MLB predictions 2022: Here’s your division winners, World Series champ

Detroit Free Press

Well, that was an offseason, even with the 99-day lockout smack in the middle.

The Atlanta Braves won their first World Series since 1995 back in November, and then there was a spending frenzy, in which one team <ahem, hello, Texas Rangers> dropped more than $560 million, the Tigers wrote checks for more than $200 million and the Mets, well, they somehow ended up with Max Scherzer for something like $43 million a year. (That’s more than two teams’ entire payrolls, and just under what the A’s are spending out in Oakland.)

And then in March, with the lockout ended, things got even weirder. The A’s and Reds launched their stars to playoff contenders, the Dodgers and Braves swapped Freddie Freeman and Kenley Jansen via free agency, and Carlos Correa, the prize of the offseason, ended up in Minnesota. MINNESOTA.

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So yeah, you might have a few questions going into today’s Opening Day. Are the Toronto Blue Jays, who let the American League Cy Young winner and the third-place finisher in MVP voting walk in free agency, really the favorites in the AL? (Yep.) Are the Seattle Mariners, who last made the playoffs when star prospect Julio Rodriguez hadn’t yet turned 1, really a chic dark horse pick to win the AL West? (Also yep.) Do the Dodgers really have FOUR former MVPs on the roster? (Freeman, Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger … yep, it checks out.) Does that mean partial owner Magic Johnson will be lifting the Commissioner’s Trophy at some point this November? (Check back later.)

We may not have all the answers, but Free Press sports writers Ryan Ford and Evan Petzold have some thoughts about how the six divisions will shake out (all hail Nick Castellanos in Philly), who’ll win it all (are you ready for a World Series parade in the snow?) and who’ll take home all the awards (even though it’ll probably be Mike Trout).

*Denotes wild-card berth

AL Central

Petzold

1. White Sox.

2. Tigers.

3. Twins.

4. Guardians.

5. Royals.

Ford

1. White Sox.

2. Tigers.

3. Twins.

4. Guardians.

5. Royals.

AL East

Petzold

1. Blue Jays.

2. Yankees.*

3. Rays.*

4. Red Sox.

5. Orioles.

Ford

1. Blue Jays.

2. Yankees.*

3. Rays.*

4. Red Sox.

5. Orioles.

AL West

Petzold

1. Mariners.

2. Astros.*

3. Angels.

4. Athletics.

5. Rangers.

Ford

1. Astros.

2. Mariners.*

3. Angels.

4. Rangers.

5. Athletics.

NL East

Petzold

1. Mets.

2. Phillies.*

3. Braves.*

4. Marlins.

5. Nationals.

Ford

1. Braves.

2. Phillies.*

3. Mets.*

4. Nationals.

5. Marlins.

NL Central

Petzold

1. Brewers.

2. Cardinals.

3. Cubs.

4. Reds.

5. Pirates.

Ford

1. Brewers.

2. Cardinals.

3. Cubs.

4. Reds.

5. Pirates.

NL West

Petzold

1. Dodgers.

2. Giants.*

3. Padres.

4. Rockies.

5. Diamondbacks.

Ford

1. Dodgers.

2. Giants.*

3. Padres.

4. Rockies.

5. Diamondbacks.

The postseason

(League seeds in parentheses)

Petzold

AL WC: Mariners (3) over Rays (6), Yankees (4) over Astros (5).

NL WC: Giants (6) over Brewers (3), Phillies (4) over Braves (5).

ALDS: Yankees (4) over White Sox (1), Blue Jays (2) over Mariners (3).

NLDS: Dodgers (1) over Phillies (4), Giants (6) over Mets (2).

ALCS: Blue Jays (2) over Yankees (4).

NLCS: Giants (6) over Dodgers (1).

World Series: Blue Jays (2) over Giants (6).

Ford

AL WC: Astros (3) over Rays (6), Mariners (5) over Yankees (4).

NLWC: Mets (6) over Brewers (3), Phillies (5) over Giants (4).

ALDS: Blue Jays (1) over M’s (5), Astros (3) over White Sox (2).

NLDS: Dodgers (1) over Phillies (5), Braves (2) over Mets (6).

ALCS: Blue Jays (1) over Astros (3).

NLCS: Dodgers (1) over Braves (2).

World Series: Blue Jays (1) over Dodgers (1).

The awards

Petzold

AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays.

AL Cy Young: Frankie Montas, Athletics.

AL Rookie of the Year: Bobby Witt Jr., Royals

NL MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr, Braves.

NL Cy Young: Walker Buehler, Dodgers.

NL Rookie of the Year: Joey Bart, Giants.

Ford

AL MVP: Matt Olson, Blue Jays.

AL Cy Young: Robbie Ray, Mariners.

AL Rookie of the Year: Julio Rodriguez, Mariners.

NL MVP: Matt Chapman, Braves.

NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer, Mets.

NL Rookie of the Year: Seiya Suzuki, Cubs.

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