Last Updated Apr 14, 2022, 07:59 AM
2022 MLB Opening Day Futures Picks, Predictions, Odds
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MLB Opening Day is just around the corner, and with America’s favorite pastime soon to take center stage, VegasInsider is getting you ready with a full slate of MLB future bets to help kick off the season on a solid note.
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2022 MLB Win Total Best Bet
New York Mets – Under 90.5 Wins (-110)
The New York Mets finished third in the NL East with a record of 77-85 last year, which marks the second straight season New York has missed the playoffs with a losing record – after finishing fourth in the division with a lackluster 26-34 mark during the abbreviated pandemic season.
The Mets have now finished with a losing record in four of the last five regular seasons, with their highest tally across that timeframe coming back in 2019 (86-76), which still falls under the number set for New York ahead of this season (OU 90). The Mets no longer have Noah Syndergaard beefing up the rotation, and with Cy Young candidate Jacob DeGrom expected to miss significant time with a shoulder injury, it’s tough to envision a scenario with the Mets winning more than 90 games this year.
2022 MLB Playoff Prop Best Bets
Tampa Bay Rays – To Make the Playoffs -205
After falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2020 World Series, Tampa Bay immediately bounced back with a magnificent 2021 campaign, as the Rays claimed their second straight AL East title with an impressive 100-62 record last season – which comfortably paced the entire American League. The AL East is undeniably loaded with New York (+200), and Toronto (+170), and Boston (+550) all boasting relatively conceivable odds to hoist the AL East crown. Even if Tampa Bay fails to reel in a third straight AL East title, the Rays still shouldn’t have trouble making the playoffs under the league’s new expanded postseason format.
San Francisco Giants – To Miss the Playoffs +110
The San Francisco Giants demonstrated one of the quickest turnarounds in recent memory last year, as San Francisco previously yielded losing records in four straight regular seasons before bouncing back with an MLB-best 107-55 tally across their most recent campaign.
Despite posting the best record in baseball last year, San Francisco (+550) is still listed as distant underdogs behind the Dodgers (-235) and Padres (+300) to repeat as NL West champions – and rightfully so, given the enormous talent level spread between those two organizations. With Kevin Gausman and Buster Posey parting ways with San Francisco this past offseason, and no overwhelming additions to note, betting the Giants to miss the playoffs at plus odds is an intriguing preseason play.
2022 MLB MVP Best Bet
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) +400
Shohei Ohtani absolutely dominated the American League MVP race last year despite failing to serve as the top position player or pitcher in the league respectively, as Ohtani posted a sturdy 9-2 record to accompany a 3.18 ERA across 23 starts on the mound – while also batting .257 with 46 HR and 100 RBI at the plate.
Ohtani ranked 21st in the league in pitching WAR (4.1 pWAR) and 20th in offensive WAR (4.9 oWAR) last season, which typically doesn’t register as MVP caliber numbers. However, Ohtani’s overall WAR equated to 9.0 last season, which led the league by a healthy margin and ultimately indicated why he was deserving of the award. As long as he stays healthy and posts strong numbers from the mound and plate, Ohtani should almost always find himself within MVP contention.
Austin Riley (ATL) +2500
After batting under .250 in spot appearances across the first two years of his big-league career, Austin Riley quickly sprung onto the scene during his opening tenure as a day-to-day starter for the Atlanta Braves, as the 22-year-old third baseman batted .303 with 33 HR and 107 RBI last season. The National League MVP is much more of a toss-up than the American League, with several inconsistent names sitting atop the odds list such as Juan Soto (+280), Ronald Acuna Jr. (+700), and Bryce Harper (+900) – so taking a flier at +2500 on a somewhat unproven stud like Riley feels like the best MVP play in the NL.
2022 MLB Cy Young Best Bets
Zack Wheeler (PHI) +1000
After going 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA across 11 starts in an abbreviated season to kick off his tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Wheeler effortlessly kept that same train rolling with another triumphant campaign last season, as the 31-year-old right hander posted an impressive 2.78 ERA across 32 starts in his first full season with the Phillies – which landed Wheeler second in the NL Cy Young voting behind Corbin Burnes – despite yielding a relatively mediocre 14-10 record.
Last summer it looked like Wheeler might win the NL Cy Young, as Philly’s right-hander cruised into July boasting a 6-4 record with a 2.20 ERA – placing Wheeler at the forefront of the race for most of the year. However, Wheeler posted a 3.24 ERA in July and 4.81 ERA in August, which sent his ERA over 3.00 before September and doomed him in the voting.
Wheeler currently owns the fourth-best odds to win the NL Cy Young at +1000, which trails highly regarded contenders such as Max Scherzer (+600), Corbin Burnes (+800), and Walker Buehler (+900) by a generous margin – but this year’s honors might belong to Wheeler if he holds it together for an entire season.
Chris Sale (BOS) +1600
The American League is absolutely loaded with Cy Young contenders, with the odds list beginning with a cluster of last year’s front-runners containing Gerrit Cole (+425), Shane Bieber (+700), Robbie Ray (+900), and Lucas Giolito (+1100) – inevitably sliding down perennial powerhouses in the category such as Justin Verlander (+1600) and Chris Sale (+1600).
Sale completely fell off the radar in 2019, as Boston’s veteran left-hander posted a surprisingly lackluster 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA before receiving Tommy John at the end of the season. However, Sale bounced back with solid numbers in a limited capacity last year (5-1, 3.16 ERA), and if he can replicate that on a similar level for the length of this year, the sky is the limit for the seven-time All-Star.
2022 MLB Rookie of the Year Best Bet
Bobby Witt Jr. (KNC) +310
Predicting MLB Rookie of the Year Awards is always somewhat of a crapshoot, so I tend to stay away, but this year, there seems to be a legitimate heavyweight contender in the American League in Royals’ infielder Bobby Witt Jr.
Kansas City selected Witt with the second overall pick in the 2019 draft, and he quickly tore through the Royals’ farm system by batting .290 with 33 HR and 97 RBI in AA and AAA last year. Just in case any doubt remained regarding Witt’s big-league potential, he’s also been phenomenal in his first Spring Training with Kansas City (.407 AVG, 1.189 OPS, 2 HR) – and at his current rate, +310 might be the best odds you get here.
2022 MLB World Series Best Bet
San Diego Padres +1800
Despite reloading with high-profile talent such as Manny Machado and Blake Snell last offseason, the San Diego Padres still posted a surprisingly lackluster 2021 campaign, as San Diego finished third in the NL West with a record of 79-83 – falling short of the final NL Wild Card spot by roughly ten games.
With the recent addition of Sean Manaea, San Diego now boasts one of the strongest pitching rotations in the league headed by Snell, Manaea, and Yu Darvish – only adding value to their already explosive offensive attack (4.5 R/G). Perennial powerhouses such as the Dodgers (+475), Blue Jays (+900), and Yankees (+900) currently sit atop World Series’ odds lists at chalky price tags, but there’s still plenty of value to be found scattered throughout dynamic middle-tier squads like the Padres (+1800), Rays (+1700), and Brewers (+1600).