2022 MLB Playoffs: Pick This Underdog To Advance To ALCS

2022 MLB Playoffs: Pick This Underdog To Advance To ALCS
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
May 19th 2023

We, and the MLB, are off to the division round of the postseason following a crazy and historic comeback by the Seattle Mariners last Saturday night which stunned the Blue Jays into an early offseason. But, hey, I called it.

So now we’re down to eight teams and four heavy, home-field-advantaged favorites. Only one of these underdogs will survive and advance to their league’s championship series, and I believe I know which one.

The current odds (Monday, Oct. 11), courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, look like this, with my take on those numbers: The Braves (-185) to glide past the Phillies (+155), the Astros (-220) to silence the M’s (+185), the Dodgers (-210) to dismiss the Padres (+175) and, finally, as for the mighty Yankees (-210) – a team that seems weaker than its image (Except for you, Aaron. Pardon, Judge) – to get rid of the Guardians (+175).

There is immense pressure for the Yankees to at least reach the World Series. They haven’t been there since 2009.

The Yankees won 99 games to the Guardians’ 92 during the regular season and five of their six meetings.

Still, there’s plenty to love about this Cleveland team. The Guardians had a losing record on July 10, got hot in August to take over first in the AL Central, then caught fire in September and never cooled off. They won 24 of their final 30 to win the division by 11 games. They’re deep, speedy and damn good at defense. The Guardians have been compared to the Kansas City Royals teams of 2014-2015 (‘14 team made the World Series and lost; the ‘15 team became World Champions).

Like those Royals teams, the Guardians don’t hit many home runs--but they manufacture runs better than any team still left. Plus, their pitching is simply better than New York’s.

Here’s how it’s gonna go: Gerritt Cole and the Yankees will control the Guardians in game 1, then Shane Bieber tosses a gem and wins game 2, followed by Triston McKenzie’s breakout, star-making pitching performance in game 3, which puts Cleveland up 2-1.

After that, I think the Yankees will be on the back of their heels too much, the intensity will increase, and the plucky Guardians will find a way – with a brilliant bunt, a crucial slap-single, a stolen base, something else? – to close them out, whether it’s in game 4 or 5.

I’m taking Cleveland to rock New York and make the Yankees, along with the Mets, reconsider what it is they both need to do this offseason to improve.

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As always, with every baseball fan out there, betting or not, I’m wishing you luck.

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About the author
Ty Bronicel
Ty Bronicel
Sports Journalist

Ty Bronicel is a dedicated journalist and graduate of the University of Utah with over 25 years of experience in web media. He has worked for USA TODAY, MSN, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN.com, NBA.com, NFL.com and Movies.com

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