2022 MLB playoffs: Our predictions from the wild-card video games by way of the World Sequence

The 2022 MLB playoffs start Friday afternoon, debuting a brand new format with 12 groups hoping to boost this 12 months’s World Sequence trophy.

The Dodgers — who enter October with MLB’s finest file and a franchise file variety of wins — look so as to add one other title to show their 2020 championship was no fluke. In the meantime, the Braves have hopes of turning into baseball’s first repeat champions for the reason that Yankees received three straight from 1998 to 2000. The Yankees, then again, will attempt to return to their early-season type and make a run on the Fall Basic from the No. 2 seed within the American League.

Who will win every spherical? And which squad would be the final standing on the finish of the postseason? We requested greater than 30 of our MLB consultants — from ESPN.com, TV, Stats & Data and extra — to present us their predictions.

Under are their picks for wild-card winners (two groups will make it out of every league), division sequence winners, league championship sequence winners and World Sequence champion.

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American League Wild Card Sequence

ALWC: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians 19

Tampa Bay Rays 12

Whereas the Guardians are the favourite, you picked the Rays. How do they arrive out of wild-card weekend triumphant? The Rays may be one of the best group at perennially outpunching its weight when it comes to regular-season file and playoff runs, with execs unfold all around the league to show I am not the one one who believes this. I usually give then the good thing about the doubt in a toss-up, however I believe the Rays are a greater staff due to the superior depth of their rotation and lineup. That stated, I see these dangers on this decide: Guardians relievers James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase scare me if the Rays fall behind, and Rays ace Shane McClanahan hasn’t been that nice of late. — Kiley McDaniel

ALWC: Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays 18

Seattle Mariners 13

Our voters are virtually cut up between the Mariners and Blue Jays. Why do you assume Toronto will prevail? The Mariners-Blue Jays sequence is a leap ball. I am going to take the Blue Jays partly as a result of they’re at dwelling. Rogers Centre is a loud place. “Will probably be loopy,” Blue Jays heart fielder George Springer stated. Solely the Yankees scored extra runs within the American League this 12 months than the Jays. They’re swinging it rather well today, particularly Bo Bichette, who had 48 hits in September. Plus, the Jays have Alek Manoah getting into Recreation 1. He has been top-of-the-line pitchers within the league, completely fearless, completely oblivious to the stress. The Mariners are actually good, have received seven of 10 and may win this sequence, however home-field benefit means the Jays win in three. — Tim Kurkjian

Nationwide League Wild Card Sequence

NLWC: Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals 19

Philadelphia Phillies 12

A good variety of our voters went with the Phillies. Why did you select the Cardinals? In a brief sequence, I’ll belief their protection — particularly in a park as spacious as Busch Stadium — and the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Albert Pujols to do what’s essential to advance. The Phillies actually appear to have a serious benefit with their beginning pitching, however I believe the Cardinals have it, maybe to a lesser extent, within the bullpen. And I believe having all three video games at dwelling will probably be a serious benefit. — Alden Gonzalez

NLWC: San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets

New York Mets 27

San Diego Padres 4

Why do you assume San Diego can pull off the wild-card upset in opposition to the 100-plus-win Mets? In terms of the Mets, the dialog rightfully virtually at all times begins with Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. However when the Mets had been actually rolling this 12 months, it appeared Starling Marte was in the midst of all the pieces good occurring of their lineup. Now that there’s a very actual probability New York must begin the postseason with out their dynamic outfielder — and that might be sufficient of a distinction to tip the scales in a best-of-three sequence. Then again, if the Mets do get by way of the opening weekend and Marte comes again taking part in just like the star he’s at any level this month, this can be a Mets staff that would nonetheless make quite a lot of noise this October. — Dan Mullen

American League Division Sequence

ALDS: Winner of Rays-Guardians vs. New York Yankees

New York Yankees 21

Cleveland Guardians 9

Tampa Bay Rays 1

A majority of our voters picked the Yankees. Why do you assume the Guardians can win? There is not any doubt it will be an upset for the $68 million Guardians to knock off the $246 million Yankees. However upsets occur in October, and I like the way in which Cleveland’s pitching employees stacks up in opposition to the Yankees. Since across the first week of August, this has been arguably one of the best employees in baseball. Each the rotation and the bullpen have contributed to that, however the relievers specifically have gone to a different stage.

The Yankees have the firepower to easily membership the Guardians into submission. But when video games keep tight and terse into the late innings, the pendulum swings within the course of Cleveland. You may assume the Guardians’ AL Central-heavy schedule accounts for a few of their lofty numbers. However this is a stat: After the All-Star break, for those who take away video games in opposition to any AL Central staff from the numbers, solely the Dodgers and Astros had a greater staff ERA than Cleveland, and the Guardians had been only a tick behind the Astros for No. 2. — Bradford Doolittle

ALDS: Winner of Mariners-Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros

Houston Astros 28

Seattle Mariners 2

Toronto Blue Jays 1

What makes the Astros the overwhelming favourite? These Astros are somewhat completely different from latest Houston powerhouses when it comes to lineup depth and the dynamism of an offense that’s nonetheless excellent. However what actually units this model of Houston aside is the depth and flexibility of a pitching employees ideally located for the October event. The Astros have a traditional large rotation three in Framber Valdez, Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr. They’ve glorious choices when a fourth starter is required in Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia and Cristian Javier.

Houston additionally has a top quality group within the bullpen, together with Ryan Pressly, Hector Neris, Ryne Stanek, Rafael Montero, Will Smith and Bryan Abreu. Then they’ve the added layer of with the ability to use Urquidy, Garcia and, particularly, Javier to fill within the gaps between as elite bridge guys. On high of all that, rookie Hunter Brown lurks as an enormous potential X issue as a multi-inning bullpen choice if they’ll make room for him on the playoff roster. It’ll be onerous to attain on this group, particularly because it’s backed by terrific protection. And with all that depth, nobody needs to be overworked throughout an unusually compressed playoff schedule. — Doolittle

Nationwide League Division Sequence

NLDS: Winner of Phillies-Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves 26

St. Louis Cardinals 4

Philadelphia Phillies 1

What makes the Braves the favourite right here? As a lot as I wish to see the Phillies lengthen their season, the Braves are just too robust. Frankly, they may be the favourite no matter foe, together with the Dodgers and Astros. The Phillies have two beginning pitchers and a questionable bullpen. The Braves don’t have any such considerations. — Eric Karabell

NLDS: Winner of Padres-Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers 27

New York Mets 4

How can the Mets upset the Dodgers to advance? Quick playoff sequence aren’t about depth — they’re about beginning pitching, offensive heroes and bullpens. The Mets have simply sufficient of all three to beat the Dodgers, in a brief sequence. The Dodgers’ depth merely does not come into play prefer it did over 162. That is no positive factor — nothing within the playoffs is — however the Mets have the proper mixture of gamers to tug off the upset. — Jesse Rogers

American League Championship Sequence

Houston Astros 25

Seattle Mariners 2

New York Yankees 3

Toronto Blue Jays 1

Houston is the overwhelming favourite right here. How can the Yankees pull this off? The Yankees picked issues again up after a weak August and needs to be getting key gamers again on the roster, reminiscent of Matt Carpenter, Frankie Montas, Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta. That is an skilled staff that has quite a lot of depth on each offense and the pitching employees. If the lineup can get scorching prefer it did within the first half, this will probably be a troublesome staff to cease, no matter how up and down the second half of the season was. I attempt to not think about regular-season success an excessive amount of into postseason predictions as a result of, because the Braves proved final 12 months, it is typically about hitting your stride on the proper time. The Yankees have all of the items to do exactly that. — Joon Lee

Nationwide League Championship Sequence

Los Angeles Dodgers 15

Atlanta Braves 13

St. Louis Cardinals 2

New York Mets 1

Why did you decide the Braves to win the NLCS over the Dodgers? Selecting in opposition to a 111-win juggernaut that scored essentially the most runs in baseball and allowed the fewest would appear to be a galaxy-brained maneuver, and maybe it is going to be. However think about: Over the ultimate 112 video games of the season, the Dodgers went 78-34. And over the ultimate 112 video games of the season, the Braves went … 78-34. Los Angeles outscored opponents 573-351. Atlanta outscored opponents … 582-386. These are extremely evenly matched groups, every with a dynamic, star-filled offense, ample starting-pitching choices and stable protection.

The Braves, nonetheless, separate themselves in a significant space for playoff baseball: the bullpen. Sure, the Dodgers have one of the best aid ERA within the Nationwide League at 2.87 and a cornucopia of choices from each side: right-handers Evan Phillips, Chris Martin, Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol and Tommy Kahnle, left-handers Alex Vesia and David Value – all of whom theoretically may shut in lieu of the deposed-but-still-around Craig Kimbrel. And if Dustin Might and particularly Blake Treinen return from accidents, they might be game-changers. However Atlanta’s array of aid choices – nearer Kenley Jansen, longtime-closer-elsewhere Raisel Iglesias, right-hander Collin McHugh, left-handers A.J. Minter, Dylan Lee and Tyler Matzek – are all, except Lee, confirmed veterans or playoff-tested. That is the type of sequence that would come down to at least one inning a sport, a real toss-up between two really elite groups. There may be certain to be a loser in the event that they face off, however actually we’re all winners for the likelihood. — Jeff Passan

World Sequence

Los Angeles Dodgers 12

(Joon Lee, Brianna Williams, Tim Kurkjian, Ben Ward, Kyle Peterson, David Schoenfield, Dan Mullen, Bradford Doolittle, Alex Rodriguez, Enrique Rojas, Matt Marrone, Joe DeMartino)

Atlanta Braves 10

(Eduardo Perez, Phil Orlins, Paul Hembekides, Jeff Passan, Gregg Colli, Tristan Cockcroft, Buster Olney, Clinton Yates, Rachel Ullrich)

Houston Astros 8

(Eric Karabell, Michael Kay, Jesse Rogers, Kiley McDaniel, Alden Gonzalez, Liz Finny, Tim Keown, David Flemming)

New York Yankees 1

(Jeremy Willis)

The Dodgers had been our hottest decide. Why did you go along with Los Angeles right here? I am really somewhat stunned the Dodgers had been the preferred decide as a result of it looks as if everybody has been looking for causes to choose in opposition to them. Foremost: the bullpen and the dearth of an outlined nearer. Properly, the Dodgers completed with the second-best bullpen ERA within the majors (2.87). Additionally: Cody Bellinger did not have season, and Joey Gallo hit .162 with the Dodgers. Properly, the Dodgers scored essentially the most runs within the majors. And: Walker Buehler is injured, and Tony Gonsolin has pitched simply two innings since August. They nonetheless have Julio Urias (2.16 ERA), Clayton Kershaw (2.28 ERA) and Tyler Anderson (2.57 ERA). They outscored their opponents by a whopping 334 runs — the best differential for the reason that 1939 Yankees. I am not going to overthink this: The Dodgers are one of the best staff in baseball. — Schoenfield

A Braves repeat was proper behind the Dodgers. Why do you assume they’re going to pull it off? As a result of dwelling runs are baseball’s most useful forex, and the Braves have that market cornered. Since June 1, they personal one of the best file in MLB (78-34) behind a plus-72 dwelling run differential (highest in majors). Groups are 156-26 (.857 win proportion) within the postseason when outhomering their opponent since 2016. — Hembekides

I think about the Braves essentially the most well-rounded staff, particularly on the pitching aspect, the place their aid depth ought to present a considerable benefit in a postseason brief on relaxation days. The 2 greatest threats to them in my estimation, the Dodgers and Mets, have handled rotation accidents, a shaky ninth-inning image (Dodgers) and the additional spherical throwing their rotation out of whack on account of dropping the division (Mets). The Braves appear higher set as much as face up to the 12-games-across-15-days whirlwind that’s the division and championship rounds, they usually’ll be those with the additional relaxation heading into the World Sequence. Nobody is ready up higher to combine and match on the pitching aspect. — Cockcroft

Make your case for why you assume the Astros will win: Houston can win in so many alternative methods. That may turn out to be useful over the course of three rounds of the postseason. The Astros are balanced and have skilled pitching and a stable bullpen. And in contrast to a 12 months in the past, they’ve Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers wholesome for a full postseason. Rating fourth in dwelling runs whereas putting out the second fewest occasions in MLB says all of it in regards to the Astros’ offense. It is loaded. They’re simply higher than everybody. Typically it is that straightforward. — Rogers

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