As of this moment, we are roughly 30 games into 162. Here are a few comments prior to predicting the 2022 World Series match-up:
-> The Yankees and Dodgers are a top the AL and NL standings. Not a huge surprise here as Los Angeles has had arguably the deepest lineup in baseball history over the past few seasons. The Yankees made less-than noteworthy moves in the off-season, yet have produced the best record in the AL with a more consistent lineup and balanced pitching from start to close.
-> The off-season moves by the Mets have worked out as projected. The Metropolitans have produced within the starting rotation and throughout the lineup. Adding Scherzer has proven to be worth every bit of the $130 million Steven Cohen and company were willing to spend.
-> The Angels sit in first place in the AL West. Can this finally be the year we see Mike Trout advance in a playoff series? Alongside superstar Shohei Ohtani, the Angels have been lifted by productivity from Jared Walsh, Anthony Rendon and Taylor Ward (batting .364) that has given this lineup diversity similar to the 2002 roster anchored by Salmon, Glaus, Anderson, and Eckstein.
-> The Red Sox currently (May 8, 2022) sit in last place in the AL East behind 4th place Baltimore. I threw this one in as a Yankees fan capitalizing on the moment. The Sox have struggled immensely to close games and have not looked anything like the team that advanced past the Yanks in last year's postseason. The season is still early, but in a competitive division they need to get on a run as soon as possible. I prefer not.
There's so much more we can dive into, but let's fast forward to the World Series:
*Preseason Hope: Yankees vs Mets (Subway Series)
*Preseason Pick: Dodgers vs Blue Jays
Pick at this point in the season: Dodgers vs Yankees
Yes, it's easy to pick the chalk. Dodgers and Yankees are the leaders in each league and therefore have the best odds to make the World Series. However, the decision to anoint these two clubs into The Series was difficult to come to. The Dodgers have pedigree and a proven lineup, but losing Mad Max to a key competitor within the league could end up being costly. World Series champions typically have at least two proven starters in the rotation and losing Max can only be seen as a step-back for any club. Kershaw is looking as great as ever so far through the season and the lineup continues to produce. The Braves (defending champs) have yet to hit their stride, but with Acuna returning they could be set for a run. For now, the Dodgers have my vote.
In the AL, I hold no bias choosing my Yanks. Moving on from Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit has helped cut down on strikeouts and raise the team average. The starting rotation has found a nice surprise in Nestor Cortes and the bullpen has been nothing but amazing. The stars in the lineup are trending on their usual paths and Kiner-Falefa has fit well in the lineup. Boone has continued to use various lineups, but they have shown success thus far. At this point of the season, the Yankees have looked like the best team in baseball. We'll see if this continues.
Who do you see making it into the World Series? Let me know in the comments!