We are now nearly two months into the 2022 MLB regular season. The sample sizes aren’t so small and fan bases are gaining and losing hope with each passing day. That said, there is still a lot — A LOT — of season to play, and plenty of teams are still vying for a spot in the new 12-team postseason format.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated the best team in the National League. This week we’re going to tackle postseason droughts.
R.J. Anderson: I always sanity check these things by looking at what the projection systems say. As it stands, FanGraphs has the Phillies with playoff odds just under 40 percent, as compared to the Mariners, which it has around 12 percent. Baseball Prospectus, meanwhile, has the Phillies closer to 60 percent, versus the Mariners’ 19 percent. You can quibble with the exact numbers as you see fit, but I think it’s only reasonable to say that at this point the Phillies are more likely to make it to October.
Dayn Perry: I think the Phillies have the stronger roster, and the Mariners’ dubious track record when it comes to player development doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that Seattle’s younger players are going to change that outlook. I also think the AL West profiles as a tougher division in which to play an unbalanced schedule.
Matt Snyder: So many arrows point to the Phillies here. As Dayn noted, there’s the competition. In looking at the NL East, the Nationals are awful and the Marlins still aren’t breaking through. With the division probably already out of reach (yes, it likely is), we can look elsewhere in the NL and the sixth seed looks like it’ll be very attainable. After the three division leaders, the Cardinals and Padres appear to be strong contenders. After that? The Giants are scuffling to the point that there isn’t much confidence there. The Diamondbacks don’t have staying power. Everyone else is below .500. On the AL side, the Rays, Blue Jays and Angels are strong contenders below the division leaders and the White Sox sit in second place in their division. As well, the Red Sox have been surging and are a legit contender again. It just seems too crowded. Plus, the Phillies have so much offensive talent and a capable rotation, 1-5. Simply, the better team in the worse league is the easy pick.
Mike Axisa: I will make it unanimous and go with the Phillies because they have an easier path to a postseason spot, I believe. If we assume the Brewers, Dodgers, Mets, and Padres will make the postseason, that leaves two spots for the Braves, Cardinals, Giants, Phillies, and maybe the Diamondbacks. I’d put my money on the Braves and Giants, though it’s doable for the Phillies. The Mariners, meanwhile, probably need to edge out four of the Angels, Blue Jays, Guardians, Red Sox, and White Sox to reach the postseason (assuming the Astros, Rays, Twins, and Yankees are in). That’s a lot to ask, and they’ve already dug themselves a decent-sized hole in the standings. Plenty of time to climb out of it, of course, but I like Philadelphia’s chances better than Seattle’s.