Reviewing the Updated 2022 World Series Odds for Every MLB Team

Kerry Miller@@kerrancejamesCollege Basketball National AnalystMay 8, 2022

Reviewing the Updated 2022 World Series Odds for Every MLB Team

0 of 8

    Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr.
    Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr.Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    As we wrap up the first 30 days of the 2022 MLB regular season, how much have the betting lines for the World Series changed?

    By and large, not much, which is no surprise. We're not even one-fifth of the way through this 2,430-game marathon, and with the exception of the Reds being terrible, there's still plenty of time for things to change.

    That said, we have seen a few substantial movements after some red-hot/ice-cold starts. The White Sox, Red Sox and Braves have each tumbled a fair amount, if that tickles your "buy low" fancy. And at the other end of the spectrum, the Brewers, Twins and Angels are each looking like more legitimate contenders than expected.

    The 30 teams are listed in ascending order of DraftKings World Series odds as of Saturday morning, with preseason odds also listed as a point of reference for how much/little has changed for each team.

The 'No Chance in Heck' Tier

1 of 8

    Cincinnati's Mike Moustakas
    Cincinnati's Mike MoustakasDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Cincinnati Reds (150-1 Preseason; 1000-1 Current)
    3-22, 15 GB in NL Central

    You know the saddest part about the Reds getting out to the second-worst 25-game start in MLB history? I don't even think they're tanking, as their payroll is still considerably higher than that of Baltimore and Oakland combined. They've just been so overrun with injuries and slow starts that it looks like they've already thrown in the towel.

    That said, there's no coming back from this. Cincinnati is already 12 games out of the NL wild-card picture.


    Baltimore Orioles (300-1 Preseason; 1000-1 Current)
    10-17, 9 GB in AL East

    The Orioles opened the season tied with the Pirates for the worst World Series odds and are tied with the Reds for the worst odds. That line has ballooned from 300-1 to 1000-1 because there was at least a modicum of "this team is probably going to stink, but you just never know" in the preseason, compared to the current state of "they are who we thought they were."

    With John Means (Tommy John surgery) out for the year and Cedric Mullins II floundering through the first month of play, there's minimal hope of the O's finishing .500, let alone winning it all.


    Pittsburgh Pirates (300-1 Preseason; 800-1 Current)
    10-14, 7.5 GB in NL Central

    The Pirates are going nowhere fast, but at least they locked up third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes on an eight-year, $70 million contract right before the season began. Between that and the presumed promotions of second baseman Nick Gonzales and shortstop Oneil Cruz at some point in the next few months, at least fans in Pittsburgh can spend this summer getting a glimpse of what should be the nucleus of the team for several years.

    Now, if they could just find some pitching...


    Washington Nationals (150-1 Preseason; 800-1 Current)
    9-19, 10 GB in NL East

    It's never a great sign when reports come out less than a week into the season that the owner is trying to sell the team, but that's how far the Nats have fallen in the 30 months since winning the 2019 World Series.

    Juan Soto is awesome. Josh Bell is an impending free agent who will fetch a pretty penny at the trade deadline. And at least Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz are amounting to something after Washington gave away Max Scherzer and Trea Turner for them last July. But it's going to be a long summer in the nation's capital.


    Oakland Athletics (150-1 Preseason; 800-1 Current)
    10-16, 7 GB in AL West

    Until a week ago, the A's were actually looking like a viable contender. They weren't exactly the favorite to win the AL West, but at 10-9 with a positive run differential, they were certainly better than the rest of the teams in this tier of MLB's basement dwellers.

    But after getting swept in back-to-back series at home by Cleveland and Tampa Bay in front of basically no fans, Oakland appears to be getting what it paid (as little money as possible) for. The franchise's first 95-loss season since 1997 is easily possible.

The 'Well, at Least You're Not the Reds' Tier

2 of 8

    Texas' Corey Seager
    Texas' Corey SeagerTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    Arizona Diamondbacks (250-1 Preseason; 600-1 Current)
    14-13, 4 GB in NL West

    If forced to bet on one of the bottom-eight teams for some contrived reason, the Diamondbacks are clearly the choice, right? They had a winning record on Saturday morning, and the starting rotation anchored by Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen has been impressive. If the bats ever wake up (league-worst .191 batting average), they just might amount to something.

    More likely, though, this better-than-expected start will get crushed under the weight of an extremely good NL West. The D-Backs stole two out of three from the Dodgers in late April, but the eight games coming up against Los Angeles before Memorial Day should make or break them.


    Texas Rangers (100-1 Preseason; 300-1 Current)
    10-14, 6 GB in AL West

    The Rangers were one of the most aggressive bidders during free agency. But thus far, bringing in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Gray, Brad Miller, Kole Calhoun, Garrett Richards hasn't done them much good. In fact, as far as Baseball Reference is concerned, Texas is paying that sextet $88.7 million this season for negative-0.3 wins above replacement.


    At least the Rangers have shown some fight since starting out 2-9. Don't completely write this team out of the postseason conversation just yet.


    Kansas City Royals (120-1 Preseason; 250-1 Current)
    8-15, 6 GB in AL Central

    Bobby Witt Jr.'s arrival in Major League Baseball has not been as triumphant as most expected. The 21-year-old third baseman did finally hit his first home run on May 3, but his slow start coupled with the disastrous opening month from the collection of Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez, Carlos Santana and Adalberto Mondesi has left the Royals grasping at straws.

    At this point, Kansas City making the playoffs would be more surprising than Kansas City finishing with the worst record in the American League.


    Detroit Tigers (65-1 Preseason; 200-1 Current)
    8-17, 7 GB in AL Central

    Speaking as someone who may or may not have (but definitely did) take a flier on the Tigers at 65-1 in the preseason, this team has been quite the bummer. Prized rookie Spencer Torkelson has struggled, Jonathan Schoop and Akil Baddoo have both dropped off a cliff after strong 2021 campaigns and there is definitely some buyer's remorse on the five-year, $77 million deal they gave Eduardo Rodriguez this past offseason.

    The only saving grace here is that someone has to win the AL Central, and this team rallied from a slow start last year.


    Colorado Rockies (250-1 Preseason; 200-1 Current)
    15-11, 2.5 GB in NL West

    On the one hand, the Rockies seem out of place here. Getting 200-1 on a team that would be in the postseason if it started today? None of the other 11 members of that club are listed at worse than 35-1.

    But, just like with the Diamondbacks, in spite of taking two out of three at home against the Dodgers in April, there's still the expectation that the loaded NL West will eventually chop the Rockies down to size and out of the playoffs. They've got quite a bit of offensive firepower, though, and Kris Bryant hasn't even amounted to anything yet for them.


    Chicago Cubs (100-1 Preseason; 180-1 Current)
    9-15, 8.5 GB in NL Central

    The negative-three run differential would have you believe the Cubs are better than their record, but don't forget there was a 21-0 win over the Pirates in there to skew the numbers. Take that game out of the data set and you're left with a more accurate representation of a team that doesn't hit particularly well and that can't seem to trust any of its starting pitchers.

    Seiya Suzuki was excellent for the first two weeks of the season, though, so at least there's that.

The 'Semi-Realistic Long Shots' Tier

3 of 8

    Miami's Jazz Chisholm Jr.
    Miami's Jazz Chisholm Jr.Eric Espada/Getty Images

    Cleveland Guardians (100-1 Preseason; 130-1 Current)
    12-13, 3 GB in AL Central

    Cleveland's sub-.500 record makes no sense. Jose Ramirez, Steven Kwan, Josh Naylor, Owen Miller and Andres Gimenez are all batting well above .300, and with the exception of Aaron Civale, the pitching staff has been somewhere between fine and solid.

    It just hasn't translated to as many wins as it should, and it's more than fair to wonder how much worse things will get once those bats regress to the mean. The Guardians have been more entertaining than expected, but slightly worse World Series odds than one month ago checks out. 


    Miami Marlins (80-1 Preseason; 80-1 Current)
    12-14, 6 GB in NL East

    The case for Miami was much more compelling before it got swept at home by the Diamondbacks last week. But even after that debacle, the Marlins are looking like the team we thought they were, with World Series odds that have not changed since one month ago.

    If they're actually going to flirt with making the playoffs, though, they'll need someone other than Jazz Chisholm Jr. to start hitting. Avisail Garcia, Jorge Soler and Miguel Rojas hitting a combined .205 while making $31.3 million isn't exactly a winning formula for a low-budget club.


    Seattle Mariners (40-1 Preseason; 45-1 Current)
    12-15, 5.5 GB in AL West

    Last year, the Mariners were one of the "luckiest" teams in MLB history, winning 90 games despite a Pythagorean record (based on a negative-51 run differential) of 76-86. There might be a rebalancing of the scales taking place this year, though, as Seattle is three games below .500 in spite of a positive-six run differential.

    In other words, this team sure looks better than its record, particularly at the dish with Ty France and J.P. Crawford both thriving. Starting pitcher Logan Gilbert is also out to a fantastic start with a 1.64 ERA. The 20-year postseason drought just might come to a merciful conclusion.


    Boston Red Sox (22-1 Preseason; 40-1 Current)
    10-17, 9 GB in AL East

    Though the Red Sox are already well behind the Yankees in the division, it's feasible that the AL East will produce the AL's No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 seeds. As such, Boston's World Series odds are substantially better than most of the other teams in fourth or fifth place in their division.

    But things are not going well in Beantown. Both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bobby Dalbec are black holes in the lineup. Just about every batter except for Xander Bogaerts has been a disappointment to some degree. Chris Sale is still nowhere close to a return from his rib injury. And while the starting rotation has recovered nicely from a rough first two weeks, the bullpen has been a great big mess.

The 'Hard Not to Like Those Odds' Tier

4 of 8

    Los Angeles' Shohei Ohtani
    Los Angeles' Shohei OhtaniRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Minnesota Twins (60-1 Preseason; 35-1 Current)
    16-11, 1st Place in AL Central

    After a 4-8 start, the Twins reeled off wins in 11 out of 12 games, going from fifth to a convincingly first in the AL Central in the blink of an eyethis despite Miguel Sano looking lost at the dish and Carlos Correa not playing at anywhere near his normal level of excellence. Translation: Minnesota has been better than expected, and yet there's plenty of room for improvement.

    However, with the White Sox still favored to win the AL Central and the expectation being that the three wild-card spots will go to the AL East (two) and AL West (one), Minnesota isn't getting anywhere near the respect from the oddsmakers that the other division leaders are getting. But that'll happen when you've lost 18 consecutive postseason games dating back to 2004. 


    St. Louis Cardinals (35-1 Preseason; 35-1 Current)
    16-10, 2.5 GB in NL Central

    This one is surprising. Both Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman have been on fire, Miles Mikolas is one of the top early candidates for NL Cy Young and the Cardinals are in the postseason picture as things stand. And yet, no change to the preseason odds for a team that has been at least somewhat better than anticipated.

    As such, this might be the best value bet on the board. Because, come on, there's at least a 3 percent chance that St. Louis wins the World Series.


    Philadelphia Phillies (22-1 Preseason; 35-1 Current)
    11-15, 7 GB in NL East

    Not gonna lie: Of the 30 possible choices, this is the most tantalizing. An 11-15 record isn't the start anyone was expecting from Philadelphia, but this team hasn't been bad. In fact, the Phillies entered play Saturday with a positive-four run differential and look like the second-best team in the NL East, regardless of what the records say.

    No one has been great on the mound, but pretty much all of the pitchers have been competent from a year-to-date perspective. Free-agent acquisitions Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos are both hitting for power. Bryce Harper hasn't been "MVP good," but he has been more than fine. The Phils are bound to rally to some extent, and buying low on the balloon from 22-1 to 35-1 might not be a bad idea.


    Los Angeles Angels (35-1 Preseason; 25-1 Current)
    18-10, 1st Place in AL West

    There's no doubt this team can hit. Led by Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and breakout sensation Taylor Ward, the Angels might have the best offense in baseball. And, no, I haven't forgotten about the Yankees or Dodgers. These bats are that legitimate.

    Are we buying the pitching staff, though? Ohtani, sure. Noah Syndergaard after what was basically a 29-month Tommy John absence, maybe. But is Patrick Sandoval this good? Are Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup and Oliver Ortega really the best middle relief trio in any bullpen? If so, this team is woefully undervalued at 25-1. Because the Angels have the hitting to compete in October so long as the pitching is competent.

The 'Slightly More Likely Than Getting Dealt a Blackjack' Tier

5 of 8

    San Diego's Manny Machado
    San Diego's Manny MachadoDenis Poroy/Getty Images

    Tampa Bay Rays (17-1 Preseason; 20-1 Current)
    17-10, 2 GB in AL East

    Tampa's odds have gotten a little worse since the season began, but that is more so a product of New York and Toronto's great odds than it is some sort of indicator that the Rays have been a disappointment. So this is easily the most intriguing value bet in the AL East; perhaps even in the majors.

    One big thing to keep in mind, too, is that the Rays have been all sorts of banged up, especially among the pitching staff. They should be getting Shane Baz (elbow) back in a month or so, and there's still hope that Tyler Glasnow (TJ surgery last August) will return before the end of the season. That duo plus Shane McClanahan and Corey Kluber could do some serious damage in October.


    San Francisco Giants (28-1 Preseason; 20-1 Current)
    14-12, 3.5 GB in NL West

    After a 13-5 start, the Giants have already come crashing back to earth and into fourth place in the NL West. Injuries are piling up, Joc Pederson has cooled off, pitchers not named Carlos Rodon are struggling and this season could get away from them in a hurry if they're not careful.

    All the same, San Francisco is right where it started the year in the eyes of most experts: smack dab on the postseason "bubble" after saying goodbye to Buster Posey, Kevin Gausman and Kris Bryant this offseason. They're less than a week into a 21-game stretch against teams with winning records, so let's check back in on Memorial Day weekend to see how things are going.


    Chicago White Sox (12-1 Preseason; 19-1 Current)
    12-13, 3 GB in AL Central

    As far as implied percentages are concerned, no team has plummeted further than the White Sox, dropping from 7.7 percent in the preseason to an even 5.0 percent. However, they have merely gone from the overwhelming favorite to win the AL Central to still the slight division favorite at -105. (And, yes, I did jump on that line as soon as I noticed it.)

    Chicago sputtered through an eight-game losing streak in April, most of it on the road against Cleveland and Minnesota. But the ChiSox were 6-2 before that skid and have gone 6-3 with two of the losses in nail-biting fashion since then. Their odds had to slide as a result of their slow start, but 19-1 is a good-looking line for what is pretty much inarguably the most talent-rich team in the division. Give this team time to get healthy, and it'll be a problem in October.


    San Diego Padres (19-1 Preseason; 16-1 Current)
    18-9, 1st Place in NL West

    Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist), Blake Snell (groin) and Drew Pomeranz (elbow) have yet to appear in a game. Wil Myers (thumb) and Luke Voit (biceps) both struggled before landing on the IL. And yet, the Padres have been arguably the fifth- or sixth-best team this season.

    Hard to believe their World Series odds have only slightly improved, given all those key players they should be getting back at some point. Manny Machado has been dominant. Eric Hosmer and Joe Musgrove have both performed at All-Star levels. And MacKenzie Gore is well on his way to leapfrogging Seiya Suzuki for NL Rookie of the Year. If they played in any other division, they would be 12-1, at worst.

The 'Quality Teams Not Quite Favored to Reach the Championship Series' Tier

6 of 8

    Milwaukee's Christian Yelich
    Milwaukee's Christian YelichTodd Kirkland/Getty Images

    Atlanta Braves (10-1 Preseason; 13-1 Current)
    12-16, 7 GB in NL East

    It always takes the market a while to adjust to a struggling-but-reigning World Series champion, and that's particularly true with the Braves for two reasons.

    No. 1 is that they were in this position one year ago, starting out 12-16. And it wasn't until improving to 56-55 on August 6 that they finally had a winning record. After we just watched them figure things out after four months of mediocrity, the Braves could probably slip to 10 games below .500 before anyone would legitimately consider throwing in the towel.

    No. 2 is that one of the best players in baseball is back from injury. Ronald Acuna Jr. missed the first three weeks, but he's already approaching midseason form with a 450-foot moonshot to dead center against the Brewers on Friday. If they could also get Adam Duvall to snap out of his slow start, they'll be back in the postseason picture in no time. 


    Milwaukee Brewers (16-1 Preseason; 11-1 Current)
    19-8, 1st Place in NL Central

    Watch out, world.

    Christian Yelich is back.

    The 2018 NL MVP hasn't even been Milwaukee's most valuable player thus far. Willy Adames (eight home runs) and Rowdy Tellez (seven home runs) have been the main sources of power behind the highest-scoring team in the majors. And led by Corbin Burnes, Eric Lauer and Josh Hader, the pitching staff has been downright nasty, averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings.

    But there's just something about Yelich's rearrival that fully validates the Brew Crew as a contender. Over his last nine games, he's batting .394 with three home runs, propelling Milwaukee to several blowout victories. If Yelich is finally ready to shine after disappointing 2020 and 2021 campaigns, Milwaukee is going to make a serious run at Los Angeles for NL supremacy. (We're already looking forward to the seven head-to-head games in August.)


    Houston Astros (10-1 Preseason; 19-2 Current)
    16-11, 1.5 GB in AL West

    The Astros stumbled out of the gate. After 16 games, they were 7-9 and had lost consecutive series to the Mariners, Angels and Blue Jays. With the exception of Lance McCullers Jr. (flexor strain) already on the 60-day IL and Jose Altuve (hamstring) missing about two weeks of action, Houston has been healthier than most teams. The Astros just could not seem to score any runs, held to four or fewer in 13 of those first 16 games.

    At least the pitching has been much improved over the past two weeks, holding 10 of the last 11 opponents to three runs or fewer. Justin Verlander still looks great at 39 years old, and the overall strength of this pitching staff is the biggest reason the Astros are still well ahead of the Angels (25-1) despite residing slightly behind them in the standings.

The 'If the Dodgers Don't Win It, It'll Probably Be 1 of These Teams' Tier

7 of 8

    New York's Aaron Judge
    New York's Aaron JudgeVaughn Ridley/Getty Images

    New York Mets (10-1 Preseason; 8-1 Current)
    19-9, 1st Place in NL East

    It's hard to find anything to complain about with the Mets. Sure, we were expecting more than five home runs from Pete Alonso, and Starling Marte sitting at 4-for-8 on stolen base attempts after going 47-for-52 last year is a bit shocking.

    Save for catcher James McCann, though, all of the regulars are batting north of .240. Pitching has been great pretty much across the board. And the prospect of getting Jacob deGrom (shoulder) back at some point in the not too distant future sets the Mets' ceiling quite high.

    It doesn't hurt that the rest of the NL East is all saddled with a sub-.500 record, either. It's still ridiculously early to worry about the standings, but the Mets already have a six-game lead over their closest challenger. No other division leader is up by more than three games.


    Toronto Blue Jays (9-1 Preseason; 7-1 Current)
    16-11, 3 GB in AL East

    As far as DraftKings is concerned, the Blue Jays are tied with the Yankees as the favorites to win the AL pennant.

    This is surprising, given their year-to-date run differential of minus-eight and the lackluster/disappointing/injured starts that Hyun Jin Ryu, Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Berrios have had. Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman have been excellent, and everyone knows the Blue Jays have the sluggers to win high-scoring affairs on a semi-regular basis. But Toronto was hoping for a better run differential when it committed to paying each of four starting pitchers an eight-figure salary this season.


    New York Yankees (9-1 Preseason, 7-1 Current)
    18-7, 1st Place in AL East

    Led by Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo (nine home runs each), the Bronx Bombers are looking mighty fine. But the real key to New York's early success has been the pitching. Gerrit Cole looks like an ace again after a rough first three starts. Nestor Cortes is an early Cy Young candidate. And this sure appears to be the best bullpen in baseball.

    Save for getting nothing out of the catcher spot (be it Kyle Higashioka or Jose Trevino behind the plate), there's not much to complain about here. But maybe they can trade for impending free agent Willson Contreras from the Cubs, or get Gary Sanchez back from the Twins if they fall apart before the August 2 deadline.

The Clear Favorite

8 of 8

    Los Angeles' Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts
    Los Angeles' Freddie Freeman and Mookie BettsIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Los Angeles Dodgers (4.75-1 Preseason; 4.5-1 Current)
    16-7, 1st Place in NL West

    It must be nice to lose Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, AJ Pollock, Kenley Jansen, Corey Knebel and Joe Kelly in a single offseason and get better.

    At the start of play Saturday, the Dodgers had scored twice as many runs (114) as they allowed (57). There has only been one game in which they allowed more than five runs (a 9-4 loss to Colorado almost a full month ago) compared to two shutouts and seven other games relenting exactly one run.

    The funny/scary thing about it is that heading into the season, it was the overwhelming strength of the batting order that made the Dodgers seem like an inevitable playoff team and a likely World Series champion.

    And while they've certainly been hitting well, there's plenty of room for improvement. No one in the lineup has more than four home runs. Justin Turner (.225 OBP), Cody Bellinger (.275) and Max Muncy (.319) are struggling to get on base. Frankly, nobody in this lineup is exceeding expectations, making it feel like these bats have nowhere to go but up.

    The next three-plus weeks of the schedule should help wake those bats up too. L.A.'s next seven series after this weekend are: at Pittsburgh, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Arizona, at Philadelphia, at Washington, at Arizona, vs. Pittsburgh. I'm not sure what the MLB record is for winning percentage in May, but that record is officially in danger.

    If you are in any way tempted to bet on the World Series favorites, you better do it now before the Dodgers wake up on June 2 with something in the vicinity of a 37-13 record and a line approaching +300.


    Gambling problem? Call (877-8-HOPENY) or text HOPENY (467369).

    If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), visit (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).

    Odds and lines subject to change. 21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See for full terms and conditions.