Three NL win totals to target before Opening Day
Opening Day of the 2022 MLB season is just around the corner, but there’s still plenty of time to get involved in the futures markets.
There’s a wide variety of props available – from World Series futures to home run leaders – but among the most interesting are season win totals. Oddsmakers assign a number to each club, and bettors select either the Over or the Under before watching the year unfold for their team of choice.
We’ve already discussed our three favorite American League sides, now here are our top three picks for 2022 win totals among National League teams.
After winning only 52 games in 2021, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a long way to climb to reach the Over on their 2022 total. While there’s hardly anywhere to go but up, this number still feels too optimistic.
The D-backs’ projected rotation of Madison Bumgarner, Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Luke Weaver, and Zach Davies all accounted for an ERA of 4.25 or worse last season. Only four players in the projected starting lineup had a WAR above 1.0 last season; David Peralta (1.1), Daulton Varsho (1.7), Ketel Marte (1.8), and Carson Kelly (2.2).
Landing Marte on a five-year, $76 million extension was encouraging for the future, and the acquisitions of relievers Ian Kennedy and Mark Melancon could help Arizona secure some assets at the trade deadline. But they’re unlikely to compete in the NL West, and should struggle to reach 65 victories.
Mets fans were brimming with hope last season – the first under the auspices of owner Steve Cohen – but it was a false start. Injuries wreaked havoc, and former All-Star Francisco Lindor was one of many players who struggled when in the lineup.
Undeterred, New York went for broke in the offseason. If this club can finally stay healthy, 90 wins could be an easy bar to clear.
Multiple Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom is the ace on an enviable rotation that includes Max Scherzer, a multiple Cy Young recipient in his own right who was brought in on a three-year, $130 million contract. Chris Bassitt is the third starter, but could be a No. 1 on half the teams in the majors after going 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.055 WHIP with the Oakland A’s last year.
A rotation that also includes Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco has the potential to make up for a lot of weaknesses. If Lindor, James McCann, Jeff McNeil, and/or Dominic Smith can bounce back at the dish, that will only help. Bringing in Starling Marte and Mark Canha for the outfield more than makes up for the departure of Michael Conforto.
If winning the World Series in 2019 was the top of the roller coaster for the Nationals, then they are currently plummeting down at high speed, and haven’t reached the bottom yet.
Washington won just 65 games last season, and that was with half a year’s work from Scherzer and Trea Turner. The Nats will need Stephen Strasburg – who’s started just seven games over the last two seasons – to do some heavy lifting on what is otherwise a lackluster rotation.
Hitting for average will be a problem for a team that’s starting Josh Bell, Cesar Hernandez, Lane Thomas, and Victor Robles on a regular basis. It will be interesting to see what Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz can do together, but that figures to be one of the few bright spots in a potential fifth-place campaign for this former NL East powerhouse.