With the announcement of Aaron Judge as the 2022 AL MVP last night, we can finally tally up the results of our annual predictions contest! Last year, our managing editor Andrew Mearns took the crown. Who would come out on top this time?
2022 AL standings
Looking back, it seems a little strange that so few of us are fans of the New York Yankees, saw fit to pick them to win the AL East. In fact, the consensus among us was that they’d finish third! Yet it became clear early on in the season that these Yankees would be formidable, and they looked like near-locks for the division title from mid-June onwards.
Every one of us had the White Sox winning the Central, and each of us whiffed. Only three predicted Cleveland to even finish second, with the Guardians actually the second-most popular pick to finish last in the division.
A few brave souls picked Seattle to topple Houston this year, and while the Mariners were a great story, the Astros were again the cream of the crop in the American League. The West does come out looking like the most predictable division in the AL this year, with a handful of us nailing the order correctly.
2022 NL standings
There were also few surprises in total for the NL East, although the shape of the season itself was a rollercoaster. The Mets, of course, led for the vast majority of the season, only succumbing to the Braves in the final days. The Phillies also looked potentially dead in the water midseason, only to come on during the summer, holding onto third in the division and the final Wild Card slot come October.
Most of us were able to call that this division would come down to the Cardinals and Brewers, but only three of us ultimately had St. Louis coming out on top. As we’ll see later, the Brewers/Cardinals flip is actually all that kept Joe from perfectly predicting the entirety of the National League standings this year.
Nothing much crazy happened in the NL West this year, at least in terms of overall team performance. A year after their stunning 107-win season, the Giants came back to the middle of the pack as expected, and the Diamondbacks and Rockies spent the year spinning their wheels in the back. And of course, the Dodgers stormed to yet another NL West title.
2022 Yankees leaders
It seems quaint, in retrospect, to have predicted anyone other than Judge to lead the Yankees in home runs this year, but a number of us did just that (shouts to Joey Gallo and these three votes).
Miscellaneous Yankees statistics
Our average prediction for Judge’s home run total was 42. Only 20 short! I do wish Judge had hit another homer or two, allowing Kunj’s seemingly cartoonish but actually prescient 74-homer prediction to win. We missed badly on Josh Donaldson’s homer total, with our average of 30 doubling his actual tally, which goes to show just how disappointing the veteran’s bat was in 2022.
2022 MLB leaders
It does seem surprising that not one of us pegged Judge to lead the league in homers, not even Kunj, who had the good sense to call Judge leading MLB in WAR. Otherwise, we all whiffed here. Our consensus batting average leader, Juan Soto, hit .241. Our most common home run leader prediction, Vlad Guerrero Jr., finished 30 (30!) dingers behind Judge.
Miscellaneous MLB statistics
If there was one thing that was easy to foresee, it was the Dodgers being quite good this year. Also, kudos to the foursome that saw Joe Girardi’s untimely demise in Philadelphia coming down the pipe. None of us saw the Nationals bottoming out so dramatically, though.
2022 MLB awards
We were all riding the Bobby Witt Jr. train earlier this year, apparently. Strong pick from former staff writer Jon Rimmer with Julio Rodriguez as AL Rookie of the Year. Most of us had Gerrit Cole in pole position for Cy Young, with none of us, understandably, foreseeing Justin Verlander’s triumphant return after nearly two years on the shelf.
Great picks from Estevao and Esteban, nailing Sandy Alcantara’s Cy Young campaign. Very impressive call, with Alcantara coming off a strong 2021 season, but not one that obviously hinted at Cy Young contention. Otherwise, no one saw Michael Harris II’s season coming, and we all were expecting more from Juan Soto.
2022 playoff results
Clearly, none of us foresaw the Phillies charge to the NL pennant. Somehow, only two of us got a New York/Houston matchup in the ALCS. It’s also somewhat surprising that not a single one of us saw fit to declare the Astros the winners.
(yellow background = 1 pt, silver background = 2 pts, gold background = 3 pts)
Overall staff results
There you have it! Joe LoGrippo is our 2022 predictions champion. We’ll see you next year for another round!
Thanks again for spending the 2022 season with us. If you played along predicting, how did you do?
Thanks to Andrew for tallying this year’s results.