MLB Top 10: Astros, Rays, Blue Jays the best of the best after opening weekend

For Ben Verlander
sports fox MLB Analyst

With the first weekend of 2022 MLB season in the books, it’s time for the first edition of the MLB Top 10, which we’ll update every Monday throughout the season.

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10 San Francisco Giants

The Giants opened the season by winning two of three games against the Miami Marlins. His pitch was as good as expected, and Rookie of the Year candidate Joey Bart appears to be San Francisco’s future catcher.

9. San Diego Padres

The Padres started the year just outside my top 10, but they looked great in their four-game series against the Diamondbacks, in which their only loss was an Opening Day home run. Yu Darvish and Sean Manaea led no-hitters at the end of games on Thursday and Friday. San Diego’s pitching staff has always had the potential to be great, and their opening weekend performance was enough to push this team into the top 10.

Astros are legit and Padres pitching I Flippin’ Bats

Astros are legit and Padres pitching I Flippin' Bats

Ben Verlander gives his three takeaways from Opening Day, including the near-perfect pitching staff of the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros letting everyone know they’re not going anywhere.

8. New York Mets

The Mets have looked good to start the season, winning three of four against the Nationals. The revamped offense is working, and even without Jacob deGrom, the pitching has been solid. After the Mets’ strong start, I’ll be interested to see how they face a better opponent than the Nats.

7. atlanta braves

The Braves will be a great team this year, but losing two of three to the Reds moves them down a bit in the standings to start the season. The return of Ronald Acuña Jr. can’t come soon enough, and Mike Soroka won’t return until about halfway through the season. The Braves will be fine, but it was a rough first few games.

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Why you should bet on the Braves to win the NL East

Ben Verlander explains why he’s banking on the Atlanta Braves to win the NL East in 2022.

6. New York Yankees

The Yankees showed some good and bad signs this week/weekend. The good: They hit a lot of home runs and the bullpen (which certainly has some doubts) looked good. The bad: His offense could break the single-season record for strikeouts. Still, the Yankees took a great opening series against the Boston Red Sox.

5. Chicago White Sox

The White Sox can’t seem to rest when it comes to injuries. They’re the most talented team in the AL Central on paper, but over the past year they’ve struggled to keep all of their players on the field. In the first few games of this season, Lucas Giolito went on the 10-day disabled list with an abdominal injury and AJ Pollock was pulled from one game with a minor hamstring injury. The Sox won their first series against the Tigers, but they need to stay healthy.

Four. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have the best offense in baseball and are probably the most complete team on paper. But you can’t lose your season opener to the Rockies and not drop a little bit in the standings.

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Why you should bet on the Dodgers to win more than 99.5 games

Sam Panayotovich reveals why he’s betting on the Los Angeles Dodgers to win more than 99.5 games in the 2022 season. “I think they’re the best team in baseball,” he says.

3. Toronto Blue Jays

This Blue Jays team is at the top of the list of the most exciting teams in baseball, but they allowed 23 runs in their opening series against the Rangers. I think Toronto’s pitching staff is much better than that, but theirs wasn’t the best start to the season. However, this offense is incredible and extremely fun to watch.

two. tampa bay lightning

The Rays are almost always underrated to start the season, but I’ve learned my lesson. They swept the Orioles and are still one of the best teams in baseball. Also, Wander Franco is a star in this league.

one. Houston Astros

The Astros went on the road and won three of four games in impressive fashion. His starting pitching was fantastic, allowing just three runs in four games between Framber Valdez, Jake Odorizzi, Justin Verlander and Jose Urquidy. The offense is extremely deep, with an MVP candidate in Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman looking back in form, with two home runs and six RBIs in three games. Also, Jeremy Pena appears to be a more than useful option as a rookie at shortstop. The Astros are the clear No. 1 team after opening weekend.

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Justin Verlander's return to the Astros: 'He pitched amazing'

Ben Verlander discusses his brother Justin Verlander’s return to the mound in the Houston Astros’ matchup with the Los Angeles Angels.

Ben Verlander is an MLB analyst for FOX Sports and host of the “flying batspodcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before joining his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick by the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization Follow him on Twitter @Verly32.

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