With the playoffs weeks away, let’s look at three teams in the 2022 MLB Power Rankings who have tanked their World Series odds with recent struggles.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres did win four of six games, taking the series against both the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals. However, Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended for 80 games, ending his season (and bleeding into 2023). The Padres were anticipating the return of the superstar to an already loaded roster.
For as excellent as the Padres were at the deadline, Tatis was the secret weapon. When he is healthy, he is one of the best players in the sport. However, he will close the 2022 season with zero games played.
The Padres have the requisite talent to make the playoffs, and they could maneuver through the early rounds, but losing Tatis is a cataclysmic blow to the Padres’ quest to win the franchise’s first World Series.
With that said, the Padres do have three everyday players who have an OPS above 1.000 this month. Trent Grisham has launched five home runs to fuel a .700 slugging percentage. Juan Soto is in his usual late-season rampage with a .350/.480/.550 slash line. Manny Machado is back to MVP form with a 1.013 OPS since August 1.
Toronto Blue Jays
In a critical stretch against two Wild Card contenders, the Toronto Blue Jays slumped to a 1-4 record. They allowed at least six runs in all four losses, and they scored just 13 runs in five games. Like the Padres, talent is not the problem. The Blue Jays have not won a series since the calendar flipped to August.
Toronto is entering a crucial seven-game stretch. First, they host the Baltimore Orioles for three games. The Orioles are neck-and-neck with the Blue Jays in the Wild Card race, so winning at least two is imperative. The Blue Jays then head to the Bronx for a four-game set with the ice-cold New York Yankees. The Blue Jays must pull at least four wins from this week to keep pace with the rest of the American League.
Per Baseball-Reference, the Blue Jays’ playoff odds have dropped by 11.6% in the last week. There is still time to fix the drop, but the Blue Jays need to stop the bleeding as soon as possible.
If there is a positive from August, Teoscar Hernandez (.989 OPS) and Bo Bichette (.829) are no longer sleep-walking through the season. Matt Chapman has been boom-or-bust (three home runs, 18 strikeouts), but the talent is there.
Speaking of the rest of the American League, the Minnesota Twins lost 4.5 games in the AL Central from August 6 to August 14. Losing two games to the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers is understandable. However, dropping three out of four on a trip to Anaheim is disastrous.
The Twins return home for seven games: three against the Kansas City Royals and four against the Texas Rangers. Anything less than 5-2 would be a disappointment. The Twins do have seven more games against the Cleveland Guardians and nine more with the Chicago White Sox, but the Royals and Rangers are layups comparable to the rest of August.
In the last week, the Twins’ playoff odds have taken a 21% hit. They are down to just a 37.3% chance of making the playoffs (15.7% through the Wild Card, 21.6% through the division).
Nick Gordon has had a hot streak to start August (.333/.385/.515) while Byron Buxton continues to be his excellent self (.864 OPS). Max Kepler is in a 0-for-27 rut, but he is still providing good defense.
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