2022 MLB All-Star Teams

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For the 92nd year of the Midsummer Classic, baseball goes to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The last time the mid-summer classic was played in LA was in 1980. Now every year there is always a lot of discussion and some of it a little dated about how the teams are put together. No system will ever be perfect. Fans don’t always get it right and managers won’t either, nor the commissioner’s office. The fact that the players are able to vote for participants was a great choice and they know who is deserving. Regardless of who should or shouldn’t be in the game lets just accept that the best players will always be involved one way or another. Here are my all-stars keeping with the rules that every team be represented and a total of 32 players for each league.

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2022 MLB World Series & Awards Predictions

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MLB Awards

NL MVP – 1B Matt Olson – Atlanta Braves

AL MVP – P/DH Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Angels

NL Cy Young – Max Scherzer – New York Mets

AL Cy Young – Jose Berrios – Toronto Blue Jays

NL Rookie of the Year – P Hunter Greene – Cincinnati Reds

AL Rookie of the Year – OF Julio Rodriguez – Seattle Mariners

NL Manager of the Year – Craig Counsell – Milwaukee Brewers

AL Manager of the Year – Charlie Montoyo – Toronto Blue Jays

Postseason Projections

NL Division Winners – Dodgers, Brewers, Braves

NL Wild Card Winners – Cardinals, Padres, Mets

AL Division Winners – White Sox, Blue Jays, Mariners

AL Wild Card Winners – Rays, Astros, Angels

NLCS – Dodgers over Brewers

ALCS – Blue Jays over White Sox

World Series – Dodgers over Blue Jays

American League West

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* – indicates new to team

+ – indicates injury

1. Seattle Mariners

They hit the relative jackpot in getting the reigning AL Cy Young winner and a NL All-Star outfielder in the same offseason.

2. Houston Astros

Losing Carlos Correa will hurt them when it comes closer to October.

3. Los Angeles Angels

They have two of the best players in baseball today. It’s time to start seeing them play in October.

4. Texas Rangers

A lot of money was spent, but the pitching staff isn’t where it needs to be.

5. Oakland Athletics

The fire sale is happening once again. This could get ugly with the lack of a stadium deal being in place.

Player to Watch: P/DH Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Angels

Best Acquisition: OF Jesse Winker – Seattle Mariners

New Kid on the Block: OF Julio Rodriguez – Seattle Mariners

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2021 World Series Preview

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The last time the Atlanta Braves made an appearance in the World Series was in 1999. Their last World Series championship was in 1995. The irony of them being in the Fall Classic this season is that the commissioner’s office took the All-Star game away from Atlanta, Georgia due to what they saw as ‘racist’ voter ID laws. Now they are here on the sports biggest stage. For the Houston Astros they are in their third World Series appearance in the last 5 seasons. They won their first World Series title in 2017, but that championship has an asterisk next to it due to the fact they were cheating for most of the season by stealing signs electronically. The irony around the 2021 World Series looms quite large this year. Let’s see if the play on the field will take away from what’s happening off of it.

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2021 MLB Championship Series Preview

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Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros

There were moments where Boston could have and did blow leads in the ALDS against Tampa Bay. And yet, they came away victorious in 4 games against their division rival. Largely due to the play of Rafael Devers and Kike Hernandez. Both hit 2 home runs and drove in 6 runs in the series. J.D. Martinez hit .467 in his 3 games he played and Christian Vazquez hit .375 and drove in 4 runs, including the walk-off game winner in Game 4. If Boston wants to continue this momentum the pitching staff has to be better. Chris Sale was not good in his lone start for Boston. Eduardo Rodriguez did bounce back in Game 4 after his Game 1 loss. Nathan Eovaldi had the best start of the Red Sox starting pitchers striking out 8 in his 5 innings pitched. The bullpen held firm and kept the lead or didn’t allow Tampa Bay to rally any further. This trend will need to continue for a potential 7-game grudge match.

Other than Game 3 of the ALDS against Chicago, Houston’s pitching was solid. Lance McCullers struck out 9 batters in his two starts for the series. Phil Maton, Ryan Pressly and Ryne Stanek each pitched in 3 games and combined to struck out 11 batters and walked only one. Kendall Graveman also pitched in 3 games, but looked shaky at times. But if Houston’s lineup continues to produce the way they have, the pitching staff won’t have as much pressure on them. Kyle Tucker led all Astros with 7 RBI while batting .294. Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman each batted over .360 for the series. The three of them combined to drive in 12 runs for the Astros. The patience of this lineup though is what cinched the series. Correa, Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez walked 14 times combined in the series. The dominance of this franchise is hard to overlook as this is their fifth consecutive appearance in the ALCS.

Astros in 6 games

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves

The defending champions passed the test of their division rivals the San Francisco Giants. Now they get to face Atlanta for the second consecutive year in the NLCS. It wasn’t easy getting past the Giants with most of their lineup struggling to make consistent contact. The absence of Max Muncy looks especially daunting. However, Mookie Betts led the way with a .450 batting average and had 4 hits in Game 5 of the NLDS. Cody Bellinger drove in 3 runs, including the game winner in Game 5. This could be a sign that his horrible regular season was an aberration. Will Smith drove in 3 runs with 2 home runs and a .333 batting average. If Justin Turner and Trea Turner return to form in the NLCS look out. The pitching was outstanding and no surprise Max Scherzer was a key component. Although his lone start was a loss, he only gave up one run. He ended up saving Game 5 of the NLDS and finished his series with 12 strikeouts and only one walk in his two appearances. Brusdar Graterol allowed only 3 hits in his 4 appearances and Kenley Jansen struck out 5 in his 2 appearances in the series. Walker Buehler and Julio Urias were solid in the rotation as well. A lot will have to go wrong for them to lose.

For the Braves to overcome the talented pitching staff of the Milwaukee Brewers, they had to score runs at crucial times of a game. They did it quite a bit and Joc Pederson was a big part of that with his .429 2 HR 5 RBI stat line in his 4 games played. Freddie Freeman was his usual self batting .308 and hit a huge home run in Game 4. Eddie Rosario drove in 2 runs and batted .308 as well. Austin Riley batted .333 and played stellar defense at third. The Braves pitching staff needed to match Milwaukee’s and they did better than that. Charlie Morton struck out 14 batters in his two starts, one in which he was given the loss, but he only walked two in 9 1/3 innings pitched. Ian Anderson and Max Fried were fantastic in their starts combining for 15 strikeouts, 6 hits allowed and 0 walks in 11 innings pitched. Luke Jackson and Tyler Matzek were stellar setting up Atlanta’s closer Will Smith who saved all three victories for the Braves. Everything was clicking and it will need to again in the NLCS.

Dodgers in 6 games