Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Memorial Day Weekend is here, and so is the 1st quarter mark of the MLB season! From things I got very wrong to who will win the World Series, this post covers everything from the first 40(ish) games of the MLB season!
Getty Images/Circuit Artwork
Seemingly just yesterday it looked like baseball might not be back for a long time; now we’re into full swing (get it?), and what a 1st quarter! Apparently the Yankees were very ready for the 2022 season, and the Reds… were not. Let’s take a look at what I got right, and more importantly, what I took a swing and a miss on!
3 Things I was Big RIGHT about…
1- Max Scherzer Would Lift the Mets…
I predicted Mad Max to win the Cy Young in the NL this year, and 40 games in I feel pretty good about that. For years the Mets have been knocking on the door of the playoffs, and Scherzer, paired with deGrom eventually, should be enough to get the Mets back into contention. He’s dominating hitters this year, and look for that to pay huge dividends in October.
2- The Angels Would be Contenders…
Finally!!! This finally feels like the year the Angels can make some noise and Trout can finally have his postseason moment. If he were a basketball player, with 3 MVPs and 0 playoff wins (not series wins, game wins) he would be lambasted as the biggest disappointment in NBA history. Granted one player has much less impact on winning in baseball than in basketball, but Trout needs to have success in October to be in the G.O.A.T. conversation. But with him, Ohtani and Rendon, the Angels could be in for a deep playoff run.
3- The Reds Would be Bad…
This is something I consider I was ½ right. Yes, I picked the Reds to finish in the basement of the NL Central, but no I didn’t think they would be on pace for the worst team of all-time 2 months into the season. They’ve played slightly better as of late, but they are still a dreadful, dreadful team. At least Reds fans have the Bengals!
Now Three Things I was Big WRONG About…
1- The Rockies Would Make the Playoffs…
I felt awesome about this heading into May, as Colorado was flirting with 1st in the NL West and looked frisky; now they’re in the basement (in the best division in the sport, but still), and it seems like all hope is lost. I’m not totally ready to declare them dead, but I’m close given how deep the National League is.
2- The Tigers Would be in Playoff Contention…
Jesus Christ did I strike out on this one! Locked in a tight battle with the Royals for a whopping fourth-place finish in the AL Central, they are going nowhere this season. Maybe next year Detroit fans.
3- The Blue Jays Would be the Best Team in Baseball
I’m not ready to say the Blue Jays can’t win the World Series, but having the best record in baseball seems like a ship that has set sail and returned to port; Vlad Jr. has been underwhelming, and they appear headed for a Wild Card spot. There’s still reason for hope in Canada, and the baseball team could be good too (relax Canadian readers, I love it up there north of the border; some of my best races were run in Canada).
Now Let’s Make Some Playoff Predictions!
AL Wild Card:
Toronto Blue Jays def Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays def Houston Astros
NL Wild Card:
Milwaukee Brewers def St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres def San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees def Tampa Bay Rays 3-1
Los Angeles Angels def Toronto Blue Jays 3-2
Los Angeles Dodgers def San Diego Padres 3-0
New York Mets def Milwaukee Brewers 3-0
New York Yankees def Los Angeles Angels 4-2
New York Mets def Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1
New York Yankees def New York Mets 4-2 (WS MVP: Gerrit Cole)
AL MVP: Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)
The Yankees are annihilating the league so far, and Judge looks like he’s at the absolute peak of his powers. If the Yankees continue to win at this clip, Judge should run away with the MVP this season.
NL MVP: Manny Machado (San Diego Padres)
Without Tatis, many (myself included) expected San Diego to struggle this year. But Machado is having an awesome season, leading the NL in hits, batting average and near the top in stolen bases. I don’t expect him to keep this up, but for now he’s the MVP.
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander (Houston Astros)
A 39 year-old coming off huge injuries should not be leading the Cy Young race, but here we are. Houston is playing really well, and Verlander is leading the AL in wins and ERA. The comeback story alone could propel him to winning his 3rd Cy Young (but really should be his 5th).
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer (New York Mets)
Finally one of my preseason picks made it! We’re only 40 games in, but his dominance paired with the Mets exceeding expectations have Mad Max as the favorite to win 4th Cy Young.
AL Manager of the Year: Aaron Boone (New York Yankees)
I have always believed in Boone, despite most of the baseball world turning on him last postseason. Yes, the playoffs haven’t been great, but his regular season numbers are insane; he’s the Steve Kerr of baseball coaches without the rings. But have you seen the pitchers he’s been saddled with? Awful rotations and lineups that consist of 6 Aaron Judge-like players yet 1 Aaron Judge-like talent (Aaron Judge), Boone has gotten an unfair shake in my opinion and he could coach my team any day. But the Yankees are lighting the MLB on fire this season, and he should win this award easily.
NL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter (New York Mets)
If you couldn’t tell, I’m quite high on the Mets this season. I thought Philadelphia would be awesome, and I thought Atlanta would be competitive but alas, the Mets are the only team that seemingly wants to make the playoffs in the NL East. Showalter came in, shook up the culture like a snow globe, and for that he gets my MoY award.
AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Pena (Houston Astros)
One of the biggest storylines this winter (aside from the baseball apocalypse) was Correa leaving Houston and if the Astros could replace him; spoiler alert! They can. Now, Pena isn’t as good as Correa (yet), but he has been a really solid replacement, and the narrative could help him significantly in this race. Plus, he played for the University of Maine so that’s bonus points in my book (I attended there my freshman year).
NL Rookie of the Year: Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs)
The NL RoY race is less compelling than the AL, so I went with the popular preseason pick in Suzuki. The Cubs are better than I expected, and Suzuki is a big part of that.
There you have it! Make sure to check back in at the halfway point of the season to see what picks of mine have changed, what has stayed the same, and where the season is going!