While the Atlanta Braves are free to bask in their 2021 World Series victory, it's already time for us to start thinking about betting on MLB for the 2022 season. And since we've already tackled our way-too-early 2022 World Series picks, it only feels right that our next batch of 2022 MLB picks hit the best bets to win the American and National League Championships.
Of course, this early into the MLB offseason, the best online sportsbooks have yet to drop their 2022 MLB pennant race betting odds. But we can identify the top AL and NL contenders by taking stock of the opening 2022 World Series betting odds from BetOnline:
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+480|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+850|
|Chicago White Sox||+950|
|New York Yankees||+1300|
|New York Mets||+1500|
|San Diego Padres||+1600|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1600|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2500|
|San Francisco Giants||+2500|
|Boston Red Sox||+2500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+3000|
|Kansas City Royals||+10000|
Definitely check back to see when 2022 MLB World Series odds get officially released. For the time being, we will give you our three best 2022 MLB bets for the AL Championship and our three best 2022 MLB bets for the NL Championship. This way, you'll be ready to make a decision when 2022 MLB odds are fully announced later in the offseason.
2022 MLB Pennant Race Predictions
Before digging into our 2022 MLB AL and NL picks, please remember that analyzing next year's landscape is a difficult task at the moment. We have yet to see MLB go through the offseason. There will be trades, free-agency signings and even injuries that shake up rosters and impact the competitive field.
All of our current best 2022 MLB bets are based on rosters as they currently stand and try to account for any uncertainty or prospective moves that might be made. It's important to keep track of MLB offseason odds, though, so you can see if any of these teams suddenly become less-than-stellar wagers.
Better American League Bet: Houston Astros or Chicago White Sox?
Don't be one of those people who decides to write off the Houston Astros after their latest World Series loss. They might be 0-3 during their three championship-round appearances, but they have been one of the most dominant teams, if not the absolute most dominant, over the past half-decade.
Some people will talk themselves into the Chicago White Sox as the better American League bet. You shouldn't be one of them.
Will the New York Yankees be Real AL Championship Contenders?
The short answer: Yes, we believe the New York Yankees will be in the thick of the 2022 AL pennant race.
Indeed, they were super inconsistent this past season. But their offense started to show signs of life later in the year. A batting order with Aaron Judge and Giancarlos Stanton won't post a below-average slugging percentage again.
The Toronto Blue Jays Could be AL Favorites
If push comes to shove, we're picking the Astros to come out of the American League next season. But we're giving real consideration to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Last year's squad led the league in slugging percentage and was second in batting average. Without a ton of key free agents, plus an average age of under 27 in their batting order, we're fully confident the Blue Jays will be back—and better than ever.
Better National League Bet: San Francisco Giants or San Diego Padres?
Many will immediately side with the San Francisco Giants in this discussion. We're in the minority.
The Giants had a great year. They were probably the third best team in the regular season. But their offense is on the older side, and many of their best pitchers will be on the wrong side of 30 next year.
The Padres are younger, and they have two potential MVP candidates in Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. Sure, they're coming off a crummy season. But they have plenty of room for internal improvement.
Will the Reigning Champion Braves be NL Contenders?
Believe it or not, the Braves are barely laying top-seven World Series odds in 2022 after just winning the whole thing. That is incredibly weird.
Linemakers are likely accounting for the fact Atlanta didn't climb above .500 until mid-August this season. We don't care. They made a bunch of star acquisitions at the deadline, have money to spend this summer and are only at risk of losing one top-25 free agency. Consider them an NL championship contender until they prove to be the inverse.
NL Beware: Dodgers Aren't Going Anywhere
Will the Los Angeles Dodgers be our top 2022 National League Championship pick? We're not yet sure. But to believe they're done contending is a joke.
No pitching staff posted a better ERA this season, and the average age of Los Angeles' arms remains under 29. Though the Dodgers have a cabal of really good players entering free agency, it's hard to worry about them taking a step back. They've shown in the past they'll pay to not only keep incumbent players, but acquire additional talent.
Check out this list of the best online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your MLB futures betting: