It’s time for me to make my predictions for the 2022 playoffs. And, since there’s a new playoff format–12 teams instead of 10, with an additional Wild Card team with no tiebreaker games–I’m going to tweak my approach.
My picks are, as in previous years, primarily based on Run Differential, modified by record and prejudice. This year, however, I’m going to throw out the record and just go with the traditional “personal prejudice” metric.
With no further ado, our American League playoff teams.
The East winner will be the Yankees (spit) with a +4 RD.
In the Central, it’s the IndiansNoNamesGuardians with a staggering +23 RD through their first six games.
The West will be won by the Athletics (spit) at +12.
And our Wild Card teams are going to be the White Sox (+10), Houston (+10), and Texas (+3). For seeding purposes, MLB would award the top Wild Card spot to Houston, based on their 3-1 record against teams in their own division. Since I’m only predicting teams, not their relative ranking, I won’t argue MLB’s methodology.
Turning our attention to the National League, the picture is even simpler.
In the East, nobody is even close to the Mets’ +15.
The Cubs have a firm grip on the Central with a +9 RD.
And the West winner can only be the Dodgers (spit) thanks to their +14 record.
Which means that all three Wild Card teams are coming out of the West: the Giants (+11), Padres (+10), and Rockies (+6).
One has to pity the Diamondbacks; the only NL West team sitting out of the playoffs this year.
Just as a side-note, the two teams trailing their respective leagues–and guaranteed to miss the playoffs with identical -17 RDs–are the Royals and Nationals. Sorry, Kansas City; but a big Simpsonsesque “Ha-Ha” to Washington.