The start of the major league baseball season is nearly upon us! Teams are currently preparing for opening day and are gearing up to embark upon a 162 game regular season. With the start of a new season, there is a lot of wonder as to how teams and players will perform. In time those questions will play out, but in this article I will provide you with three predictions that I have for the 2022 season.
1) Andrew McCutchen Makes The All-Star Team As The Designated Hitter
Following the lockout, the Brewers signed Andrew McCutchen to a one year deal. His expected role going forward is to serve as the primary DH. McCutchen is still a power threat and is coming off a 27 home run season. It sure would be nice to see the five time all-star make one more appearance and this time as a Milwaukee Brewer. His last all-star season was back in 2015.
Making the all-star team as the DH will not be an easy task. His competition includes veteran hitter Nelson Cruz who signed with the Nationals this off-season. Kyle Schwarber of the Phillies is expected to serve as their primary DH and same with the Dodgers’ Max Muncy. When Ronald Acuna Jr of the Braves returns it is possible that he is eased into activity and is limited defensively. It will take a strong first half of the season by McCutchen in order for this prediction to come true.
2) Three Pitchers Will Record Greater Than 200 Strikeouts
As a team in 2021, the Brewers led the MLB in strikeouts. Individually, both Corbin Burnes (234) and Brandon Woodruff (211) recorded greater than 200 strikeouts. Freddy Peralta missed the cut by five strikeouts despite throwing significantly fewer innings.
This may see like a no-brainer prediction to come true. However, health will play a big factor in this. Pitchers were ramped up rather quickly during spring training and the Brewers have just one off day in the month of April. It seems likely that they will go with a six man rotation to begin the year and use a cautious approach with their pitchers. Hopefully the end result is Burnes, Woodruff, and Peralta all still tallying up strikeout totals in large quantities.
3) Josh Hader Becomes The Brewers New All-Time Saves Leader
Josh Hader has had quite the career so far. He previously managed to win his first NL Reliever of the Year Award in 2018 despite only recording 12 saves. At that time, he was often being utilized as a muli-inning reliever. That approach changed in 2021 when he was strictly used as a single inning pitcher.
In order for Hader to become the new saves leader, he would need to surpass Dan Plesac at 133. Hader is currently fourth on the Brewers saves leaderboard with 96. If you do he math, that means 38 saves are needed in 2022 in order to pass Plesac. Haders’ single season high is currently 37 saves during the 2019 season, so accomplishing this is not out of the question!
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