It’s a week later than expected, but baseball starts on Thursday. Hey we’re getting opening day and the first round of Masters golf the same dayit can’t be that bad.
There’s still some time to get future last-minute MLB bets before the season begins, including World Series winners and MVP picks. Yahoo Sportsbook’s Nick Bromberg, Pete Truszkowski and Frank Schwab have come together to review their best bets for the 2022 season, with odds by BetMGM:
What’s your best bet for total wins for the season?
Frank Schwab: The total for Oakland’s A’s is 68.5 and I’d probably still be okay with taking the minus if it was 58.5. Oakland sells anything that isn’t nailed down. I also like Twins over 81.5. They slumped last season, but got aggressive to improve in the offseason and in this division, finishing above .500 isn’t too much to ask.
Nick Bromberg: I am a strong supporter of Cardinals Devil Magic. St. Louis has an 84.5 over/under heading into 2022 and plays in a division where three teams aren’t really trying to compete. Throw in a Brewers team that needs a healthy pitching staff to win the division and St. Louis shouldn’t need a winning streak in September to top .500 at the end of the season this year. I’m going to take a chance with the Cardinals who are 85-77 or better this season with a pitching staff that’s bound to be healthier than they were a season ago.
Pete Truszkowski: Let’s get boring and square and go with the Dodgers exceed 98.5 wins. Technically, I’d rather play the Dodgers to win 100+ games with more money, but for the purposes of this exercise, I’ll go with 98.5+ wins. They have won 106 games in the last two full seasons and were on course to win 116 in the shortened 2020 season. Add Freddie Freeman and a full season of Trea Turner to this already stacked range. Cody Bellinger can’t be worse than it was last season. Mookie Bets will be better. Craig Kimbrel gives them a closer bona fide. Dustin May will strengthen the pitching team in the second half of the year and everyone knows they will trade prospects and spend money to improve at the deadline. Arizona and Colorado are terrible, San Diego will be without Fernando Tatis Jr. for a few months and I don’t think anyone expects the Giants to repeat last year. They are favorites to win the World Series for a reason.
Which MVP bet longer than 10 to 1 do you like?
Frank Schwab: I love Bo Bichette at +2500 for AL MVP. He can fill out the stat sheet on a very good Toronto Blue Jays team. It will be eclipsed by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in his own team, but that’s why the chances are long. He’s a hell of a player.
Nick Bromberg: I’m not optimistic about the Yankees‘ chances in the American League. But I think Judge Aaron is a good value for MVP. If Judge remains healthy, the Yankees should be near the top of the AL East. And if the Yankees are at the top of the AL East and Judge plays well, he’ll be a heavy favorite for MVP. While I love both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trouttheir status as AL MVP favorites is a little scary considering the rest of the Angels’ roster and the possibility that they could siphon off each other’s votes.
Pete Truszkowski: When the lockout ended, I immediately placed and wrote about my favorite MVP bet. Since, Luis Robert went from 30 to 1 to 22 to 1 to win MVP, but I’m still in the game. He’s hitting .350 after returning from injury last year, has increased his discipline at the plate tenfold, plays great center field, is above average in power and speed, and has a loaded lineup around him. He has a 1,142 OPS in the spring. He is ready to go. Get on the Luis Robert train before it gets cool.
Any other reward bets?
Frank Schwab: I think Joe Musgrove could pull off a Corbin Burnes and dominate all season. At 25 to 1, there’s value in Musgrove, who is still in his prime and on a good San Diego Padres team.
Nick Bromberg: I’m a homer here so I have to go with Bobby Witt Jr. for AL Rookie of the Year at +300. Julio Rodriguez is right behind him at +400 with the news that he will be on Seattle’s opening roster, but I think Witt is the real deal and will be one of the best third basemen in the game right away. ‘AL.
Pete Truszkowski: With Jacob deGrom’s injury, the NL Cy Young market is getting pretty wide open. I’ll take a chance on Sandy Alcantara at 16-to-1. He was one of three pitchers in baseball last year to eclipse 200 innings and 200 strikeouts (Wheeler and Buehler were the other two). He throws hard, capable of hitting over 100 mph with his fastball. His chase rate is one of the best in the league. He has a five-pitch arsenal to keep hitters on their toes, but he very rarely walks with anyone.
What’s your best bet on the World Series?
Frank Schwab: I’ve only punched one ticket so far and it’s on the Milwaukee Brewers at +1600. In a playoff series, their first three starters will be Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta, with Josh Hader set to close out the games. As a Milwaukee native, I may just be trying to convince myself that it’s possible, but it seems like good value if that pitching staff stays healthy.
Nick Bromberg: The Rays keep reaching the playoffs, so they’ll win it all eventually, right? +1400 is a pretty good value for Tampa, especially considering they’re the No. 2 team in the AL East. I love the pitching team stuff and how the team handles it. Tampa is going to get the right postseason lottery ticket at some point.
Pete Truszkowski: Once you get to the playoffs, having a great tee shot is an insane luxury. I think the two best rotations in baseball belong to the Mets and the Brewers. However, Jacob deGrom is already injured and the NL East projects itself as a tougher division than the Central. Milwaukee is going to have to find a way to squeeze some semblance of offense off its roster, but unfortunately I agree with Frank and think the Brewers will make the playoffs quite comfortably. Once there, their rotation gives them a chance in each series. I will say I’m big on Toronto this year, but +900 isn’t enough for me to pull the trigger.