The 2022 Major League Baseball playoffs begin Friday with the Wild Card Series, and while the World Series seems certain, there is plenty of value to fade popular choices.
Bookmakers have tabbed the Dodgers and the Houston Astros to matchup by November with Los Angeles hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy. But the amount of talent in other clubs shows they have a chance to rival the favorites, which means there is value that can be found elsewhere.
Case in point, NESN betting analyst Sam Panayotovich identified a good World Series bet to make. You can take the Dodgers to play the Cleveland Guardians in the World Series at +2800. A $100 bet pays out $2,900.
Here are four other bets worth taking either for value or just to give yourself a sweat while watching the MLB playoffs.
Julio Rodríguez 2022 postseason home run leader +2500 (Caesars Sportsbook)
The Seattle Mariners can easily be seen as a team that’s just happy to have made the playoffs for the first time since 2001. But if they’re going to make some noise in the postseason, it’s going to be behind Rodríguez’s bat. Aaron Judge is the favorite in this category at +600, and this feels like bookmakers trying to bait people who are still caught up in the Yankees slugger breaking the American League record.
What can be forgotten is Judge was on a cold streak, and it took a while for him to tie and then break the record. Judge was also walked 111 times this season, the highest rate in baseball behind San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto, who was walked 135 times, which makes his +3000 odds exciting but tough to back. The 2022 Home Run Derby was a breakout moment for Rodríguez, and the 2022 postseason can do the same for the Mariners rookie. A $100 bet pays out $2,600.
World Series 2022 Straight Forecast: Guardians beat Dodgers +10000 (DraftKings)
Let’s go a step further and have some fun. Cleveland manager Terry Francona doesn’t sound too worried about advancing over the Tampa Bay Rays to make it to the American League Divisional Series, and as mentioned before, the talent on the Guardians roster can be good enough to take down top teams like the Astros and the New York Yankees. They are a team who gets on base, has a solid starting pitching staff and one of the best closers in the game in Emmanuel Clase. A $100 bet pays out $10,100.
New York Yankees to play New York Mets +1900 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
While fading bookmakers on Judge to lead the postseason in home runs is a wise decision, this bet is more just for fun. A “Subway Series” title game for the first time in 22 years isn’t an unrealistic possibility. The Yankees certainly have a more realistic path than the Mets do in a daunting National League. But it would be great entertainment to see the Mets beat the Yankees and then sign Judge in the following offseason. A $100 bet pays out $2,000.
World Series Finalist: Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres +15000 (BetMGM)
Now let’s get crazy. How about instead of an all east coast matchup, we get a west coast matchup that doesn’t feature the Dodgers. The whole point of the Padres making their aggressive trade deadline moves was they felt this was their window to win a World Series. While Fernando Tatis Jr. won’t be a part of that, they still have the young talent that has the potential to make a run at the World Series. As mentioned in the Rodríguez bet, the Mariners would need a lot to happen for them to make some noise in the AL, but who doesn’t love an underdog story? A $100 bet pays out $15,100.