There’s no better time of year to be a baseball fan than April.
Hope springs eternal for your favorite team, and the entire season is right there in front of you. Literally, anything can happen. That also means the betting opportunities are aplenty, and you can really cash in if you’ve got a sharp read on a team the rest of the baseball world might sleep on.
We think we’ve got three teams right here that could exceed their win totals. Using DraftKings Sportsbook’s MLB odds, here are a few clubs who feel like good bets to cash the OVER on their total in 2022.
Houston Astros (91.5)
Confidence in Houston says as much about the American League West as anything else. The Oakland Athletics have made it clear they have no intention of competing. The Texas Rangers might score a million runs — and give up 2 million. The Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners combined last season to go 48-33 in one-run games, and despite their respective improvements, that seems unsustainable. The Astros, meanwhile, are positioned to succeed, even factoring in the loss of Carlos Correa. It’s somehow still a relentless lineup, and Jeremy Peña making an immediate impact would soften the blow of Correa’s departure. It does require some confidence in a rotation that will be without Lance McCullers to start the season and is putting a lot of pressure on Justin Verlander’s 39-year-old, surgically repaired arm. The occasional flashes of brilliance from Framber Valdez, José Urquidy and Luis Garcia should help ease some of that concern.
Miami Marlins (77.5)
Admittedly, this requires a massive jump for a team that won 67 games last season. But despite the Marlins’ apparent reluctance to really spend money, they have done a nice job of building a young roster that can compete. Specifically, you have to love their rotation that will be anchored by Sandy Alcantara and Trevor Rogers. FanGraphs’ ZIPs projections has each ranking in the top 30 in all of baseball in WAR among starting pitchers, and the Marlins’ deal for Jesús Luzardo was one of the more underrated pickups of last season’s trade deadline. The Nation League East also is full of question marks. The New York Mets loaded up, but there already are injury concerns. The Atlanta Braves are defending World Series champions, but they weren’t overly impressive for much of last season. The Philadelphia Phillies are a problem, but the Washington Nationals should stink. And don’t overlook the fact that Miami went 21-29 in one-run games last season. Even though the Marlins were bad, it’s not crazy to expect some positive regression there.
Cleveland Guardians (76.5)
There’s certainly a scenario where the Guardians nose-dive and use it as an excuse to sell off pieces. But there’s also a chance Cleveland hangs around in the AL Central, and its best chance to do it is early in the season. Cleveland gets seven games against Kansas City and Oakland in April, two teams that aren’t likely to be very good. The Guardians also play the White Sox seven times by mid-May, which means they should be able to take advantage of Chicago’s early-season injury issues, most notably ace Lance Lynn’s ailing knee. Like Miami, there’s room for positive regression this season; Cleveland went 7-9 in extra innings last season and 17-22 in one-run games. As for the actual roster, José Ramírez is one of the best players in baseball, and Franmil Reyes is an underrated run producer. The rotation, led by Cy Young hopeful Shane Bieber, is full of guys who can log big innings and could be even better if Triston McKenzie — who has more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings for his career — can take the next step.