The 2022 Major League Baseball season started with 30 World Series hopefuls.
Now, we’re down to 12.
The MLB postseason kicks off Friday with four wild-card games — two each in the American League and National League — and there are plenty of ways to bet your hard-earned dollars on the playoffs. Whether you key in on specific matchups, toss in a few team/player props or roll the dice on a championship futures wager, the market is rife with opportunity.
For now, let’s focus on the World Series odds. Who will hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy when the dust settles this
Here were the odds as of Thursday afternoon at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Los Angeles Dodgers +340
Houston Astros +425
Atlanta Braves +500
New York Yankees +550
New York Mets +900
Toronto Blue Jays +1300
St. Louis Cardinals +2200
Philadelphia Phillies +2500
San Diego Padres +2800
Tampa Bay Rays +2800
Seattle Mariners +3000
Cleveland Guardians +3500
There’s a clear divide between the top four teams and the other eight postseason participants. That should come as no surprise given each team’s résumé, but it’s also an indication of the advantage the top four clubs have under the current playoff format.
The Astros and Yankees have a first-round bye in the AL, while the Dodgers and Braves have a first-round bye in the NL. They’ll face winners from the wild-card round, which this season, for the first time, features four best-of-three series played in the higher seed’s ballpark.
All told, the top of the betting board doesn’t look all that different from preseason expectations. The Dodgers and Astros have been perennial championship contenders, the Braves are the defending World Series champions and the Yankees appeared poised for a bounce-back after an underwhelming 2021 campaign ended with a wild-card loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Don’t sleep on the rest of the board, though. The Mets finished with the same record as the Braves (101-61), the Cardinals and Guardians handily won their respective divisions, and none of the other five is a pushover by any means.
Long story short: Anything can happen at this stage, even though the odds reflect what’s most likely to happen over the next few weeks.