After a tumultuous offseason that, unfortunately, saw the MLB cancel a few regular-season games, the players and owners agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement and ended the lockout. And with the regular season comes MLB The Show 22, the latest entry in the storied baseball simulator series.
Each year, players flock immediately to player and team ratings. Not only to see where your favorite ball club stacks up but also to get a glimpse at which teams are the best of the best. Obviously, you want to choose a team that’s built to win, and these teams are certainly built (or bought) to win. Let’s take a swing at the best overall teams in MLB The Show 22.
10 Milwaukee Brewers
In a year where many pegged the St. Louis Cardinals as the best team in the National League Central division, it was the Milwaukee Brewers who emerged as the team to beat. Behind 95 wins, Milwaukee took the NL Central crown but faltered early in the playoffs. While many won’t be surprised by the Brew Crew this season, they’re certainly a team to keep an eye on in 2022.
Ranked tenth overall, the Brewers excel in pitching. Behind Corbin Burnes (94) and Brandon Woodruff (92), Milwaukee ranks second in team pitching. In fact, the five best players on the team are all pitchers; besides Woodruff and Burnes, Milwaukee is anchored by Freddy Peralta (89), Devin Williams (87), and Josh Hader (85).
9 St. Louis Cardinals
Despite not winning the division in 2021, the St. Louis Cardinals still managed to win 90 games and reach the postseason. However, the Cardinals fell early in the Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the offseason, the Cardinals brought back a familiar face in Albert Pujols, as the longtime former player enjoys one last season in St. Louis.
The Cardinals are led by new cornerstone infielder Nolan Arenado (95). Arenado is arguably the best third baseman in the league, in terms of both offensive production and his superb defense. Tyler O’Neill (90) holds down the fort out in left field with his high ratings in fielding (85) and speed (95).
8 Philadelphia Phillies
Since signing Bryce Harper (95) to an absurd 13-year, $330 million contract in 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies have yet to reach the postseason. That’s not a knock against Harper, as the outfielder managed to win his second career MVP award last season. The Phillies just simply haven’t put together a solid, complete season; plus, it doesn’t help that two teams within their division won the World Series in two of the past three years (Nationals 2019, Braves 2021).
Besides Harper, Philadelphia has solid veterans in J.T. Realmuto (90), Jean Segura (88), and recently signed Nick Castellanos (87). These players are the reason why the Phillies are ranked third in contact, they know how to put the ball in play. The Phillies also have a solid pitching rotation, ranked eighth in the league, behind Zack Wheeler (92), Aaron Nola (88), and Ranger Suarez (87).
7 Atlanta Braves
Coming off their first World Series championship since 1995, the Atlanta Braves come in at a modest seventh overall in MLB The Show 22. Despite losing superstar outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to a torn ACL injury in the second half of 2021, Atlanta still manages to band together and secure a championship. Unfortunately, the team did not bring back longtime first baseman Freddie Freeman, who eventually signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency.
If a game turns into a slugfest, the Braves are primed to win. Ranked sixth in power, Atlanta is powered by the big bats of Acuna Jr. (99), Matt Olson (90), and Adam Duvall (81). Second baseman Ozzie Albies (91) might not send a ball to the moon, but he’s almost a guarantee to put it in play with his perfect contact rating against lefties (99).
6 New York Yankees
For a team that considers a season a failure if they don’t win a championship, the New York Yankees have had quite the failed seasons. The Yankees haven’t won a World Series, let alone made an appearance, since 2009. New York is currently in its longest championship drought (12 years) since the team failed to win a title from 1978 to 1996.
They don’t call themselves the Bronx Bombers for anything. Entering 2022, the Yankees are ranked first in power behind the destructive bats of Aaron Judge (99), Joey Gallo (89), Giancarlo Stanton (87), Josh Donaldson (85), and Anthony Rizzo (79). On the mound, Gerrit Cole (92) continues to lead New York’s underrated pitching rotation (ranked ninth).
5 Chicago White Sox
Coming off an American League Central division crown in 2021, the Chicago White Sox hope to accomplish something in 2022 for the first time since 1993: be division champions two years in a row. Luckily, the rest of the division minus the Minnesota Twins aren’t expected to contend, so as long as Chicago remains healthy, they have a decent shot of becoming division champions again.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal and closer Liam Hendriks are the clear best players on the White Sox with 93 ratings apiece. Chicago specializes in contact (fourth) and pitching (fourth) to win ballgames, and that’s all thanks to center fielder Luis Robert (88), first baseman Jose Abreu (87), shortstop Tim Anderson (83), and starting pitchers Lance Lynn (87) and Lucas Giolito (84).
4 New York Mets
Being ranked fourth in MLB The Show 22 is certainly a nice prize for fans of New York’s second team. Yes, the New York Mets are the second team in that city, simply because the team has two championships compared to the Yankees’ 27. And if you want to take it a step further, the Mets finished first in their division only four times since 1986, the team’s last World Series title.
The Mets’ World Series aspirations ride upon the arms of Jacob deGrom (99) and Max Scherzer (97). Behind those two ace pitchers, New York is ranked first in team pitching. While New York sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to power-hitting (15th), the team excels at simply making contact with the ball (sixth). The Mets hope by adding quality veterans in Eduardo Escobar (83), Mark Canha (80), and Starling Marte (87) to a lineup already featuring Pete Alonso (84) and Francisco Lindor (84) will be more than enough to produce some runs.
3 Houston Astros
There have been two absolute dominant teams in the past five seasons and one of them is the Houston Astros. Since 2017, the season Houston won the World Series, the Astros have finished in first place in the American League West division four times; the fifth time they finished in second place and still managed to reach the American League Championship Series.
Led by an accomplished pitching rotation (third) and solid lineup (fifth in contact), Houston is the third overall best team in the game. However, the team looks slightly different in 2022 without shortstop Carlos Correa (87), who signed with the Minnesota Twins. But even without Correa, the Astros still have superstar Jose Altuve (92), Yordan Alvaraz (90), and Justin Verlander (88).
2 Toronto Blue Jays
Honestly, it’s tough competing in a division with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, so it’s sometimes a surprise when another team rises through the ranks. Last year, it was the Tampa Bay Rays; this year, it’s looking like the Toronto Blue Jays. Ranked second overall, the Blue Jays have a young, exciting team that’s brimming with raw talent. Toronto’s one of two teams in the game to be among the top ten in contact (second), power (third), pitching (seventh), defense (eighth), and speed (ninth).
The Blue Jays are led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (96), the son of the former baseball legend. Guerrero Jr. finished in second place for AL MVP last year, so look for the first baseman to make a run for the award again this season. Aside from Guerrero Jr., Toronto has an above-average ace on the mound in Kevin Gausman (89) and a collection of high-quality position players in shortstop Bo Bichette (87), newly acquired third baseman Matt Chapman (87), left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and right fielder Teoscar Hernandez (86).
1 Los Angeles Dodgers
No team in Major League Baseball has reached a level of consistent recent dominance than the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since 2012, the Dodgers have won the National League West division eight times, while finishing in second the other two seasons. However, fans of Los Angeles teams will tell you it’s about winning championships, which the Dodgers haven’t had much luck with. They finally broke free in 2020, but prior to beating the Tampa Bay Rays, the Dodgers hadn’t won a title since 1988.
If there was ever to add a championship to this storied team, there won’t be a better season than this one. After winning a league-leading 106 games last season, the Dodgers added perennial All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman (93) in free agency. The Dodgers easily have the biggest collection of players with a rating of 90 or above with nine such players. Among the five-team categories, their lowest ranking is fifth in pitching and defense. With a $333 million team budget, the Los Angeles Dodgers constructed a superteam that’s undoubtedly the best in real life and the best in MLB The Show 22.
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