With the 2022 MLB season officially underway, we are starting to see which teams and players appear to be in dominant form and which ones are struggling. From Clayton Kershaw‘s near perfect game to Miguel Cabrera‘s chase to 3,000 hits, baseball is always full of interesting storylines that make the game so fascinating.
With just under 15 games into the 2022 MLB season, we are starting to see which teams came out of the gate on fire and which ones left their bats at their Spring Training facilities. Here are perhaps 5 of the most surprising starts to the 2022 MLB season.
In the Guardians inaugural season, many observers were looking at a team that in recent years had seen a plethora of talent leave the organization. Losing Mike Clevinger, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and the controversial Trevor Bauer left only Shane Bieber in the rotation and trade rumors swirling around star Jose Ramirez.
Instead, led by Ramirez, the speedy Myles Straw and the enigmatic Steven Kwan, the Guardians find themselves alone in first place in the AL Central and one of the most pleasant early surprises in the 2022 MLB season.
While the Guardians have been off to one of the better starts in baseball, the Texas Rangers find themselves at the other end of the spectrum. The Rangers, who weren"t a particularly good team last year, surprised baseball as one of the biggest spenders in the sport. The team added middle infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, outfielder Kole Calhoun and starting pitcher Jon Gray.
Despite committing to spending over a half billion dollars, the Texas Rangers have the worst record in the American League this far in the 2022 MLB Season.
While Jon Gray‘s new team has started the season on the struggle bus, his old team is battling the LA Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West. After a confusing offseason that saw the team lose Trevor Story for nothing, the team added former MVP Kris Bryant.
Boosted by a strong start from Randal Grichuk and a surprisingly solid bullpen, the Rockies have been one of the best teams in the 2022 MLB season.
Like the Rangers, the Phillies were also some of the largest spenders heading into the 2022 MLB season. Adding Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to a lineup already containing 2021 MVP Bryce Harper had Phillies fans salivating at the possibility of finally returning the the Postseason.
Instead, Phillies fans are calling for the firing of Joe Girardi and appear ready to jump ship after another slow start.
The Athletics entered the 2022 MLB season with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball after shipping out Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays, Matt Olsen to the Braves and both Bob Melvin and Sean Manaea to the Padres.
Despite losing Chad Pinder, Kevin Smith, Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty to the IL, the team finds themselves only a half game behind the Angels for the division lead, becoming one of the more pleasant surprises this year despite playing in an empty stadium.
A Long Way to Go
While these five teams are some of the most surprising teams in the first two weeks of the 2022 MLB season, there is still plenty of time left in the year.
Can the heavy spending Rangers bounce back from a slow start or can Colorado hang with the Dodgers, Giants and Padres in the NL West? You can find these bets and more at NJ Sports Betting.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments about who has surprised you so far in 2022.