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MLB Opening Day 2022: The Purple Row staff offers their season predictions

How many games will the Rockies win in 2022? Who will take home major awards around baseball?

It’s that time of year again...Purple Row staff predictions! Oh, and it’s Rockies Opening Day. The Rockies will host the Los Angeles Dodgers again for a 2:10 p.m. first pitch. After a weird offseason, it’s time to get back to baseball! With that in mind, let’s see how the staff thinks the Boys on Blake will fare this season.

Let’s start with a win total

Last year, the majority of the Purple Row staff predicted that the Rockies would finish 72-90. They would go on to have a record of 74-87.

As per usual, the responses were all over the map, but within one or two games of each other overall. Four people predict the Rockies would have a winning record, but the majority (three) feel they will finish at a perfect 81-81. The most optimistic person predicts 90-72, while the most pessimistic says 74-88.

National League winners

For better or worse, 100% of Purple Row staff members predict that the Los Angeles Dodgers will reclaim the NL West title after losing it to the San Francisco Giants in 2021.

In the NL Central, the staff is split 60-40 between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.

13 respondents say that the Atlanta Braves will win the NL East, with a single vote each for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

As for the Wild Cards (three this year), the most popular vote is 10 for the New York Mets followed by nine for the San Diego Padres and eight for the San Francisco Giants. That doesn’t bode very well for the Rockies’ chances. Otherwise, other teams receiving votes are the Cardinals, Phillies, Brewers, Marlins, Dodgers and Reds.

American League winners

The Rockies play the AL Central this year, including the Chicago White Sox. 14 out of 15 Purple Row staffers believe that the White Sox will repeat as AL Central champions. The other believes it will be the Detroit Tigers.

Last year, the Rox played the AL West. 53.3% of Purple Rowers believe that the Houston Astros reclaim the AL West crown, while 26.7% believe it’ll go to the Los Angeles Angles and 20% to the Seattle Mariners.

As for the AL East, two-thirds of the staff likes the chances of the Toronto Blue Jays to win the division. Of the remaining third, they were split between the Tampa Bay Rays (three) and New York Yankees (two).

As for the AL Wild Cards, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are the two most popular vote-getters in our poll. The Angels and Rays are the next most popular, followed by the Mariners and Blue Jays. Other teams receiving votes include the Astros, Twins, White Sox, Tiger and Rangers.

Champions

The Dodgers are the overwhelming Purple Row favorite to win the NL Pennant, receiving 73.3% of the votes. The Braves, Giants, Padres and Brewers each received a single vote.

On the AL side, the Dodgers might face the Blue Jays if Purple Row could predict the future. They received just over half of the votes. One-third of Purple Rowers believe the White Sox will be the opponent, while the Astros and Angels each received a single vote.

53.3% of respondents believe that the Toronto Blue Jays will be World Series champions, with 20% each going for the Dodgers and White Sox. The Astros received a single vote.

For individual awards, eight of 15 respondents think that Juan Soto will take home NL MVP hardware this year. Three believe in Ronald Acuña Jr., two believe in Bryce Harper, and Nolan Arenado and Freddie Freeman each received a single vote.

On the AL side, five believe Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will take home MVP and five believe it’ll go to Shohei Ohtani. Mike Trout received three votes, and Byron Buxton and Bo Bichette each received a single vote.

For pitchers, eight Purple Rowers believe Walker Buehler will take home the NL Cy Young. Four believe it’ll go to Max Scherzer, two think Brandon Woodruff, and one voted for Corbin Burnes.

On the AL side, seven believe Gerrit Cole will take home the Cy Young. Three voted for Lucas Giolito, three voted for Shane Bieber, and Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray each garnered a vote apiece.

Bold predictions

Now is the fun part of the staff predictions! 2022 has been the most “normal year” we’ve perhaps had in a while, but it’s still shaping up to be weird.

The main Rockies themes of these predictions were: Kris Bryant, starting pitching, and contention. One person believes that Kris Bryant will hit 50 home runs and another says that Kris Bryant will lead the league in hitting with a .350 batting average.

For Rox starting pitchers, one person believes that Kyle Freeland, Germán Márquez, Antonio Senzatela, and Austin Gomber will all get double digit wins. Two believe that one of the starters will finally throw a no-hitter, and another says at least one Rockies starter will get Cy Young votes.

Despite the overall pessimism about their record, some folks believe that the Rockies will be contenders late — at least until the Trade Deadline and perhaps even into September. However, nobody said they will actually make the expanded playoffs.

Another Rockies prediction is that their catching tandem will combine for 40 home runs in 2022, and that Ryan McMahon will a) be an All-Star, b) win a Gold Glove, and c) get MVP votes.

Other bold predictions for around the league include:

  • MLB will see four 20-game winners: Gerrit Cole, José Berríos, Walker Buehler and Max Fried
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will hit at least 50 HR
  • Shohei Ohtani will lead the AL in both home runs and pitching strikeouts
  • Byron Buxton will record first 40-40 season since 2006 (Alfonso Soriano - WSN)

Some of these bold predictions will come true and we’ll all wish we had come up with them ourselves. But either way, baseball is back everyone! Happy Opening Day!