While the world stands still waiting for the MLB lockdown to inevitably end, this is as good a time as any to take a look at some of the betting odds for the 2022 World Series.
Here is a list of a couple of the MLB World Series Betting favorites as well as some teams that could surprise in the upcoming season.
MLB World Series Odds: Betting Favorites and Teams That Could Surprise
- Los Angeles Dodgers (+600)
In what seems like an annual tradition, the Los Angeles Dodgers are once again the favorites to win the World Series entering the season. This isn’t necessarily surprising, though, as they feature one of the deepest rosters in all of baseball.
Even after losing Max Scherzer (Mets), Corey Seager (Rangers), and potentially Clayton Kershaw, this is a roster that is built to compete today.
After the subtraction of Scherzer and Kershaw, the rotation is still strong as it is led by Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. There are a few more question marks after that, including what will happen with Trevor Bauer after his legal case was dropped, as well as how effective Andrew Heaney, Tony Gonsolin, and David Price can be, but the one-two of Buehler and Urias is lethal.
Offensively, Los Angeles Dodgers are set to compete with the best. Last season, they finished fifth in the majors in runs per game at 5.05. With the likes of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Max Muncy, Will Smith, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and Cody Bellinger, it will be a nightmare for opposing pitchers all season long.
Also, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Dodgers remain very active on the free agent and trade market after the lockout ends.
- Houston Astros (+1000)
Despite the constant trash can jokes that stem from the sign-stealing scandal of 2017, the Houston Astros are a legitimate contender year in and year out for the World Series. In fact, they have made it to the World Series in three of the last five years.
Even with the potential loss of free agent Carlos Correa, this is one of the deepest lineups in the majors. There aren’t too many holes in a lineup that features Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, and Yuli Gurriel. Given that depth, it is no surprise that they finished first in scoring last year, averaging 5.34 runs per game.
It will also be interesting to see what the Astros do after the lockout ends. The team has been rumored to have an interest in both Correa and Trevor Story to play shortstop, but they could choose to go with top prospect Jeremy Pena.
For as good as their offense is, their pitching is equally as deep. They re-signed Justin Verlander this offseason, and while he is coming off of Tommy John surgery, all indications are that he should be able to recapture his former dominance.
Additionally, the rotation boasts the likes of Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, Jose Urquidy, Jake Odorizzi, and Christian Javier. In a league that values pitching depth, the Astros may be in one of the best positions entering 2022.
Teams That Could Surprise
- Seattle Mariners (+2800)
If there is any team that could make a monumental leap into contention this season, it is the Seattle Mariners. They already closed the gap in the AL West last season after finishing 90-72, five games behind the Houston Astros.
Offensively, the team has some unheralded stars, including Mitch Haniger and Ty France. They also have some legitimate young stars in the making, including Julio Rodriguez, Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and others that could contribute this season.
If that wasn’t enough, expect them to be one of the most active teams in the majors after the lockout. For instance, reliever Paul Seward recently posted on his social media a picture with Kris Bryant teasing that the Mariners should sign him. Given general manager Jerry Dipoto’s aggressiveness, it wouldn’t be shocking to see someone like Bryant signed.
They have also made gains in the pitching department. Last season, their team ranked 16th in the majors in ERA at 4.30. Prior to the lockout, they already improved their rotation by adding AL Cy Young award winner Robbie Ray to a rotation that also includes Chris Flexen, Logan Gilbert, and Miguel Gonzales.
- Miami Marlins (+6000)
So this one might be a bit of a stretch, but the Miami Marlins are quickly knocking on the door of relevancy. In fact, they have arguably one of the best young pitching staffs in the majors consisting of Sandy Alcantara, Trevor Rogers, Pablo Lopez, Elieser Hernandez, and Jesús Luzardo.
Not a single one of those pitchers has hit 27 yet, but they already had the 11th best ERA in the majors last season at 3.96.
The real question is whether an offense that ranked 29th in the majors (3.85 runs per game) can catch up with the pitching. They did sign Avisail Garcia to go along with holdovers like Jazz Chisholm and Jesus Aguilar, but the lineup could certainly use some more firepower.
The real question is whether management will pull the trigger on bringing in talent via the free agent market and if Derek Jeter’s recent departure is any indication, that might be wishful thinking.
Still, with a starting rotation like the one they have, it isn’t hard to imagine them being competitive in 2022.
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