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ALLCITY Network All-Stars 2022 MLB Season Preview: Dodgers and Blue Jays dominate predictions

Patrick Lyons Avatar
April 7, 2022

With four baseball beats in three different markets around the country, an All-Star cast of journalists and prognosticators from All-City Media have the picks that will pay on DraftKings Sportsbook for the 2022 MLB Season.

Here are the fab four that will try to go on the greatest of runs in predicting each division, postseason contender and end of year award:

Patrick Lyons (@PatrickDLyons): DNVR Rockies (@DNVR_Rockies)

Jesse Friedman (@JesseNFriedman): PHNX Diamondbacks (@PHNX_Dbacks)

Ryan Herrera (@ryan_a_herrera): CHGO Cubs (@CHGO_Cubs)

Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber): CHGO White Sox (@CHGO_WhiteSox)

National League

Patrick Jesse Ryan Vinnie
NL East ATL NYM ATL NYM
NL Central MIL MIL MIL STL
NL West LAD LAD LAD LAD
NL Wild Card #1 PHI ATL PHI SF
NL Wild Card #2 SD SD SD ATL
NL Wild Card #3 SF PHI SF SD

Lyons: With the NL Central lacking a certain quality, there’s a chance Milwaukee and St. Louis could both make it. The Cubs are suspect, but could possibly take the final Wild Card. Since there’s always one team that defies the odds, it wouldn’t surprise me if either the Cubbies, Marlins or Rockies are that shocker.

Friedman: The NL East is going to be a lot of fun this year — Braves, Phillies and Mets are all serious contenders. The Brewers will probably win the Central by 10-plus games. I’m not sure how any of them are going to beat the Dodgers, who are still running out one of the best lineups in MLB history even after trading A.J. Pollock.

Herrera: The Dodgers went all in (or more all in than they already have) by signing Freddie Freeman this offseason, and they’re rightfully the World Series favorites heading into the season. They’ll have some stiff competition for the crown, including from teams in their own division, but ultimately, the National League is starting to feel like it’ll run through LA.

Apr 5, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrates with first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) after scoring in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Duber: I know they didn’t win the pennant last year. I know they didn’t win their division last year. But the always-dominant Dodgers are even more dangerous after adding Freddie Freeman to their stable of MVPs. It’s their pennant to lose.

American League

Patrick Jesse Ryan Vinnie
AL East TOR TOR TOR TOR
AL Central CHW CHW CHW CHW
AL West HOU HOU LAA SEA
AL Wild Card #1 TB NYY NYY TB
AL Wild Card #2 NYY TB HOU HOU
AL Wild Card #3 SEA LAA TB NYY

Lyons: The AL East is always a giant and this year is no exception. Both the Red Sox and Yankees rotations are a bit questionable, so only one of them can be lucky enough to work through that. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay and Toronto look deep and poised to be the best in the Junior Circuit.

Friedman: The American League is a toss-up. I like the Blue Jays the best, but they’ll need to bolster their bullpen at some point. White Sox are next in line. I know we’re used to pencilling in the Rays as a serious contender every year, but they don’t have an ace. I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop from the postseason picture entirely.

Oct 10, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) reacts after striking out Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (not pictured) for the final out of the game during game three of the 2021 ALDS at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Herrera: There are multiple teams that can realistically claim to be the American League favorite, and it’ll certainly be a heated battle between the teams at the top. The White Sox have the core of a contender, the Blue Jays got stronger, the Angels can make a surprise run behind Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, and teams like the Yankees, Rays and Astros haven’t gone anywhere. The AL playoffs will certainly be one heckuva ride.

Duber: The White Sox don’t figure to have a ton of trouble winning the Central (though more trouble than last year). It’s the playoffs that will test them, specifically the bulked-up Blue Jays and those same ol’ Astros. But the rebuild has crescendoed to this point.

MLB Playoffs

Patrick Jesse Ryan Vinnie
ALCS Matchup TOR-TB TOR-CHW TOR-CHW CHW-TOR
AL Champ TOR TOR CHW CHW
NLCS Matchup LAD-MIL LAD-NYM LAD-ATL LAD-NYM
NL Champ LAD LAD LAD LAD
World Series Champ LAD TOR LAD LAD

Bold Predictions

Lyons: Scherzer & deGrom make back-to-back starts only twice this season. Only Chicago has a winning record in the AL Central.

Friedman: The San Francisco Giants follow up their 107-win season by finishing under .500 in 2022. Byron Buxton finishes second behind Mike Trout in AL MVP voting.

Herrera: Despite getting three teams in the playoffs, the Dodgers win the NL West by the largest margin of any division in MLB. Shohei Ohtani leads the AL in both home runs as a hitter and wins as a pitcher.

Duber: The NL East comes down to the season’s final day. White Sox win the Triple Crown as a team: TA batting average, Eloy home runs and Abreu RBIs.

National League Awards

Patrick Jesse Ryan Vinnie
NL MVP Bryce Harper Juan Soto Juan Soto Mookie Betts
NL Cy Young Award Max Fried Max Scherzer Walker Buehler Max Scherzer
NL Rookie
of the Year
Seiya Suzuki Seiya Suzuki Seiya Suzuki Seiya Suzuki
NL Manager of the Year Bob Melvin Buck Showalter Dave Roberts Bob Melvin

Lyons: Someone always comes out of the blue to step up in a major way in the NL Cy Young Award voting. Max Fried was solid last season and had enough big starts in the postseason with Atlanta to convince me he’ll be the guy this year.

Oct 27, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in game two of the 2021 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Friedman: Somehow Max Scherzer hasn’t won a Cy Young award since 2017. I think he’s got one more in him before his career is over.

Herrera: It’s insane to think that Juan Soto is still just 23 years old considering how big of a superstar he’s been in MLB. He already finished as runner up for the NL MVP award last season after coming onto the scene three years earlier. It feels like 2022 could shape up to be his year to take home that award and truly stake his claim as the top player in the NL.

Duber: Typically, when a team’s stacked with MVP types, none of them win it because they cancel each other out. But that Mookie Betts guy is good enough to stand out from the crowd of Dodger Blue. On the pitching side, Max Scherzer is going to give the Mets what they paid for.

American League Awards

Patrick Jesse Ryan Vinnie
AL MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Mike Trout Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Tim Anderson
AL Cy Young Award José Berríos Shane Bieber Shane Bieber Justin Verlander
AL Rookie
of the Year
Bobby Witt Jr. Julio Rodríguez Bobby Witt Jr. Bobby Witt Jr.
AL Manager
of the Year
Charlie Montoyo Charlie Montoyo Charlie Montoyo Kevin Cash

Lyons: We are now in the midst of the next generation of the great players: Witt Jr. (KC), Torkelson (DET), Rodriguez (SEA) and Rutschman (BAL). If more of these players get a chance to start the season on Opening Day rosters, the All-Star Game will begin to look like a rerun of the 2021 Futures Game. I’d gladly build a team around whoever finishes 5th in AL Rookie of the Year Award voting.

Friedman: Sometimes we forget that Mike Trout is, uh, really freaking good. After losing almost an entire year to injury, he’s bound to return to form. The AL rookie class is off-the-charts talented this year, but I’m taking Julio Rodríguez for Rookie of the Year. All he did this spring was bat .412 with seven extra-base hits in 14 games.

Herrera: Shane Bieber missed basically the entire last half of 2021, save for two three-inning outings in September, so it’s hard to say he truly got the chance to defend his 2020 AL Cy Young. That won’t be the case this year. The Guardians might struggle and it’ll definitely depend on Bieber’s health, but a resurgent season that puts him square in the Cy Young conversation is a very real scenario for Bieber’s 2022 campaign.

Duber: You don’t sleep on future Hall of Famers when it comes to late-career performance, and Justin Verlander could do it all over again for the Astros, not just delivering one of the best individual seasons in the AL but carrying that rotation deep into October. Meanwhile, Tim Anderson makes the White Sox go. He’s their MVP, time he was the league’s MVP, too.

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