More than a month and a half of MLB games have already been played this year, enough samples to make some decisions.
At the moment, we’re starting to see which teams are the real contenders, and which are already showing their weaknesses.
These three organizations look, or may be seen, as competitors at times, but they are probably pretenders.
3. Cleveland Guardian
For a short time in the first week of the season, the Cleveland Guardians seemed capable of challenging for the AL Central title.
But for one reason the season is 162 games long.
The 18-22 Guardians aren’t bad, but they don’t seem to be able to keep up with the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox.
Some early season stars, such as Steven Cowan and Wayne Miller, have been cool in recent games.
Quan’s line has already dropped to .257 / .358 / .354 with a home run, while Amed Rosario, Franmill Reiss and other key figures are still fighting.
Shane Bieber’s speed has slowed down, and Aaron Civale and Jack Plessak are extremely inconsistent.
At least Jos র Ramirez and Josh Naylor did not stop hitting.
There are a number of good things going on in Cleveland’s roster, and they have some tempting prospects, but 2022 doesn’t look like their year.
2. Philadelphia Phillies
In the offseason, Philadelphia Phillies spent a lot of money and resources to bring some help to Slager Bryce Harper.
They signed outfielders Kyle Schwartz and Nick Castellanos and tried to improve their bullpen by adding Corey Cannabel.
So far, they are eight games behind the New York Mets for third, first place in the NL Eastern Division with a 20-24 record.
They may play-offs due to the new expanded format, but many teams look better than them in the NL (St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and even Arizona Diamondbacks). A lock to proceed.
The Phillies still have a lot of problems that they had last season: a bad bullpen (eighth worst in their 4.23 ERA MLB) and a brutal defense.
They have some good heaters and reigning MVPs, but the Phillies look like early-season pretenders.
Reality for Phyllis: The only real step is to fire Girardi. The thing with this is that dismissing the manager will do nothing but bullpen management for this team because it is a flawed list. But at the same time it will show the fans that the team really cares.
– #FireGiardi (@_filly_talk) May 26, 2022
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
Who would have thought that the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were 52-110 last season, would have a positive record after 45 games?
Yet they are better here, at 23-22, than the Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves, Phillies, Chicago Cubs and many other clubs.
They look a lot better this season than last: their rookie sensations Alec Thomas, Christian Walker and Dalton Versho are hitting for power, Jack Galen and Meryl Kelly are leading the rotation, and there are some unexpected bullpen contributors.
But with a positive record they are less likely to finish 2022.
They play a lot more games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants, the three teams that are undoubtedly better than them.
D-backs are better than their 2021 version, but they probably won’t make it in October.
Orioles, Royals, Athletics, National, Pirates, Reds
Possibly bad but people still don’t want to admit it:
Red Sox, Tigers, Rangers, Cubs, Rockies
Pretend to go either way:
Diamondbacks, Marlins, Mariners
Phyllis, brave, guardian
– Sam in San Diego (mySammyGSanDiego) May 17, 2022
But they have an exciting future.