With only two weeks left until the end of the 2022 MLB regular season, many races are still pending.
Four of our top five teams have already secured a playoff spot, and the Yankees, Cardinals, and Guardian, the three division leaders that remain, are still vying for a playoff spot.
While we have a good idea of which contenders are most likely to end up in the wild, positioning is still up in the air – in particular, the Mariners, Blue Jays and Flight are swapping places in the American League seedings. The Phillies and the Padres, with the Brewers watching from the sidelines, are National League teams that still have a lot to fight for in the wild card race.
To what rating of our experts do all these clubs belong?
Our panel has put together to rank each team in baseball based on a combination of what we’ve seen so far and what we already knew ahead of the 162-game marathon, which is a full baseball season. We also asked Sportzshala MLB experts Buster Olney, Bradford Doolittle, Jesse Rogers and Alden Gonzalez to rate all 30 teams.
Week 23 | Second half preview | Preseason Ranking
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Write down: 103-46
Previous rating: one
With the regular season drawing to a close, bets are all but off, and the Dodgers’ success remains remarkable. In September, they had very few reasons to play, and yet they won 13 out of 20 games. They have won 73% of the time since the start of July and have secured three-figure wins for the third full season in a row (not counting the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, although they were on pace with over 100 wins, which is also a year).
By the end of the week, they can set a franchise record for wins with 107 wins. Many underdogs continue to voice misgivings when it comes to the Dodgers in the postseason, but this team consistently finds ways to win, often convincingly. And there are no signs of giving up. — Gonzalez
2. Houston Astros
Write down: 99-51
Previous rating: 2
The Astros won the Al West West, were solidly ranked first in the league in the playoffs and, depending on how the playoffs go, could be considered the best Houston club in franchise history. This is the team that will win the AL and are favorites to return to the World Series for the fourth time in six seasons.
However, their catchers cannot hit. It’s a bit of a nitpick, but perhaps worth noting since otherwise it’s so close to a perfect lineup. Mid-season pickup Christian Vazquez was supposed to help with that, but after posting 110 OPS+ in Boston, that figure was 51 in Houston. Overall, Astros catchers hit .183/.247/.305, the worst MLB record of .551 in history. Tuesday. Obviously, Houston prioritizes defense and handling pitchers when choosing catchers, but it’s still pretty bad. Apparently, no team is perfect. — Doolittle
3. New York Mets
Write down: 95-56
Previous rating: four
If the Mets don’t play before the end of October, any mistakes will inevitably be picked up on the radio, and the refrain that the front office should have done more at the trade deadline will be repeated over and over again. But with the Mets stuck in the postseason and flirting with 100 wins, this season should really be seen as a success – the first significant display of owner Steve Cohen’s commitment to winning. — Olney
4. Atlanta Braves
Write down: 93-56
Previous rating: 3
In 2021, the Braves decided that Kyle Wright needed an extended period of development in his junior year, and as a result, he only made two major league appearances in the regular season. But after Wright delivered two strong World Series performances, the Atlanta staff thought he could take off this year, and in fact, he has a shot at being the sole major tournament winner in 2022. Wright’s win on Monday was his 19th. . –– Olney
5. New York Yankees
Write down: 90-58
Previous rating: 5
This season, Aaron Judge generated a million statistics that will be absorbed and digested for many years, creating history. Here’s a simple set of numbers that highlights just how much of a barometer of success he’s been for a team of all-stars: In games the Yankees have won, Judge is slashing at .350/.438/.832; in the games they lost, he went .256/.388/.482. — Olney
6. St. Louis Cardinals
Write down: 87-63
Previous rating: 6
It’s not whether Albert Pujols reaches 700 home runs anymore, it’s just a matter of time. His 698th against Cincinnati on Friday was another clutch. That might be what’s most impressive about Pujols – he doesn’t hit home runs in the trash against the worst pitchers on the other team. Louis would win the NL Central quickly, and the big division advantage is what allows manager Oliver Marmol to play sluggers against both right-handers and left-handers. — Rogers
7. Toronto Blue Jays
Write down: 84-65
Previous rating: 9
Clearly, the Blue Jays would love to keep winning and finish fourth in the AL bracket. This goes without saying. However, if Toronto drops to fifth or even sixth, their landing could be soft. That’s because the Blue Jays have been much better on the road this season than at Rogers Center. Win-loss records are similar, but Toronto’s home run differential (through Tuesday) matches the team’s 79 wins in 162 games.
A comparable figure for away games is 100 wins. Only the White Sox and the A’s have a greater disparity in favor of road games. Also, given the strength of the Astros as the AL’s likely top seed, it’s possible that the 6th seed on the track would be better placed than the 5th seed to make a deep run. No matter what, the Blue Jays want to keep winning. — Doolittle
8. Tampa Bay Rays
Write down: 82-67
Previous rating: 7
Over the past week, reports from Tampa Bay have revealed some notable developments regarding the Rays’ starting rotation. One of them is not so good: Although Shane Baz has recovered enough from his elbow problem to resume shooting, it is unlikely that he will return to the game this season.
On the other hand, Tyler Glasnow has performed at Triple-A Durham rehab three times. His workload has been limited, but so far the forwards are 1-for-14 against Glasnow and he has struck out eight of the 17 forwards he has faced. Now Glasnow is likely to join the Rays’ rotation before the end of the season and give them an elite pitcher in October, albeit in a limited role. Still, if Glasnow is nothing more than a glorified playoff rookie facing six to nine batters, that’s a huge push toward the Rays’ playoff ceiling. — Doolittle
9. Seattle Mariners
Write down: 81-67
Previous rating: eight
The start of the playoffs provides an annual reset opportunity for any struggling player, and the Mariners may indeed need a season-end recovery from Jesse Winker, who had a disappointing first season in Seattle. He hits .218 with 13 homers, his September batting average is .147, and his last homer was on Aug. 17. Eugenio Suarez is now with a broken finger – even if he comes back at the end of the season, it’s kind of an injury. it could affect him before the end of this year – Winker’s production is even more important. — Olney
10. Philadelphia Phillies
Write down: 81-67
Previous rating: ten
There were times when it looked like the Phillies could pose an interesting threat to the NL forces of the Dodgers, Mets and Braves. But a tough weekend streak in Atlanta, in which Philadelphia had just seven runs in three days, was a reminder of the team’s shortcomings, including its lighter pitching. The Phillies rank 23rd among 30 teams in the ERA’s bullpen despite Philadelphia’s pitchers scoring the second-most innings in major tournaments. — Olney
11. Cleveland Guardians
Write down: 82-67
Previous rating: 12
Why are the Guardians closing in on AL Central’s crown? Submission and defense. Since the All-Star break, Cleveland has placed in the top three in major ERA and BABIP tournaments. The starting roster’s ERA is in the top 10 of post-break rotations, finishing just 17th in the first half. But season history for the Guardians and their biggest hope for a long playoff berth still remains in the bullpen.
Before the break, the pitchers were ranked 12th in the bullpen, but since then the group has evolved into arguably the best in the majors. The bullpen ranks in the top three in the second half on all of the following: ERA, hitting average allowed, strikeout percentage, walking speed, and homers allowed. If Cleveland has to endure the rough playoff field of Alabama State, the main reason is likely to be the lack of light in Coach Terry Francona’s bullpen. — Doolittle
12. San Diego Padres
Write down: 83-66
Previous rating: eleven
Don’t forget that one of the main reasons for the Padres’ optimism this season has to do with the acquisition of Bob Melvin, an experienced, celebrated manager who always seems to set the right tone at the club. It was on display recently. The Padres looked listless and dejected when they were shut down by defensemen last Thursday, and Melvin reacted by doing something he rarely does: publicly savagely criticize his players.
The next day there was a meeting of only the players, and The Padres responded with five straight wins, during which their staff posted a 0.80 ERA. During this stretch, their starting pitchers performed well, the offense went smoothly, and Juan Soto began to act. And it could all be due to Melvin choosing the perfect time and place to lose his cool. — Gonzalez
13. Milwaukee Brewers
Write down: 79-70
Previous rating: 13
The Milwaukee in the playoffs are pinning their hopes on life support, but every time their season seems to be coming to an end, the Brewers pick up a couple of victories and keep up with the teams ahead of them in the hunt for the wild card. Overtaking the Yankees at the weekend could have closed the gap even further, but Milwaukee squandered the home lead by…