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TOKYO — Opening Day is coming soon. To some people, serious baseball fans, it is like a religious holiday. Baseball is America’s oldest sport. On Opening Day, the President of the United States always throws out the first pitch. A few years back, there was even a campaign to make Opening Day a national holiday, with 100,000 people signing a petition. That campaign was unsuccessful, but an indication of the seriousness of the event is that in English it requires Capital Letters and has its own Wikipedia entry.
With Opening Day upon us, prediction time is here as well. That’s when the baseball experts tell us who is going to do what in the 2022 season; what team is going win the championship, who’s going to win the MVP and the Cy Young Award, who will capture the home run crown, the batting title, and so forth.
Starting this season there will be 12 teams in the playoffs. According to Sportsnaut, which provides a fairly representative sample of preseason predictions, the National League Division winners will be the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves, with the wild card teams being the New York Mets, the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants.
In the American League, the Division winners are predicted to be the Toronto Blue Jays, the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros, with the wild card teams being the New York Yankees, the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels.