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Early MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles Dodgers at the top

Baseball is finally back, Spring Training is underway, and there’s less than one month before Opening Day. With that, comes another long standing tradition: predicting which teams will be the title contenders weeks before a single regular-season game is played.

The start of the season has been pushed back due to a player lockout that began on December 2, 2021, following the expiry of the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association. MLB and the MLBPA signed an agreement on a 5-year CBA on March 10, with Opening Day set for April 7, delayed from its originally-planned March 31.

With the new CBA, there will be a universal designated hitter, and the postseason will also be expanded to 12 teams. This year’s edition will also mark the first season the Cleveland team will play under their new moniker, the Cleveland Guardians. The regular season will run through October 5, with the 2022 MLB All-Star Game scheduled to be hosted by the Dodgers on July 19.

Despite the fact that Spring Training has already started, there is still a lot of work to be done. Star free agents like Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Nick Castellanos must find new teams, while numerous other viable free agents are still available. After a long layoff, players have a limited amount of time to shake off the rust and prepare for Opening Day.

So, without further ado, let’s take a brief look at the favorites to win the 2022 World Series.

Los Angeles Dodgers

According to MLB betting picks at bettingnews.com, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the overwhelming favorites to win the 2022 World Series, at +500 odds… it’s just a matter of fact if they can get things done in October. Although lots of questions remain about their roster, the Dodgers still have amazing organizational depth, which makes them serious contenders for this year’s title. 

Even though Corey Seager and Max Scherzer departed the team, the Dodgers replaced their big bat with Freddie Freeman, a nice move considering Trea Turner will move back to shortstop. Nevertheless, the Dodgers might need some improvement in the bullpen, which they partly handled by re-signing Clayton Kershaw to a one-year contract.

Chicago White Sox

A strong, well-rounded ballclub, with a lot of talent in the likes of José Abreu, Yasmani Grandal, Eloy Jiménez, and Luis Robert, the Chicago White Sox are also among the favorites to win this year’s title. The bullpen looks awesome, and the biggest question surrounding the team is, “Will this be the year they win the World Series?”

According to MLB.com’s Alyson Footer, “with most of the 2021 playoff team returning, and a solid rotation that starts with Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, and Lance Lynn, the Sox look to be in good position to nab another American League Central title with ease”.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off the only 100-win season in franchise history, as well as the first time they have made the playoffs three years in a row. Unsurprisingly, they’ll rely heavily on a young, inexperienced group of pitchers in the likes of Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos, and Josh Fleming, to put together another worthy campaign.

This roster is loaded with potential but lacking in experience, and it’s difficult to imagine this team winning a World Series unless the Tampa Bay Rays demonstrate a willingness to spend big money outside of Wander Franco’s deal.

New York Yankees

Given the risks of hiring an unknown manager to replace Aaron Boone, the choice to maintain the skipper isn’t all that shocking. Even though there is no question that the New York Yankees have the talent to make the MLB postseason this year, they must prove this potential considering their previous playoff performances have not been inspiring.

Their bullpen is regarded as a strength, although they might benefit from at least one extra starter. And, with the uncertainty around whether or not unvaccinated players may play in New York, there are many unanswered issues in the Bronx.

New York Mets

Before the lockout began, the Mets were among the most active clubs in the free-agent market, with Steve Cohen vowing that money would be no problem and that he would do whatever it takes to field a title contender. And he’s proving it. The addition of Max Scherzer creates a 1-2 rotation with Jacob DeGrom that no one in the league can match.

Aside from combining the top starting pitchers in MLB, the Mets bolstered their defense and lineup with the additions of Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Starling Marte. The Mets want to sign another starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever; the only issue is how much more they’re prepared to pay.




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