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2022 red sox season preview

The Globe staff makes its predictions for the 2022 baseball season

Can Mookie Betts and the Dodgers win it all in 2022?Tom Pennington/Getty

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Who will win it all in 2022?

The Globe’s baseball staffers make their picks for division winners, wild-card winners, the playoffs and the World Series.

Read on for each writer’s analysis.

Peter Abraham

AL East: Blue Jays. This division will be a rock fight, with four teams capable of winning. Toronto is finally home for a full season and has a deep lineup.

AL Central: White Sox. Tony La Russa said last summer that his team would be better this season. We’re holding him to that.


AL West: Astros. The West is better, but no team looks good enough to stop Houston from repeating as champion even without Carlos Correa.

AL wild cards: Twins, Red Sox, Yankees. There could be five or six teams in the mix on Labor Day. Can’t help but wonder whether anti-vax players will doom Sox and Yankees.

ALCS: Blue Jays over White Sox. This would be a fun series given all the young talent on both sides. Two very hungry fan bases, too.

NL East: Mets. Steve Cohen is trying to buy a division title. Don’t bet against him — or Buck Showalter.

NL Central: Brewers. Milwaukee has averaged 93.3 wins the last three full seasons. The pitching will lead to more success.

NL West: Dodgers. They really didn’t need Freddie Freeman to play first base. But 103 wins is better than 100.

NL wild cards: Braves, Cardinals, Giants. The Braves and Giants made some smart moves over the offseason. The Cardinals believe in new manager Oli Marmol.

NLCS: Dodgers over Mets. This will be like a baseball-themed episode of “Billions.”

World Series: Dodgers over Blue Jays. Dave Roberts has guaranteed a championship, which was a bold move. But he has the roster to back it up.


Chad Finn

AL East: Blue Jays. The mashing offense gets the attention, but Berríos/Manoah will form a superb tandem at the front of the rotation.

AL Central: White Sox. When Tony La Russa managed his first White Sox game on Aug. 3, 1979, no current major leaguer had been born yet.

AL West: Astros. One to watch: University of Maine alum Jeremy Peña, who steps in for Carlos Correa at shortstop.

AL wild cards: Rays, Mariners, Red Sox. Somehow, the Sox sneak in. And the Yankees don’t.

ALCS: Blue Jays over White Sox. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., postseason force. Just wait and see.

NL East: Mets. Jacob deGrom somehow has only 77 career wins, five fewer than Red Sox nonroster invitee Derek Holland.

NL Central: Cardinals. Can Albert Pujols, the oldest active MLB player at 42, reach 700 homers? He needs 21, and hit 17 last year.

NL West: Dodgers. With the addition of Freddie Freeman, their lineup has more stars than the Walk of Fame.

NL wild cards: Braves, Brewers, Giants. Braves ace Max Fried looks like he learned to pitch from a Bruce Hurst instructional video.

NLCS: Dodgers over Braves. Freeman won’t regret heading west.

World Series: Dodgers over Blue Jays. Mookie Betts, three-time World Series champion.

Christopher L. Gasper

AL East: Blue Jays. Toronto led the majors in home runs and OPS last season. Now, it has the starting pitching to go with that pop.

AL Central: Twins. They won the Carlos Correa Derby. Maybe they can win a playoff game now.


AL West: Astros. Death, taxes, and the Astros in October. All things we dread. Make it six straight postseasons for the Team We Love To Hate.

AL wild cards: Rays, White Sox, Mariners. Seattle almost ended the majors’ longest playoff drought (2001) last year. The Mariners do it in an expanded field.

ALCS: Rays over White Sox. Unlike Billy Beane and Moneyball, the Rays’, uh, stuff works in the postseason.

NL East: Phillies. Dave Dombrowski whips out another owner’s wallet to build a winner.

NL Central: Brewers. Catch up to them if you can. Milwaukee pitchers led the majors in strikeouts last season.

NL West: Dodgers. Red Sox fans look longingly 3,000 miles west to what they should be.

NL wild cards: Padres, Braves, Cardinals. Slam Diego lives up to the hype this time.

NLCS: Dodgers over Brewers. Mookie Betts wins NLCS MVP because of course …

World Series: Rays over Dodgers. The Rays Way gets validated with commissioner Rob Manfred’s favorite piece of metal.

Julian McWilliams

Can the Braves repeat as World Series champions?John Bazemore/Associated Press

AL East: Rays. Everyone seems to have hopped on the Blue Jays hype train, but the Rays remain one of the most consistent teams in baseball and thrive during the regular season.

AL Central: White Sox. The Twins upgraded, but the White Sox have more of a balanced structure, particularly when it comes to offense and pitching.

AL West: Astros. They lost Carlos Correa but still seem fully equipped to win this division.

AL wild cards: Blue Jays, Yankees, Twins. Toronto has a young, powerful lineup and the pitching to back it up. Yankees have Luis Severino coming back from injury. Pitching is an issue for Twins.


ALCS: Blue Jays over Rays. Stars win playoff series. The Blue Jays have enough star power to win this one.

NL East: Braves. They have the swagger of a champion and will be getting Ronald Acuña back at some point.

NL Central: Cardinals. They remain one of the best all-around franchises and will take care of business in their division ahead of the Brewers.

NL West: Dodgers. They’re loaded with the best lineup in baseball.

NL wild cards: Brewers, Giants, Mets. Max Scherzer paired with Jacob deGrom could power the Mets if both can stay healthy down the stretch.

NLCS: Braves over Dodgers. While the Dodgers have the offense, they lack in pitching. The Braves should be the team to beat.

World Series: Blue Jays over Braves. This will be a balanced series, but the Blue Jays’ potent offense will crown them.

Dan Shaughnessy

AL East: Blue Jays. First team in MLB history to go 81-0 at home, beating up on shorthanded, anti-vax visitors.

AL Central: White Sox. Tony La Russa Manager of the Year. And yes, they think they got the better of the Chris Sale trade.

AL West: Astros. Everybody still hates them, but they are on the level this year.

AL wild cards: Yankees, Guardians, Rays. Boston fans pop champagne and take comfort in knowing that the Red Sox can shed more payroll in the offseason.


ALCS: Blue Jays over Astros. Craig Biggio tosses out ceremonial first pitches in Toronto and Houston.

NL East: Mets. Francisco Lindor rebounds with MVP season.

NL Central: Brewers. Hunter Renfroe manages to fill the void left by Jackie Bradley Jr.

NL West: Dodgers. These are the 1985-86 Boston Celtics.

NL wild cards: Phillies, Giants, Braves. Dave Dombrowski’s revenge.

NLCS: Dodgers over Mets. Mookie Betts series MVP.

World Series: Dodgers over Blue Jays. David Price finally wins the World Series MVP he should have been awarded in 2018.

Alex Speier

AL East: Blue Jays. With Canada’s vaccination requirements, they may have the biggest home-field advantage in the history of the sport.

AL Central: White Sox. The success of their season is now defined by whether they can take the next step in October.

AL West: Mariners. It seems foolish to suggest anyone but the Astros, but perhaps a bit dull to stick with Houston.

AL wild cards: Astros, Angels, Rays. October without the Red Sox or Yankees for the first time since 2014? They’re certainly talented enough to reach the playoffs, but the AL East seems like the Group of Death.

ALCS: White Sox over Blue Jays. Bo Jackson will come out of retirement in search of vengeance in the rematch of the only postseason series of his career.

NL East: Braves. This time, Atlanta won’t be sneaking into the postseason.

NL Central: Brewers. Hunter Renfroe will hit a walkoff in the clincher, then immediately be traded.

NL West: Dodgers. They’re entering Year 6 of arguably the most dominant run in NL history, yet somehow feel like a disappointment with “just” one ring to show for it.

NL wild cards: Giants, Mets, Padres. If the Mets are outside the playoff picture at the deadline, Steve Cohen may simply buy the other wild-card contenders to ensure October baseball.

NLCS: Dodgers over Giants. Quite possibly the best rivalry in the sport right now.

World Series: Dodgers over White Sox. LA closer Craig Kimbrel will retire A.J. Pollock, the man for whom he was traded, for the final out of Game 7, as Bo Jackson shakes his head in the on-deck circle.

Tara Sullivan

AL East: Blue Jays. The spending spree pays off and they avenge the disappointment of winning 91 and going home last year.

AL Central: Twins. The addition of Carlos Correa shakes up a division and pays off on the field and in the locker room.

AL West: Astros. No Correa, no problem. The Dusty Baker-led Astros remain a contender.

AL wild cards: Rays, Red Sox, White Sox. AL East is a beast, but the steady White Sox sneak in too.

ALCS: Astros over Twins. The run isn’t over yet, and the Astros keep trying to erase the stain of their cheating scandal.

NL East: Phillies. The Mets tried (again) to buy a better roster, but Max Scherzer is already ailing and Jacob DeGrom is injured (again). Some things never change.

NL Central: Cardinals. The seesaw between St. Louis and Milwaukee will last all season, and the coin toss here goes to the Cards.

NL West: Dodgers. The best team in baseball got even better when it added stud World Series champ Freddie Freeman. Good luck to the rest of ‘em.

NL wild cards: Braves, Padres, Brewers. Defending champ Atlanta squeaks in for its title-defense attempt.

NLCS: Dodgers over Phillies. The Dodgers are the absolute, overwhelming, undeniable, heavy, heavy favorites to win it all.

World Series: Dodgers over Astros. In World Series-or-bust season for LA, it’s World Series, not bust. Drop the confetti.

More 2022 Red Sox season preview stories

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him @PeteAbe. Chad Finn can be reached at Follow him @GlobeChadFinn. Christopher L. Gasper is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at Follow him @cgasper and on Instagram @cgaspersports. Julian McWilliams can be reached at Follow him @byJulianMack. Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at Follow him @dan_shaughnessy. Alex Speier can be reached at Follow him @alexspeier. Tara Sullivan is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at Follow her @Globe_Tara.