Sports

World Series Contenders Revisited: 4 Favorites Through 50 Games

Prior to the start of the 2022 Major League Baseball (MLB) season, analysts and other prognosticators predicted the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays would meet in the World Series. Predictions varied, but this was generally the consensus among most media members. 

It’s easy to see why these were the two favorites to win the National League (NL) and American League (AL). The Dodgers have been a model of consistency, having reached the playoffs in each of the last nine seasons, and remain among the best MLB picks today

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have been on the cusp of breaking through for the last two seasons and have a talented young roster, including shortstop Bo Bichette and first baseman Vladdy Guerrero Jr. They signed pitchers Jose Berrios and Kevin Gausman to long-term contracts in the off-season.

Both teams have fared well through the first 50 or so games of the 2022 MLB season, but are they still considered the favorites? Here’s a closer look at some of the best teams nearing the one-third mark of the season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Yes, the Dodgers are still leading the field, despite a mediocre 5-5 record in their last ten games as of June 7. The team had a 35-19 record at that point and was actually better on the road (18-9) than at home (17-10), which is actually a good sign that the team can win in pressure-packed environments in the playoffs.

Los Angeles will have tough competition from both the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants in the ever-competitive NL West but should hold on to win the division because they’re just too talented. Manager Dave Roberts’ squad features All-Stars like Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, and the recently-signed Freddie Freeman. That’s just unfair. 

While Betts has 16 home runs, no other Dodger has more than six home runs through 54 games. Once they find their collective power, the NL West is in trouble. If you want to get NLCS tickets to watch the game live, then make sure to buy them sooner before they get sold out.

Read more: San Diego Padres tickets

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees were expected to be good this season – but not this good. The team boasts a 39-15 record through 54 games, which was good enough for a league-best .722 winning percentage. They also led all AL teams in runs (258) and had an absurd 102 run differential, meaning pitching and offense have both been firing on all cylinders.

The Yankees were still seven games ahead of the second-place Blue Jays in the AL East on June 7 and seem poised to win the division for the first time since 2019. AL MVP candidate Aaron Judge is leading the way with a league-best 21 home runs, 44 runs, and a 1.059 OPS.

Houston Astros

Like it or not, you can’t leave the Houston Astros out of any discussion involving World Series favorites. Now well past their cheating scandal, the Astros continue to prove themselves a worthy team.

Houston led the AL West by 8.5 games with a 35-20 record through 55 games this season. They had played 34 of their games at home and should have little trouble winning the division with a home-heavy schedule in the next few months.

New York Mets

It finally seems to be clicking for the Mets. New ownership, management, and a largely overturned roster has the team sitting in first place in the NL East with a 38-19 record. Baseball fans should be salivating at the prospect of a Subway Series World Series between the Mets and Yankees, which hasn’t happened since 2000.

With two-time NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom still out with a shoulder injury, the Mets have been winning ball games with their offense. New York leads the MLB in runs (297), thanks in part to Pete Alonso (16 home runs, 54 RBI) and Francisco Lindor (9 home runs, 45 RBI).

Other Contenders

The Blue Jays (32-22) are still legitimate contenders, having won eight of their last ten games. Tampa Bay should also make things interesting in the AL East as they always do.

The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves are just 28-27 but have been improving and should at least contend for a Wild Card spot. The Milwaukee Brewers (33-23), the St. Louis Cardinals (32-23), and the San Diego Padres (33-22) should also keep things interesting.

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