After a chaotic offseason involving CBA drama and a delay in Opening Day, baseball is officially back and so are World Series odds.
No matter what you think of the new labor deal, baseball must go on. And some team is going to win the World Series this season. And sportsbooks are going to offer odds on which team wins that Championship.
So, where does the value lie?
Like most years, the Dodgers are the favorites to take home the title. The signing of Freddie Freeman only shortens L.A.’s title odds.
But there are plenty of other teams worth betting on. The Brewers are interesting at 16-to-1. The Angels may put it all together this season, and they are priced at 35-to-1. And why not take a shot with the Tigers (+6500) or Marlins (+8000)?
Let’s look at the current World Series market and investigate the best bets for the 2022 season.
All odds are current as of April 3, 2022, and provided by DraftKings.
World Series Odds 2022
Los Angeles Dodgers
Who else would top this list?
Especially after signing Freddie Freeman to a massive contract. The Dodgers bolstered an already deadly lineup, and they will likely be atop the stat leaderboards for most of the season.
It’s worth asking questions about the bullpen, especially with the trading of Kenley Jansen. But the Dodgers went out and grabbed Craig Kimbrel to pair with Daniel Hudson and Blake Treinen.
The rotation would be better if Trevor Bauer wasn’t a terrible person. But the top of the rotation will be super strong with Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias. Andrew Heaney was an interesting signing, but he’ll give the Dodgers much-needed southpaw innings.
There’s no reason to think the Dodgers won’t win it all this season. But there’s also no value here south of 5-to-1.
Toronto Blue Jays
Surprisingly, I think the Astros provide a bit of value in this spot. They clearly have the most talented offense in baseball – Houston paces MLB in wRC+ with 117 – and their pitching rotation is slightly underrated.
The Ace Zack Greinke has proven he can still be effective in his twilight years, while Framber Valdez and Lance McCullers Jr. have combined to contribute 205 2/3 starting innings with an ERA below 3.20.
The biggest reason for Houston’s value, however, is youngster Luis Garcia. In his first year in the rotation, the 24-year-old has done nothing but shove. He’s posted a 3.39 ERA and a 3.72 xFIP and has been the perfect complimentary arm to the rest of the rotation.
The Astros surprisingly lost Garcia’s first seven starts, but have finally started to produce run support, and Houston has gone 12-4 in Garcia starts since.
With Garcia shoving, this team has just enough pitching for the offense to carry them to the World Series trophy.
Top Value Picks
I think the Brewers pitching staff will see some negative regression. Specifically, from guys like Adrian Houser, Erica Lauer, and maybe Freddy Peralta.
But when your rotation is headlined by Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, and your bullpen is headlined by Josh Hader and Devin Williams, you can’t go wrong.
However, I think the lineup will see some positive regression. Hunter Renfroe is a good addition, as is Andrew McCutchen. Kolten Wong, Lorenzo Cain, and Willy Adames should all have better seasons than last year.
The big question mark is Christian Yelich. He’s been a disaster the last two seasons, and everyone is wondering what is wrong. If he can see any kind of improvement, it makes the Brewers lineup much more interesting.
But in the end, the Brewers are going to be just as good as they were last year in a division that’s stripping down. Milwaukee had value last season, and I believe the Brewers show value again this year.
Los Angeles Angels
Is this finally the year the Angels put it all together?
Probably not. But I’ll take a shot on them to do it at 35-to-1.
How can you not love this roster? Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are the two best players in the game. Jared Walsh should slug .500 again. Anthony Rendon is due for a bounce-back season. The Angels also bolstered their pitching staff with Noah Syndergaard in the rotation and Ryan Tepera in the bullpen.
The Angels can’t keep underperforming season after season. I think this is the year they win the AL West and make a deep playoff push. Trout needs some post-season heroics.
Teams to Avoid
New York Yankees
The Yankees are overvalued every season. They get a lot of public support in the markets and have a top-ranked payroll, so the books value them as a top-five team every pre-season.
But it never pans out.
Josh Donaldson raises the team’s floor, but Isaiah Kiner-Falefa wasn’t the shortstop Yankee fans wanted the team to get in the offseason.
Gerrit Cole will be in the Cy Young conversation, but the Yankee starting rotation is weak after him. New York needs Luis Severino to return to his old self.
The bullpen will be good. But we can’t project that Aroldis Chapman will return to his glory days after a disastrous second-half last season.
Finally, the Yankees play in the toughest division in baseball. While they’ll be a top-third of the league team, there are too many factors working against them to make them valuable at less than 10-to-1.
New York Mets
Injuries, injuries, injuries.
Jacob deGrom is shut down for the first month of the season. Max Scherzer has found himself on the IL. Joey Lucchesi has been shut down for two months.
We can’t project how those players will recover from injuries. Therefore, we can’t project how the Mets season will play out.
And with odds so short, I’m staying far away from the Mets this season.