The 2022 Major League Baseball season is finally approaching and it’s time to look ahead to some potential playoff contenders that missed the postseason last year.
We’re coming off the longest lockout in MLB history (99 days) after one of baseball’s most tempestuous seasons in quite some time. With some of the biggest names available in free agency signed after the lockout (including Freddie Freeman, Carlos Correa, and Kris Bryant), MLB was able to regain some momentum and fan excitement as spring training kicked into high gear.
Opening Day is April 7 and, after a winter filled with disagreements between the players and the owners, it’s almost time to play ball! Personally, something that I do before every new season begins is look back at last season. Which team/players significantly improved? Who failed to reach their expectations? Also, some people get jollification from looking back at which teams improved in the offseason via trades or free agent signings. I’m some people.
MLB playoffs: Let’s look at five teams that missed the postseason last season, but have the best shot at making it back in 2022.
Arguably, the American League West was the busiest division in all of baseball this offseason. With a quantity of new faces in new places, this division will be intriguing to watch this year. According to Carlos Collazo from Baseball America, the Seattle Mariners will be the biggest surprise of 2022.
The Mariners finished last season with a 90-72 record, but still missed the postseason. This year with a revamped and reloaded roster, their expectations have been raised. In fact, MLB on FOX fans picked Seattle to win the AL West this year.
With the additions of Jesse Winker, Adam Frazier, and perhaps top prospect Julio Rodriguez, Seattle not only adds quality bats to the lineup, but some versatility around the diamond as well. In addition to that, the Mariners made a much-needed acquisition of Robbie Ray to boost the pitching rotation. It may not be the best rotation, but the lineup should be strong enough to make up for it.
With the Houston Astros losing Carlos Correa, this could be the perfect opportunity for the Mariners to capture the AL West pennant for the first time since 2001.