October magic is almost upon us with the MLB season quickly approaching its last regular season game. The 2022 season so far has been thrilling, with each game feeling like a nail biter and fans truly never knowing who is going to win. This next month will determine who has a chance to win the Fall Classic. The favorite for the World Series this season is without a doubt the Los Angeles Dodgers, who just recently clinched the first playoff spot.
Having won six National League West titles in a row, the Dodgers came into 2022 with a gauntlet of MVP candidates. Players like Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner have led the way to a league best 102-44, 5.5 games ahead of the AL leading Houston Astros. NL MVP frontrunner Mookie Betts has had a fantastic season, hitting .280 with a career high 33 home runs. Los Angeles seemingly is a lock for the World Series, but in baseball nothing is ever guaranteed. The Dodgers have a +180 chance to win the National League, and are +350 to win the World Series. For comparison, the Houston Astros are +500 to win the world Series.
Another team that has a chance but is considered a dark horse candidate is the 2021 World Champion Atlanta Braves. At +1200 to win it all in October, they have a smaller chance because of their division, who they share with the +500 New York Mets. The Braves are a single game behind these miracle Mets, and are pushing hard to take the NL East. With rookie Spencer Strider and All-Star third baseman Austin “Thicc” Riley leading the charge. The Braves look to make September a month for the ages.
A player this postseason that has potential to carry his squad is St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. A leading MVP candidate, he consistently plays well in the postseason and could be a key player for the Cardinals this fall. In 21 career playoff games, he racked up 8 home runs and double the amount of RBI’s. The Cardinals have a good chance to be a rock solid playoff contender, as long as Goldschmidt can continue to produce like the machine that he is.
My personal favorite playoff potential team is the Seattle Mariners. They hold the current longest playoff drought, not having been in 20 years. On top of that, they have never won the American League Pennant, or the World Series, so they have lit a fire underneath themselves and have been playing some incredible baseball this season. Rookie Julio Rodriguez has turned into one of the best players in the MLB and is -1000 to win the Rookie of the Year Award. He is the first rookie since Aaron Judge in 2017 to hit 25 or more home runs in a season, and has 24 stolen bases on top of it. If the Mariners and J-Rod can keep playing the spectacular baseball they have been, then they can be a legitimate contender in the playoffs this year.
With the season coming to an end, September is crunch time for these contenders. Each game matters to the playoff race, and not even one pitch can be taken lightly . Underdogs like the Mariners or the Blue Jays have to toughen up and start stringing wins together or they might not even make the playoffs. . There are so many teams still in the race, and with only around 20 games left, teams and their managers have to come together as a group and play the best baseball they have ever played, to clinch a spot in the postseason and have a chance to win the world series.