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2022 MLB Division Series betting picks & predictions

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The 2022 MLB Wild Card Series lived up to it’s name – it was indeed wild. We saw massive upsets by the Phillies, Mariners and Padres that ended with yet another champagne celebration as these teams all advance to the next round. Let’s look at the matchups for this year’s MLB Division Series, which kicks off this Tuesday.

Seattle Mariners (5) @ Houston Astros (1)

Talk about an upset. The Mariners, who haven’t seen postseason action since 2011, took game one easily and were trailing by seven runs entering the sixth inning of game two. They made it a complete comeback in the ninth inning when Adam Frazier doubled home the go-ahead run from second base, lifting the Mariners to the next round.

The Mariners will surely have their work cut out for them as they face a really good Astros team that surely has the edge in the experience column. The Astros finished as the top seed this season with 106 wins, the second-best record in all of baseball. This Astros team is perhaps better than any of the teams from the last couple of years that have had three World Series appearances and one championship.

Three of the four Division Series matchups are division rivals going against each other, including this one. These two foes know each other very well, and the Astros own the season series 12-7. This will be a good series, but this may be where the Mariners’ magical run finally comes to a close. We think the Astros will take this one in four games.

Houston Astros 3-1


Cleveland Guardians (3) @ New York Yankees (2)

This series will likely be headlined by Aaron Judge’s historic season and whether or not the Yankees will be bringing him back next year, but the headlines should really be about the Guardians and the unbelievable season they have put together.

Fangraphs projected the Guardians to win 78 games this season, but here they are. The team finished with a 92-70 record and blew the doors off the rest of the AL Central to finish with an 11-game buffer over the second-placed Chicago White Sox, who were projected to run away with the division. Despite being the higher seed, the Guardians were also projected to lose in the Wild Card round to an inferior Rays team, but they swept them. The Guardians are perhaps the most disrespected team in all of baseball despite finding themselves in this spot.

The Yankees, on the other hand, have had about as much of a rollercoaster season as any team can have. They were on pace to be the best team in baseball for the first half of the season but began to underperform after the all-star break. The team ended up picking it up in the late summer and into September, finishing the season with 99 wins. The Yankees also won the season series against these Guardians with a 5-1 head-to-head record.

While the Yankees seem like the better team here, they are perhaps the most likely to be knocked out. The Guardians are playing very good baseball right now and it wouldn’t surprise us to see an upset here. The Guardians have been here before, and we’re picking them in five.

Cleveland Guardians 3-2


San Diego Padres (5) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (1)

The Padres will look to do what few teams have been able to do this season – beat the Dodgers. The Dodgers finished the season with an insane 111 wins, a franchise record. Just look at the Dodgers top to bottom and tell us what their weakness is. They have a phenomenal bullpen, they are great defensively and offensively, and their starting pitching staff is second to none. There are truly no holes in this Dodgers team.

The Padres, on the other hand, went all-in at this year’s trade deadline to try to challenge the Dodgers in the NL West. While that didn’t necessarily work out, they did finish as the second Wild Card and upset a 101-win Mets team in their own stadium, and all of this without star shortstop Fernando Tatis. If there is one dark horse that is capable of making a deep run into the postseason, it would be this San Diego team.

The Padres proved against the Mets that they have the starting pitching to go head-to-head with any team in baseball. The question is their offense; they have been extremely inconsistent in that category, finishing 16th in team batting. This likely will not change against a tough Dodgers pitching staff that includes a Cy Young candidate in Julio Urias.

The Padres are 5-14 against their division rival this season and will need some luck to turn their way if they plan on winning three out of five. We think the Dodgers take this series in four games.

Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1


Philadelphia Phillies (6) @ Atlanta Braves (2)

The defending champions will take on the Phillies in this round, another team that no one thought would be here. The Phillies were 22-29 under Joe Girardi in early June when they decided to fire the former World Series-winning manager in favor of bench coach Rob Thomson. The new manager has molded the clubhouse back together and taken the Phillies on a crazy run that included two winning streaks of 10 or more games. The Phillies went 65-46 the rest of the way under Thomson, gaining the third and final Wild Card position.

The Phillies, similar to the Padres and Mariners, are playing their best baseball when it counts. After upsetting the Cardinals and ending the careers of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina on their own field, catcher J.T. Realmuto said “no team wants to play the Phillies right now”, and he may be right.

The defending World Series champions were 10.5 games back of the Mets in the NL East but ended up finding a way to win it in the last couple of days of the season, their fifth-straight NL East title. The Braves are perhaps scarier and deeper than they were a season ago, despite losing Freddie Freeman to the Dodgers. They have gotten Ronald Acuna Jr back and were playing phenomenal baseball through the end of the season. Not to mention, they own the season series against the Phillies 12-8.

At first pitch on Tuesday, the Braves will be playing their first baseball game in six days. It is very possible for not only the Braves but the other one and two seeds to come out just a tad rusty. If the Braves do come out slow, it would be up to the Phillies to jump on them early and often. If the Phillies are able to grab one of the first two games, look out. We have the Phillies winning this one against the reigning champs in five games.

Philadelphia Phillies 3-2


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