Opening odds have Dodgers favored to win 2022 World Series
The dust settled on the 2021 MLB season on Tuesday night, as the Atlanta Braves hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy as World Series champions for the first time since 1995.
Now attention shifts to the 2022 baseball season, which will hopefully take place without any labor stoppages. The powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers opened as the +550 favorite to win the Fall Classic, with the 2021 World Series runners-up – the Houston Astros – the second choice at +900. All other teams are +1000 or higher, including the fifth-choice Braves at +1400.
Let’s investigate why the Dodgers are such a strong favorite at this point in time, and if there’s a more appealing longshot to be had instead.
World Series 2022
Fri, September 30 2022, 10:00 PM
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chicago White Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees
San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
The case for the Dodgers
The Dodgers may not have been able to win the NL West like many predicted in 2021, but the overachieving San Francisco Giants (107-55) had a lot to do with that. L.A. still finished with the second-best record in the majors at 106-56, with the fifth-most runs for (5.05) and the fewest runs against (3.45) per game.
The Dodgers possessed arguably the deepest and most talented roster in all of baseball this season. Max Muncy led the club with 36 homers, and he’ll be back patrolling first base for his age 31 season next year. On the other side of the infield is the venerable Justin Turner, who much like Muncy, was sorely missed when he sustained a postseason injury prior to his team’s elimination.
L.A. also boasts the speedy hit machine Trea Turner for another year, as well as power-hitting catcher Will Smith, and five-tool sensation Mookie Betts. Perennial Cy Young contender Walker Buehler anchors the pitching rotation, with a slew of talented relievers behind him in the bullpen.
The case against the Dodgers
Though the Dodgers can never be counted out in the free agency market, they will nonetheless likely suffer significant turnover on the roster heading into 2022.
Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, and Kenley Jansen are among the household names that could test the open market this winter. Add to that playoff hero and underrated utility man Chris Taylor, as well as dynamite trade deadline rental Max Scherzer, and the “Blue Crew” have plenty of spots to fill.
The Dodgers are without question the most intriguing team to monitor this winter, and how they shape their roster ahead of Spring Training will go a long way in determining their viability as a 2022 World Series contender.
Don’t sleep on the White Sox
The Chicago White Sox (+1200) were a popular pick to reach the World Series in 2021, but they ultimately fizzled out in the ALDS.
The injury bug bit them plenty of times, yet somehow manager Tony La Russa and the front office held it all together. Perhaps the White Sox would have been slated for a different destiny with some better trade deadline moves (Ryan Tepera worked, but Cesar Hernandez and Craig Kimbrel did not), but it’s pointless to worry about that now.
Chicago boasts an incredible core lineup, with Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez leading MLB’s sixth-rated offense from a year ago (4.90 runs per game). The South Siders were fifth in run prevention last year (4.02 runs per game), with Lucas Giolito, Carlos Rodon, and Dylan Cease head-manning an enviable rotation. Closer Liam Hendriks is among the reliable arms in the Chicago bullpen.
The White Sox have some free agents of their own to re-sign, including Rodon. But they do have available capital to target some noteworthy middle-infield free agents, like former South Sider Marcus Semien.