We’re now less than four weeks from the date pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report for Spring Training. But with a lockout in place by MLB owners, the 2022 baseball season is in jeopardy. Will the season start on time? Will the players dig in and refuse to budge after years of fragile harmony between the two sides? What will Major League Baseball look like when it returns?
All the boss vs. employee labor distractions need not squash your betting strategy for the MLB season. Here are five teams at relatively long odds with a chance to win the 2022 World Series.
2022 World Series Odds
|Boston Red Sox||+1800||+1800||+1800||+1800|
5 Longshots To Watch For 2022 World Series Win
Texas Rangers: The Biggest Longshot In Championship Mix
The biggest splash in the aborted winter deals was the twin signings by Texas of infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, All-Stars both. Apparently, Seager will play shortstop and Semien will shift to second. The Rangers also signed free-agent outfielder Kole Calhoun and pitcher Jon Gray. Calhoun is a Gold Glove right fielder who might use his powerful left-handed swing to pop a lot of baseballs into the right field porch in Texas.
DraftKings’ +9000 is the most attractive price on Texas’ World Series futures among the books listed above. The Rangers may be worth a flyer.
Seattle Mariners: Everybody’s Favorite Longshot
The M’s added American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray and super-sub Adam Frazier (who may end up being more of an everyday contributor than a lot of people imagine he can be).
While Seattle may still add a free agent, the Mariners best additions will be the flip of the calendar and one more year of experience for their young stars. It appears that Julio Rodríguez, MLB’s No. 2 ranked prospect, will make his debut when and if the ’22 season is played. Rodríguez is a five-tool player, who hit .331 in about 200 minor league games with more than 30 HRs and stolen based. Seattle’s future outfield is him in right, Taylor Trammell in center, and Kyle Lewis in left. All three have power and speed and big-league skills with the lumber.
I haven’t even mentioned the four or five top-100 pitching prospects the M’s have in their organization. The future is bright in Seattle, and who knows? Maybe they get all the way to the Series this year.
Los Angeles Angels: The Sneaky Good Longshot
If you have baseball’s best player (Mike Trout), best two-way player (Shohei Ohtani), and superstar third sacker Anthony Rendon on your team, there’s a chance. The 32-to-1 odds FanDuel is offering are tempting.
Also read: Ohtani MVP Bet Costs Caesars $1 Million
Boston Red Sox: The Lesser Shot
Every few years since the turn of the century, the Red Sox makes a World Series run. A lot has happened the last few seasons, but it’s been less than four years since Boston won its most recent title. Ownership is committed to putting a competitive team on the field.
Last fall, when we last saw the BoSox, they were gamely challenging the Guys In The Black Hats, the Houston Astros, everyone’s villains. The Sox fell to the Astros in the ALCS, but they’ve addressed a number of weaknesses on their team since.
Kike Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe were in center and right field last season and between them had the range of a small refrigerator. Put it this way: the Sox outfield was 27th in baseball in defensive efficiency in 2021. In response, the team traded Renfroe and his 31 bombs to the Brewers to get back Jackie Bradley Jr., who won a Gold Glove in Boston in 2018 for his outfield play. Bradley will be slotted in center, and the offensive dropoff will likely be worth the runs he saves with his glove.
Boston also snatched pitcher James Paxton via free agency to shore up its rotation depth. Also, the team returns much of the offense that scored 824 runs in 2021.
The Sox at +1800 to win the World Series is not a huge longshot play, but the price is attractive enough to make the bet. They will be, along with New York and possibly Tampa, a playoff team out of the AL East.
San Diego Padres: The Modest Longshot
In 2021, the Padres were the choice of many experts to dethrone the Dodgers and advance to their first Fall Classic since Bill Clinton was president. Instead, injuries and inconsistency from the pitching staff sunk them below .500 and landed the Friars in third place in the NL West.
It’s hard to believe a lineup featuring Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado finished in the middle of the National League in runs scored in ’21. Pitchers Blake Snell and Yu Darvish were disappointing, too. But the Padres, who are still listed by the oddsmakers in the top third of MLB for chances to win it all, may be willing to add even more superstars to their roster.
Prior to the lockout, the Padres hinted on social media they would make efforts to build an “exciting” roster. Does that mean the team would sign one of the big-name free agents still available? Would Kris Bryant or Nick Castellanos or even Freddie Freeman go to sunny San Diego to combine forces with Manny and Tatis? It’s probable the San Diego front office is willing to add at least one more star to the clubhouse, which makes that +1700 from DraftKings attractive.