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Sports

Moller: Overreactions to MLB’s opening weekend

| Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The 2022 Major League Baseball season is underway. Most teams are four games in with over 150 games to play. The opening weekend doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. But, just for the fun of it, let’s overreact to some of the happenings from opening weekend.

The Colorado Rockies are contenders

Colorado was a surprise team in free agency this offseason, gaining Kris Bryant in the offseason in a surprising move. Through four games this year, the Rockies sit at 3-1 heading into Tuesday night after an impressive first weekend that saw the Rockies take two of three from the Dodgers. The pitching for the Rockies has been stellar so far with the team only conceding 15 runs over these four games, and German Marquez looks like he has the stuff to be a stellar ace for the Rockies. In a division where everyone expected the Dodgers to dominate and the Giants and Padres to contend, maybe the Rockies can contend as well.

The Brewers will be the most disappointing team of 2022

Every year there is a team that disappoints, and based on opening weekend this year, it could be the Brewers. The Brewers dropped two out of three at Wrigley to start the season, and then on Monday night, they lost to the Orioles. The hitting could be a major concern for the Brewers if opening weekend is any indicator. Over their first four games, the Brewers have scored just nine runs, and the team has already struck out a staggering 27 times. Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff lead the starting rotation, but this won’t matter if the Brewers can’t score. Christian Yelich has looked good at the plate so far, but the Brewers will need others to step up if this team is going to be as good as they were expected to be.

Byron Buxton will win AL MVP

Buxton has shown flashes of brilliance the last couple of years, but every single year he seems to crash into a wall and get injured. This year, Buxton looks brilliant yet again. He already has three home runs and two doubles, and he has an OPS of 1.478. In addition to the hitting, Buxton is arguably the best center fielder in the game. His speed also makes him one of the best base stealers in the game as well. If Buxton can finally stay healthy and continue to hit even half as well as he is right now, he will be in the conversation for AL MVP.

The Blue Jays will win the World Series

This was my preseason prediction, and I will stand by it after the first weekend. The Blue Jays are currently 3-1, and they have shown that they can win high-scoring and low-scoring games. Vladimir Guererro Jr., George Springer, and Teoscar Hernandez have been tearing it up at the plate for the Blue Jays. Al three players are batting well over .300 currently. If the hitting can stay on this level, this will be a very tough team to beat considering they have a starting rotation that consists of Kevin Gausman, Hyun Jin Ryu, Jose Berrios, and Alek Manoah.

The A’s might not be all that bad

The A’s current team payroll is less than some individual players’ salaries in the league. However, the A’s might not be as bad as people thought coming into the season. The A’s did lose their first two games against the Phillies. However, they won the series finale and then they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 13-2 last night. The A’s should not be a good baseball team this year by any means, but they have proved the world wrong many times before. For some reason, this season feels like it could have some “Moneyball”-type magic to it in Oakland.

The Dodgers will not win the NL West

The Dodgers came into the season as overwhelming favorites to win the NL West, but after losing the season’s opening series to the Rockies, there might be more question marks with this team than many expected. The Giants and Padres also figure to be in the mix, and this division could be up for grabs. With a lineup that has Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Max Munch, Freddie Freeman, and Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers should be the best team in baseball, but a lot of those guys are getting older, and they might be prone to regress this season. The starting rotation will be led by Walker Buehler, a bona fide ace. But aside from him, the Dodgers turn to veteran Clayton Kershaw and hope other pitchers can step up over the course of the season.

The Angels will have yet another disappointing season

The Angels are one of the most perplexing teams in baseball, as they have two of the leagues’ stars in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. They dropped three of four to the Astros to start the season. Not only that, they did not look like a good team over the majority of the series. In four games, they surrendered 20 runs and only crossed the plate 10 times. If the Angels are going to bounce back, they will need Noah Syndergaard to have a bounce-back season, and they will likely need to get another good arm in the rotation as well. They will also need some more firepower at the plate to complement Trout and Ohtani. It is going to be a tough task for the Angels to finally break through and make the playoffs.

The 2022 season will give us the craziest wild card race ever

With a third wild card added this season, there is bound to be plenty of chaos as mediocre teams jousting for the last playoff spot. Through Monday’s game, there are already a ton of teams that are hovering around the .500 mark. The AL Central, for example, has four 2-2 teams. I expect there to be four or five teams fighting out for that third spot in both leagues once September rolls around.

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About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

Contact Nate