MLB Season Kick-Off: The Betting Favourites
It feels like a lifetime ago that the World Series was won by the Atlanta Braves in 2021. It capped off a memorable season; we saw the Cardinals go undefeated for 17 games on the trot, Shohei Ohtani made history as the first player to throw 100 strikeouts and hit over 10 home runs in just one season, and we were even treated to a game at the Field of Dreams ballpark. If you build it, they will come. And come we did.
And now we find ourselves hot off the press in 2022, with another MLB season finally, officially, arriving, and the Bodog sportsbook ready to swing into action all over again. We’re shaping up for yet another season of unpredictability and thrills for MLB bettors at Bodog.
And while we can’t promise that the Cardinals will manage another monumental winning streak, or that Ohtani will break more records, we can make our own predictions about which teams are looking strong.
The MLB season start had been scheduled for March 31, but a stand-off between the league and the players’ union led to the announcement that the season would be delayed. There had been concerns about another lockout, but we can put that behind us now as the stalemate has ended.
So the question now, after the dithering and the delays, is: when does the 2022 MLB season start – for real? And the answer is, that presently, everything looks set to begin on April 7. A total of nine games will be played on the first day of the season with a further 11 taking place the next day on the 8th. The first game of the new MLB season will be the Boston Red Sox at the New York Yankees and will take place at 1:05 pm local time (EDT).
Top 5 Favourites for the 2022 MLB Season
While it might have been the Atlanta Braves that emerged victorious from the World Series in 2021, they’re not currently one of our favourites ahead of the new MLB season. The regular season is long, and as Bodog bettors know, anything could change on a dime.
LA Dodgers (+450)
The LA Dodgers suffered a long drought of success that lasted from the late 1980s all the way until 2017 when they picked up their first NL Pennant in almost 30 years. A few seasons later and they were riding high on the franchise’s seventh World Series title overall, and the first in the 21st century. The 2021 season wasn’t quite as fruitful, but LA were knocked out in the playoffs by the Braves, so Dodgers fans can’t be too disheartened.
Under Dave Roberts, the Dodgers have enjoyed a triumphant turnaround and that looks set to continue in 2022. The team has a new General Manager in Brandon Gomes, which creates a few unknowns, but they’re still looking strong, earning them the best MLB odds ahead of the new season.
Toronto Blue Jays (+800)
You might be wondering why the Toronto Blue Jays are so high up on the favourite list, given that the team didn’t even make it into the playoffs last season, and only just scraped through with a low-scoring wildcard in 2020.
While that’s all true, there are genuine reasons to be optimistic for the Blue Jays. 2022 is the first time they’ll get to play all their home games in their own stadium after two years of playing south of the border. The additional restrictions placed on visitors to the Rogers Centre may turn out to be an advantage for Toronto this year as well.
The team also has a strong roster with plenty of depth that will work in its favour, making it deserving of its +800 odds.
Houston Astros (+950)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, close behind the Blue Jays are the Houston Astros, the team that lost to the Atlanta Braves in last year’s World Series. 2021 wasn’t a fluke either, as the Astros have made it to the final round of the MLB playoffs in three of the last five seasons, and even won the playoffs back in 2017.
After two years of falling at the final hurdle, fans will be hoping they can go all the way again in 2022.
They’ve got everything they need to make a win possible, including a strong offence that topped the batting averages last season. If they keep that up this year, those odds could shorten very quickly.
New York Mets (+1000)
The New York Mets made it to the World Series back in 2015 but lost 4-1 to the Kansas City Royals. A year later, they made their final playoff appearance on a wildcard berth and then fell into a decline. In 2020, new management took over and a rebuilding began.
Billy Eppler joined as the new general manager at the tail end of last season, Buck Showalter was also brought on board as manager, and a string of quality players including Max Scherzer, Nick Plummer, and Mark Canha joined the ranks as well.
With such a dramatic personnel change, a period of adjustment will be par for the course, but if they can do that quickly and catch up with their collective potential, the Mets could really be a strong contender for the World Series this season.
New York Yankees (+1000)
The New York Yankees are the most successful team in MLB history, though “history” is certainly the most important word in that sentence. Despite bagging a World Series in 2009, much of their glory is archived in the first half of the 20th century.
But to be fair, on balance, things are looking up for the Yankees these days. After a change in ownership in 2017, they’ve been making regular playoff appearances, and at any time they could take it to the next level, should everything fall into place.
They picked up Josh Donaldson in the off-season, who could be transformative, provided he can shake off the injuries that have plagued him for several years. The problem is that if Donaldson does have to sit some games out, the Yankees lack the essential depth needed to keep things afloat. Died-in-the-wool Yankees fans can only hope that such a scenario remains only fodder for pundits and bookmakers.
The MLB season start is on our doorstep. Right now is the best time to get your head around the state if play, and jump inside Bodog to place your bets good and early.