Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 way-too-early predictions for 2022 season

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 01:A general view of atmosphere at the Dodgers Holiday Festival at Dodger Stadium on December 01, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Dodgers Holiday Festival)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 01:A general view of atmosphere at the Dodgers Holiday Festival at Dodger Stadium on December 01, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Dodgers Holiday Festival) /
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Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

It’s 2022 and we still don’t know when or if the Los Angeles Dodgers will get to play this year. The Major League Baseball owners have locked out the players and the union has since had many unsuccessful meetings with the league in regard to a new collective bargaining agreement.

That, unfortunately, has led to a halt in major league transactions, so free agents like our very own Clayton Kershaw is just hanging out with no job and no timeline for anything concrete. It’s led us to speculate a ton about what the Dodgers may do after the lockout, and it’s all either been overly optimistic or overly pessimistic.

There’s very much hope that baseball will be played in 2022, but at this point it’s looking like spring training and Opening Day might get delayed. At this moment, that seems like the worst-case scenario since the league saw how much money was lost due to the COVID-shortened season and the awful negotiations that went with it.

So, while we’re stuck in limbo, we figured we’d go ahead and make some way too early predictions for the 2022 season … whenever it may happen.

Dodgers Predictions: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

3. The Good: Mookie Betts Wins MVP

2022 is going to be the year Mookie Betts picks up his second career MVP and joins Frank Robinson to be the only player to win an MVP in both leagues. Betts came close in 2020, his first season with the Dodgers, when he finished second to the Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman. Last season, he fell way short of his standards (due to various injuries), but we’re banking on a bounce-back this time around.

In 2021 Betts missed 40 games thanks to nagging injuries to his back and hip, and his OPS+ of 128 was his lowest since 2017 (still really good, though!). Betts’ up-and-down season continued in October when he hit .450 in the NLDS and then .174 in the NLCS, where the Dodgers were eliminated. His strikeout against Tyler Matzek in Game 6 killed whatever chance LA may have had.

But that was uncharacteristic of the two-time World Series champ, who, we can assume, won’t be hampered by multiple ailments affecting his play and time on the field. In 2017 when his OPS+ was just 108, he followed that up with his 2018 MVP season.

Let’s do that again, Mook!

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