2022 MLB playoff predictions: Picks for every round of the postseason bracket
The Major League Baseball playoffs kick off Friday with the inaugural best-of-three Wild Card Series. This year’s tournament features more teams (12) than in the past, in line with the playoff expansion built into the new collective agreement. The top two seeds in each league (Dodgers, Braves, Astros and Yankees) earned a first-round bye, while the other eight teams will face off in the best-of-three series over the weekend ( Guardians-Rays, Blue Jays-Mariners, Cardinals-Phillies and Mets-Padres are the four matchups).
From there, the playoffs will take their normal form: a best-of-five League split series; a best-of-seven league championship series; then the best of the seven World Series.
We at CBS Sports are legally obligated to make a fool of ourselves every October trying to predict how the next few weeks will unfold. Below, you’ll find our staff’s predictions, along with a brief explanation of their picks. (Staff are listed in alphabetical order.)
RJ Anderson Support
World Series Pick: Dodgers on Astros
anderson: I think the Dodgers are, by far, the best team in baseball. That doesn’t guarantee them anything in the playoffs; it’s entirely possible they’ll be upset in the divisional series because that’s how five-game series sometimes work. The Astros have a strong case as the second or third best team in the majors, depending on how you judge those things. From that perspective, my support plays it pretty safe. I added a wrinkle or two to make it less boring. It’s going to look bad again in a month.
Mike Axisa support
World Series Pick: Yankees vs. Braves
axis: Outside of the weird pandemic season in 2020, we have more postseason teams than ever, and I’ve always come to Astros vs. Yankees (would be the third time in six years) and Braves vs. Dodgers (would be the third consecutive year) in the LCS. Baseball finds a way. The Dodgers were pretty clearly the best team in baseball this year, although I think the Astros are better built for a short postseason streak, if that makes sense. Their lineup is deep with low-hitting hitters who also hit for power, and they can run power arm after power arm after power arm at you. I’m also a little sick of picking Houston to go to the World Series every year, so I’ll say this is the year the Yankees slay the dragon, and Aaron Judge takes New York to a championship to put on a nice little bow on his superhuman season.
The parenthesis of Kate Feldman
World Series Pick: Dodgers on Astros
feldman: Look, I know the Braves have been unbeatable for about two months at this point, but I don’t think anyone’s outperforming the Dodgers. Alex Verdugo can say what he wants about fake 60-game championships; 2022 is real and it’s here and it’s LA’s friend. The Astros are really, really good. Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez and Lance McCullers are one hell of a 1-2-3 punch and Jose Altuve is still Jose Altuve. But Freddie Freeman retires his name from the muddy offseason and Clayton Kershaw keeps adding to a Hall of Fame resume and oh hey, remember Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May? They have enough pitchers to allow for a blow save or two from Craig Kimbrel. Either way, a Dodgers win would be good for baseball. We should want teams to manage payrolls of $300 million. We should want them handing out nine-figure contracts to top players because that’s what makes your team good.
Dayn Perry’s parenthesis
World Series Pick: Astros on Dodgers
Pear: I think predicting playoff outcomes, especially now that we’ve added another best-of-three layer to it, is usually a wild ride. So my guiding philosophy is to just pick the best team, assuming relative health. So that’s what I did. Given how the Braves have improved over the last few months of the season, I don’t feel entirely confident picking the Dodgers over them, but I think the depth of LA’s roster could be more of a factor than it otherwise would be. I don’t know, man.
The parenthesis of Stephen Pianovich
World Series Pick: Phillies vs. Yankees
Pianovich: Yes, these Phillies are weird enough to either win the World Series or go twice without a hit in two Wild Card Series losses. But here are the only two things you need to know about my picks:
- I live in Philadelphia.
- We’re talking about the Phightins.
Matt Snyder’s support
World Series Pick: Dodgers vs. Blue Jays
Snyder: There has to be some kind of funkiness, so I’m going to go with the Blue Jays to break up the group of powerhouse teams we’ve seen throughout the season and be the one with a relative surprise run. I actually had them as a World Series champion in the preseason, so it works well there. I couldn’t choose against the Dodgers this time though. Usually I never choose them because it seems boring to go with the best team but this time I couldn’t resist because they are so good and they haven’t even really been healthy or technically firing on all cylinders multiple times throughout the season. . It is the group of Dodgers which finally breaks through in a full season.