2022 MLB Division Series Preview

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

The Wild Card Series is called wild for a reason. There were many unforgettable moments to remember in just this series, so many that it’s hard to just choose one defining moment. Outstanding pitching performances across the games and towering home runs started the scoring. Epic comebacks from the underdog teams and an unfortunate end to two Hall of Fame careers. The first round of the postseason just started, and you can already see the thrilling excitement building up for the rest of the postseason.

Wild Card Series Recap

NL: #3 St. Louis Cardinals vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals | Winner: Philadelphia Phillies

During the 162-game season, the Cardinals were a workforce with the offense, defense, and pitching. On paper, the Cardinals had the series sweep; however, the Phillies surprised MLB fans by doing the sweeping instead.

In game 1, the Cardinals had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the 9th, but the Phillies rallied to score 6 runs to win the game 6-3.

In game 2, the Phillies starter Aaron Nola silenced the Cardinals’ offense allowing 4 hits and 1 walk throughout 6.2 innings while striking out 6 batters. The Phillies won 2-0 due to a Bryce Harper solo home run and a Kyle Schwarber sacrifice fly.

NL: #4 New York Mets vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Prediction: New York Mets | Winner: San Diego Padres

Going into the season, the Mets were considered the favorite to win their division. The final series against their arch-rival, the Atlanta Braves, saw the Mets get swept and lose out on the division and securing a wild card spot despite winning 101 games.

In game 1, Mets starter Max Scherzer pitched a disappointing 4.2 innings allowing 7 runs on 4 home runs as the Padres beat the Mets 7-1.

In game 2, the Mets turned to star pitcher Jacob DeGrom in hopes of forcing a game 3. He casually pitched 6 innings, allowing 2 runs and 2 walks as he struck out 8 batters. Meanwhile the Mets’ offense finally came to life in the 7-3 win, forcing a third and final game.

In Game 3, Padres starter Joe Musgrove pitched 7 innings only allowing 1 hit as Austin Nola started the Padres scoring with a 2 RBI double in the top of the 2nd inning. It was all San Diego would need as the Padres shut out the Mets 6-0. 

AL: #3 Cleveland Guardians vs. #6 Tampa Bay Rays

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays | Winner: Cleveland Guardians

To say that the Rays’ team strength is their pitching is an understatement. Led by primary starters and sometimes relievers Corey Kluber, Shane McClanahan, and Drew Rasmussen, their pitching led the Rays to a team 3.41 ERA.

In game 1, the Cleveland Guardians’ Jose Ramirez hit a 2-run home run to give the Guardians a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the 6th inning in what turned out to be the final score in a game that only spanned for 2 hours and 17 minutes.

In game 2, pitchers from both sides pitched in a scoreless game that spanned 15 innings until the Guardians’ Oscar Gonzalez walked off with a solo home run to secure a spot in the ALDS with a 1-0 win over the Rays.

AL: #4 Toronto Blue Jays vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays | Winner: Seattle Mariners

It had been 21 years since the Mariners last made the playoffs following an incredible 2001 116-win season. They were the underdogs going up against a young sensational Blue Jays team.

In game 1, the Mariners’ Cal Raleigh hit a 3-run home run in the top of the 1st inning. Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah pitched 5.2 innings but the Mariners beat the Blue Jays 4-0.

In game 2, the Blue Jays led the Mariners with an 8-1 lead after 6 innings but that lead soon collapsed as the Mariners used their rally shoes in the 8th inning to a tie to eventually score the winning run in the 9th inning. It was the second-largest comeback in MLB postseason history.

Division Series Predictions

After an exhilarating Wild Card Series, the Division Series is finally here. The top 2 seeds from each league will begin playing and are ready to compete against the winners from the previous round. The winners will be looking to compete for a spot in the Championship Series.

NL: #2 Atlanta Braves vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: Atlanta Braves

The defending 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves are looking to repeat as champions; before they can get there, they need to beat their division rival Phillies in the division series to advance. The Braves are led by a great offense featuring Austin Riley, the great defense of Dansby Swanson, and the starting pitching of Max Fried. The Braves have already beaten the Phillies many times during the season. Winning the season series by 11 games to 8.

Will play the winner of LAD/SD in the NLCS

NL: #1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have won a franchise record 111 games during the regular season and held an NL West division lead over the Padres by 22 games. The last time the 2 rivals met in the postseason was coincidentally in the division series in 2020. The Dodgers came on top then and will most likely come on top now, led by MVP candidates Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman and NL CY Young candidate Julio Urias.

Will play the winner of ATL/PHI in the NLCS

AL: #2 New York Yankees vs. #6 Cleveland Guardians

Prediction: New York Yankees

The unanimous MVP of the Yankees, and presumably the AL, is undoubtedly Aaron Judge. Aaron Judge had a remarkable season, not only for a Yankee but for his professional career; he is hoping to continue his fantastic season in the division series against the Guardians. The Yankees have All-Star pitchers Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes to back him up. The Yankees are ready to win at any cost.

Will play the winner of HOU/SEA in the ALCS

AL: #1 Houston Astros vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Prediction: Houston Astros

The Astros keep winning, and with their starting pitching or offense, they will find a way to win again. AL Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander is pitching with a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts in just 175 innings pitched alongside his 18 wins of the season. His experience in must-win games is what the Astros need to beat the Mariners.

Will play the winner of NYY/CLE in the ALCS

Division Series Schedules

AL Games (on TBS)

  • Game 1: Tuesday, October 11
  • Game 2: Thursday, October 13
  • Game 3: Saturday, October 15
  • Game 4: Sunday, October 16*
  • Game 5: Monday, October 17*

NL Games (on FOX and/or FS1)

  • Game 1: Tuesday, October 11
  • Game 2: Wednesday, October 12
  • Game 3: Friday, October 14
  • Game 4: Saturday, October 15*
  • Game 5: Sunday, October 16*

*If necessary (Best-of-5 series)