet. They still have Bryan Reynolds, but reports came out today saying the Pirates are actively shopping him, so that would be another really big hole to fill. Outside of those two, the lineup features the likes of Yoshi Tsutsugo, Ben Gamel and certified big hoss Dan Vogelbach. Lefty Jose Quintana is looking to find his form from a few years ago with a new team, and righties Miguel Yajure and Bryse Wilson will also find spots in the rotation. Another bad bullpen this year won’t help the cause, and the only thing I could see being a factor in this losing is a very weak NL Central. I don’t envision a way in which there aren’t at least 100 losses in Pittsburgh this season.
Rafael Devers to lead the MLB in RBI: +1300
With 115 and 113 RBIs in each of his last two full seasons respectively, Devers has really turned himself into a machine with guys on base. He’s still only 25 and is finding himself in his fourth full season of games. That trajectory, coupled with a Red Sox lineup that is very stout top to bottom, Devers should find himself among the league leaders yet again.
Now as they say in baseball, let’s do that baseball!