On Friday, October 7, the 2022 MLB playoffs finally get underway. This fall, the new format comes into play, with the third-ranked divisional winner joining three league-spanning wild cards in the opening round.
There’s a clear-cut favourite on either side of the bracket to get to the World Series. Still, the likes of the Toronto Blue Jays have a lot of momentum coming in, and that has been known to carry teams to the Fall Classic.
NHL Playoffs Preview Best Odds:
World Series Favourites: LAD +275, HOU +350
AL Contenders: NYY +500, TOR +1300
NL Contenders: ATL +500, NYM +850
As we approach the MLB postseason, here are the teams with the leading odds to win it all in the American League and National League.
AL MLB Playoffs Preview
While you could argue that they benefit from the AL West being less competitive than the AL East, few would deny that the Houston Astros have looked like the most dominant team in the league.
As a result, they’re the leading contender from the AL at +275 to win the World Series.
Close behind are the AL East champions, the New York Yankees. Like the Astros, the Yankees get a bye in the first round, naturally enhancing their odds of winning the World Series to +500.
In the opening brackets, the outright MLB odds indicate who the experts see getting through.
The Toronto Blue Jays, riding a 7-3 last ten record, are at +1300 to win the Fall Classic, while their AL Wild Card foes, the Seattle Mariners, are given odds of +2500.
In the upper bracket, set to face the Yankees in the ALDS, are the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians. The third representative from the AL East, Tampa Bay, comes in at +1700, but the Guardians aren’t too far back at +2500.
It’s tough to understate the faith being placed in the Astros making it to the World Series. Their pitching depth is bordering absurdity, and they trumped the Yankees 5-2 during the regular season.
NL MLB Playoffs Preview
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the strong betting favourites at +275 to win the World Series, having walked to the best record in the entire MLB. The 110-51 team lost its last three, but that won’t matter come the NLDS.
Also given a first-round bye, the Atlanta Braves flew to the top of the NL East on an 8-2 last ten record, netting a win after a loss to get one up on the New York Mets. With the pass, the Braves get +500 odds to go all the way.
The NL Central champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, come in with middling odds to win the Fall Classic at +1400, taking on the NL East’s third postseason team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 87-74 side is at the back of the pack among NL contenders with odds of +2500.
Fourth-seed New York Mets, a team that missed the bye by two wins, will face the San Diego Padres. The Mets are certainly a dark horse for a run to the World Series at +850, while the Padres aren’t expected to go too far with futures odds of +2500.
Despite the Atlanta Braves getting a good 21.7 per cent, the playoffs poll taken by MLB players found heavy favour for the Dodgers coming out on top, with LA boasting 39.5 per cent of the vote.
As the Mets join the Braves and Dodgers here, NL teams received over 75 per cent of the predictions to win the World Series.
An NL win, be it by the Dodgers, Mets, Braves, or even a dark horse like the Cards, would spell a four-year drought for the AL.
Since 2018, the Washington Nationals, Dodgers, and Braves have hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy, humbling the Rays and the Astros twice in doing so.
Coming into the MLB Playoffs, the Dodgers and Astros are the favourites to meet in the World Series, but keep an eye on momentum-driven teams like the Blue Jays and Braves to give them a run for their money.
*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*
FIRST PUBLISHED: 5th October 2022