Los Angeles Angels
Injuries disrupt Mike Trout’s season again, but the superstar puts up a career-best 1.100 OPS in around half a season of games. As usual, he and his Angels teammates start their vacation at the beginning of October.
New acquisition, Cristian Pache, surprises no one by winning a Gold Glove for his elite defensive skills in centre field but the baseball world is shocked when he discovers pop in his bat with 16 home runs.
Protected against tricky lefties, Jesse Winker becomes one of the toughest outs in the league and finishes at the top of the AL with .420 OBP
Despite a .500 record, the Texas Rangers finish fourth in the division. They so nearly celebrate their first MVP since… (Josh Hamilton?) when Corey Seager establishes himself as the best offensive shortstop in the game but is squeezed into the runner-up spot.
Chicago White Sox
Despite the loss of Lance Lynn, the White Sox rotation excels in 2022, spearheaded by the young flamethrower Michael Kopech, who is everything that we hoped for and more. In 28 starts, he racks up over 200 strikeouts.
In the first full season with 30 designated hitters, Franmil Reyes becomes the clear star at the position after slugging 45 home runs with .910 OPS.
Kansas City Royals
In a make or break year for Adalberto Mondesi, the on-base phobic speedster is relegated to just a pinch-runner before the end of July but still finishes the season with the most stolen bases in the AL.
Away from the familiarity of Houston and with an inferior supporting cast, Carlos Correa struggles mightily and hits below .250 in the worst season of his career.
Former Yankees prospect, Jorge Mateo, becomes a post-hype superstar with 18 home runs and 40 stolen bases to vindicate Baltimore’s decision not to spend money in free agency.
Boston Red Sox
Outfielder, Alex Verdugo, scores his 100th run of the year on the final day of the regular season to become the fifth Red Sox hitter to break the century mark in this historic campaign.
New York Yankees
In a season of mixed blessings, New York Yankees ownership is kicking itself for failing to extend Aaron Judge before he walked away with the AL MVP after a season of 100 runs, 100 RBI, and 100 walks while just being shy of 50 home runs.
Tampa Bay Rays
In their third straight AL East championship, the Tampa Bay Rays boast an embarrassment of rotation riches when three of Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, Shane Baz, Luis Patino or Josh Fleming finish as Top 20 starters.
Toronto Blue Jays
In a throwback to 2016, George Springer stays healthy for the full season. Despite producing a career-high 130 runs, his Blue Jays finish fourth in the division.
Thanks to the tweaking guidance of pitching coach Brent Strom, Madison Bumgarner looks like a transformed character with an extra 2 mph on his fastball resulting in a sub 3.60 ERA over the course of 200+ innings.
Despite the haters, the Rockies produce a season of exciting baseball, with SEVEN players launching at least 20 home runs: Kris Bryant, Ryan McMahon, C.J. Cron, Brendan Rodgers, Connor Joe, and one other. C’mon, you can’t expect me to know everything!
Los Angeles Dodgers
After one of the worst spring training camps in living memory (.357 win percentage), the Dodgers continue their sputtering start into the regular season. Despite reaching the playoffs, they never actually take the division lead in the NL West.
San Diego Padres
Louis Linwood Voit III, that’s Luke Voit to you and me, makes the Yankees rue their decision to dump him in favour of Anthony Rizzo, as the Padres’ new slugger finishes the season as a Top 3 first baseman.
San Francisco Giants
Fahan Zaidi oversees the most extreme mix-and-match strategy to capitalise on every possible platoon advantage. The bunch of 30-somethings from the bay become the oldest roster ever to win the World Series.
Second baseman Nick Madrigal continually fails to deliver any power, waiting until the final series of the season to hit his second home run, but the 25-year-old collects over 200 hits on his way to the NL batting title.
In one of very few highlights for Cincinnati fans, starting pitcher Tyler Mahle produces a career year with 230 strikeouts in 200 innings and a sub 3.60 ERA.
With three starters breaking the 200-strikeout mark, the Brewers’ rotation is one of the best in MLB, but it is Dominican right-hander Freddy Peralta, not teammates Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff, who wins the NL Cy Young award.
In another dismal 100-loss season, rookie infielder Diego Castillo outplays the higher-profile duo of Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes in an exciting, new-look infield in Pittsburgh to get fans salivating about 2023 and beyond.
St Louis Cardinals
In yet another example of “Devil Magic”, Lars Nootbaar catapults himself from bench-bat to become the most reliable outfielder on the Cardinals.
In an expected turn of events, Matt Olson’s dramatic strikeout reduction of 2021 proves nothing more than smoke and mirrors, and the new signing hits below .250 with 28 home runs. Oh well, only another seven years left on the contract.
New York Mets
Stevie Cohen’s Barmy Army enjoy an encouraging, albeit ultimately disappointing season. Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom combine for fewer starts than Chris Bassitt (who finishes in the Top 10 of Cy Young voting).
Featured image photo of Carlos Correa by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images
I am not expecting 30 out of 30 correct predictions, but I expect to be over .500. Give us your BOLDish predictions. Find us on Twitter @Batflips_Nerds