Everyone Loves A Good Underdog: 2022 MLB Postseason Begins With The Hope For A New Champion


Photo courtesy of AS USA.

Nolan Arenado (left) and Paul Goldschmidt (right) look to win the Cardinals their first World Series since 2011. Neither of them have won a World Series themselves.

For the past decade, the MLB Postseason has mostly consisted of the same teams. The Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves have all been frequent participants in the postseason, and that experience will be important in close games. 

Aside from being the most experienced teams, they are also the top four betting favorites to win this year’s World Series. 

According to BetMGM’s World Series odds, the teams’ odds of winning the World Series are the Dodgers at +300, the Astros at +400, the Braves at +500, and the Yankees at +500. For example, if someone were to bet $1 on the Dodgers winning, they could walk away with $4. 

This year, MLB’s postseason begins with four best-of-3 Wild Card Series on Friday, Oct. 7. Four best-of-5 Divisional Series start on Tuesday, Oct. 11. League pennants will be decided by two best-of-7 series beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The World Series is set to begin on Friday, Oct. 28.  

Fans of the favorites, though, should remain nervous as “anything can happen in October.” Eight teams could possibly win it all in addition to those four: the NL’s Cardinals, Mets, Padres, and Phillies; and the AL’s Blue Jays, Guardians, Mariners, and Rays.

Junior Zachary Neidoff, a New York Mets fan, explains why he optimistically thinks the Mets will win the World Series.

“The Mets are overall a complete team. They have the best first three starters in the MLB in Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Chris Bassitt, the best shortstop in the league in Fransico Lindor, and one of the best power hitters in the league in Pete Alonso. I think they are poised to make a deep postseason run,” stated Neidoff.

Will this year be different than the last few years? Will we finally see a team other than the Astros, Yankees, Dodgers, or Braves make a run, or even win the World Series? The Pharcyde staff is going to give their top three underdogs of this postseason and try to predict the World Series teams and winner.

Underdog #1: St. Louis Cardinals

Now thirty-five years old, Cardinals first-baseman Paul Goldschmidt has been the definition of consistency. He’s hit thirty plus home runs in seven of his twelve big-league seasons, has a career batting average of .295, and will most likely be adding an MVP to his already impressive resume. His next goal, winning a World Series with the Cardinals. But he is not the only one to credit for the Cardinals success. Third-baseman Nolan Arenado, another one of the most consistent superstars in the MLB, has also had an MVP-caliber season. Most importantly, how could one forget the elegance of forty-two year old Albert Pujols. Fresh off a season where he eclipsed 700 home runs, Pujols is ready for one last postseason run. Surprisingly, though, the Cardinals pitching is the main reason why they won 93 games and are the National League Central division champions. They have a well-rounded rotation that consists of Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Jose Quintana, and Jordan Montgomery. Quintana and Montgomery were acquired via trade from the Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. They also have a solid bullpen with Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos holding up the end of games. The Cardinals are a very good team that should not be slept on. The red bird’s path begins with a battle against the Phillies, which would then be followed with the NLDS versus the Braves.

Underdog #2: Toronto Blue Jays

When fans think of the most young and exciting team in baseball, the Blue Jays are probably one of the first teams they think of. The main reason for that is twenty-three year old superstar first-baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.. He had a batting average of .274, thirty-two home runs, and an OPS of .818. Though it was a down year for Guerrero compared to last year, he still put together a great season. Another young superstar that the Blue Jays have is twenty-four year old shortstop Bo Bichette. He had a batting average of .290, twenty-four home runs, and an OPS of .802. To round out their lineup, they have third-baseman Matt Chapman, outfielder George Springer, outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, and one of the best catchers in the league in Alejandro Kirk. One thing sets them apart from most of the other postseason teams: they are overflowing with talent. This talent carries over into the pitching staff as well. Their top two starters are Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman. Manoah is one of the frontrunners for the American League Cy Young, and Gausman has over 200 strikeouts on the season. They also have one of the best closers in the game in Jordan Romano. This high-powered offense definitely has a chance to surprise some people, and they should not be excluded from contender conversations. The Canadians’ hike begins at home against the Mariners, which would then be followed with a trip to Texas for the ALDS versus the Astros.

Underdog #3: San Diego Padres

At July’s trade deadline, the Padres and Washington Nationals agreed to one of the biggest trades in the history of baseball. The Padres acquired twenty-three year old superstar outfielder Juan Soto and first-baseman Josh Bell, while the Nationals received four of the Padres top ten prospects. Though Soto underperformed this year, he is still one of the best up-and-coming players in the game. Soto had a .242 batting average and twenty-seven home runs in 153 games with the Padres and Nationals, but still had an .853 OPS (on base plus slugging). Even though Soto struggled to hit this year, he is still the most disciplined player in the league. Drawing 135 walks, Soto had a whopping strikeout to walk ratio of about 3 to 2. But we cannot forget about superstar third-baseman Manny Machado, who has had an MVP-caliber season himself. Without star shortstop Fernando Tatis (out due to violation of MLB’s performance enhancing drugs rule), Machado has carried the offensive load for the Padres. They also have high quality pitchers in Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. The Padres without a doubt have what it takes to make a deep postseason run. The friars’ journey takes them on a pilgrimage to the Big Apple, where they’ll have to beat the Mets in the Wild Card Series in order to return home to Southern California and for a rumble in the Chavez ravine against the Dodgers.


The Pharcyde’s Picks:

Matt Marasco: Braves over the Astros

Charlie Spungin: Dodgers over the Yankees

Joey Tomassetti: Dodgers over the Astros 

Reid Waxman: Rays over the Braves

Jackson Zentner: Yankees over Dodgers

Doc: Mets over Yankees

This group of teams definitely has a chance to give the fans a really enjoyable postseason. With so many great players and matchups, you can really never go wrong with October baseball.