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2022 MLB
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Four Teams With The Most To Prove During The 2022 MLB Season

2022 MLB
Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

The Four Teams With The Most To Prove During The 2022 MLB Season

With the expanded playoffs, more teams than ever have a shot at this year’s playoffs, but for some, the pressure to excel is much greater than others. For this year, the 2022 MLB season is make-or-break time that could dictate how fans feel about their past performances and the direction they choose to head in the future.

New York Yankees

In an offseason where fans expected the team to come away with free agents of the caliber of Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Freddie Freeman, the Yankees chose to do none of that, making smaller moves to re-tool the team instead. Now the pressure will be on to prove that these moves were worth it, or else the team will receive lots of hate (as always) for disappointment. Many questions will be answered this season that will determine the future of this team, such as: Will Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu bounce back? Are Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson good enough additions to help this lineup? Will a true #2 emerge in the pitching rotation? These factors are up in the air right now, and the steaks have never been higher for this team to prove the doubters wrong in potentially the toughest division in baseball.

New York Mets

The cross-town rivals have lofty expectations as well, and have also seemed to fall short of their potential in recent years. A big part of the Mets’ success this season will depend upon Francisco Lindor, who posted a career-worst OPS of .734 last season. The health of Jacob deGrom will also be a determinant in how 2022 plays out for the team, and it has already taken a hit with deGrom missing at least the first four weeks of the season. Overall, Steve Cohen purchasing the team seemed to have the potential to turn the franchise around due to his willingness to spend big money. So far this hasn’t resulted in winning baseball, and if something doesn’t change in 2022, Mets fans and critics will grow extremely impatient.

San Diego Padres

After they seemed to break out in 2020 as one of baseball’s most exciting teams, all of that seemed to be lost in 2021, with the team, once looked at as a contender, finishing with an under .500 record. Of course with Fernando Tatis Jr. missing the first half of the season it will be a lot harder for the team to find success, but their future trajectory will depend a lot upon their success in 2022. Blake Snell and Yu Darvish have both been incredibly inconsistent since joining the team, so they’ll be looking to re-establish themselves as superstar starting pitchers. For now, Tatis’ supporting case of Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, Luke Voit, and others will look to bring back “Slam Diego”, and the pure excitement that seems to be lost with this team, and they could head straight downhill if that doesn’t happen.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants make this list for opposite reasons from the other three. Heading in 2021, one ESPN article ranked the team as the 23rd best in baseball, and Fox Sports had them in the “Rebuilding” category with others such as the Pirates and Orioles. Nevertheless, it seemed as though every single player on the team had their best season yet, and the team exploded for the best regular season record in baseball. Now in 2022, the team will have to prove to the world that this was no fluke, which will be made even tougher will the losses of Buster Posey, Kris Bryant, and Kevin Gausman (although they did sign Carlos Rodon). Are they truly on the same level as their rival Dodgers? We can only wait and see.

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