2022 MLB preview: World Series odds, picks, darkhorse

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. World Series odds
Vladimir Guerrero Jr./Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Hope springs eternal with every Opening Day and with a full 162-game season ready to go on Thursday, it’s the one day each year where every team believes they have the same World Series odds.

Of course, that isn’t the case as a top-heavy league only has a handful of legitimate suitors that could potentially walk away with a World Series crown. But on days like this, it’s OK to dream as you peruse the sportsbooks and prepare to drop your bet on a Fall Classic winner.

Here are the current World Series odds heading into Opening Day, our top picks, and one darkhorse we think might make a serious run at a championship.

For each of our divisional previews where we examine every team and their chances of making the playoffs, click here.

2022 World Series odds

Team Division World Series odds
Los Angeles Dodgers NL West +500
Toronto Blue Jays AL East +850
New York Yankees AL East +950
Atlanta Braves NL East +950
Houston Astros AL West +1000
Chicago White Sox AL Central +1100
New York Mets NL East +1200
Milwaukee Brewers NL Central +1600
San Diego Padres NL West +1600
Tampa Bay Rays AL East +1700
Philadelphia Phillies NL East +2200
Boston Red Sox AL East +2200
San Francisco Giants NL West +2800
St. Louis Cardinals NL Central +3000
Los Angeles Angels NL West +3500
Seattle Mariners AL West +4000
Minnesota Twins AL Central +6000
Detroit Tigers AL Central +7000
Miami Marlins NL East +9000
Chicago Cubs NL Central +10000
Texas Rangers AL West +10000
Cleveland Guardians AL Central +10000
Kansas City Royals AL Central +12000
Washington Nationals NL East +15000
Cincinnati Reds NL Central +15000
Arizona Diamondbacks NL West +25000
Oakland Athletics AL West +25000
Colorado Rockies NL West +25000
Pittsburgh Pirates NL Central +30000
Baltimore Orioles AL East +30000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings. For more, click here.

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Top Picks

Los Angeles Dodgers (+500)

Walker Buehler
Walker Buehler/Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, it would almost be a surprise if they didn’t win the World Series this year.

The Dodgers somehow managed to get even better this offseason, winning the sweepstakes to sign All-Star first baseman, 2020 NL MVP, and 2021 World Series MVP Freddie Freeman to a six-year deal. Los Angeles has four former MVP winners on their roster, becoming the first team ever to do so in back-to-back years.

A daunting lineup that already features the likes of Freeman, Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, and the ever-reliable Justin Turner should receive an even larger boost from the continuing breakout of catcher Will Smith while the hope is Cody Bellinger can bounce back to his MVP-like form after a difficult two seasons.

Their pitching staff is just as lethal, headlined by Walker Buehler and supported by Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and Trevor Bauer once he is taken off the commissioner’s exempt list — which should be April 16. In the late innings, a bullpen that lost Kenley Jansen supplemented the blow by acquiring a future Hall of Famer in closer Craig Kimbrel.

All in all, this is the Dodgers’ thing to lose.


Toronto Blue Jays (+850)

Matt Chapman
Matt Chapman/Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Ask us a couple of years ago about putting the Blue Jays this high and we would have told you that this might be just a bit ahead of schedule.

We all knew they had something special brewing in their farm system with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio — and they’ve lived up to those expectations. Especially Guerrero, who finished second in AL MVP voting last year following a monster .311, 48-home-run 2021.

But Toronto’s front office has been as aggressive as anyone in recent years to round out what could be the class of the American League. George Springer and Jose Berrios were brought in last year while this offseason, an impressive-looking infield got even more of a boost when All-Star third baseman Matt Chapman was acquired from the Oakland Athletics. They also bolstered the pitching staff by adding All-Star Kevin Gausman to the top of the rotation alongside Berrios and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

We the North, indeed.


Atlanta Braves (+950)

Matt Olson
Matt Olson/Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not easy to repeat in this game, anymore, and the National League East certainly improved around the Braves this offseason. The Mets picked up Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, and Chris Bassitt while the Phillies loaded up on power bats with Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber entering the fold.

But the Braves didn’t sit idly by when uncertainty was cast over their franchise first baseman in Freeman. Instead, they went out and acquired superstar Matt Olson from the Athletics and signed him to an eight-year deal to keep him in Atlanta for the long haul.

Ronald Acuna should play at least 120 games this season and find himself in NL MVP conversations while Austin Riley, Adam Duvall, and Marcell Ozuna ensure the Braves have no shortage of threatening power behind the likes of Acuna and Olson.

The one thing that could potentially trip them up is starting pitching depth, but a bullpen boasting Will Smith and Jansen should keep late-inning scares to a minimum.


World Series Darkhorse

Seattle Mariners (+4000)

Mitch Haniger
Mitch Haniger/Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Picking a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001 to be a darkhorse World Series contender is certainly risky — and this writer might receive some flack for that.

But the worm is finally starting to turn in Seattle after narrowly missing the playoffs last season. And it starts with the brash youngsters.

An outfield combination of Jarred Kelenic, top prospect Julio Rodriguez, Mitch Hanniger, and Jesse Winker (likely the DH) provide the foundation for what should be an exuberant, fun team out in the AL West. They also added a sizable feast-or-famine bat in Eugenio Suarez to man the hot corner.

Now comes the hypotheticals, which could make this pick seem genius or fool-hearty.

Seattle has a solid top-three in their starting rotation, led by the newly-acquired Robbie Ray — a Cy Young Award winner — Marco Gonzalez, and Chris Flexen. But a top prospect in Matt Brash alongside Logan Gilbert — who was inconsistent during his rookie season — provide major question marks.

There is also the question of when Evan White and Kyle Lewis could return from the injured list and how much of a boost they could potentially add when they come back.

This team should have enough to make the playoffs, but if expectations are exceeded, why not them?