Entering the 2021 MLB season, the Los Angeles Dodgers (+350) were listed as the favorite to win the World Series.
They ultimately fell short of their responsibility as title favorites, losing 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.
Title-favorite Los Angeles enters the 2022 season with slightly larger odds this time around (+475 on DraftKings), with no team coming in as a close second. The Toronto Blue Jays (+900), New York Yankees (+900), New York Mets (+1000), Houston Astros (+1000), and Atlanta Braves (+1200) are then all clustered together.
The Dodgers have been one of the most consistent and dominant teams in baseball in the last decade or so. They are currently riding a nine-year playoff appearance streak. They have won at least 91 games in a season for the past eight full seasons, the most being 106. They reached the World Series in three out of four seasons from 2017 to 2020, winning the whole thing in 2020.
The rest of the league should be biting their nails because this current Dodgers club might be their most lethal group yet.
From the rotation to the lineup, this team has no weakness and is undoubtedly the best team in baseball. But are they a lock to win it all? Hmm.
Unfortunately for Dodgers fans, sports betting in California won’t be legal this season. It’s more likely that Dodgers fans won’t have access to sites like DraftKings Sportsbook or Caesars Sportsbook California until 2023 at the earliest.
“Lock” And “Baseball” Don’t Go Together
Winning the World Series is one of the toughest tasks in all of sports, and it starts with the sport’s parity. Baseball produces one of the most upsets out of the four major American sports, making it hard for the better teams, like the Dodgers, to be dominant.
The sport’s unpredictable nature makes it so that there’s no such thing as a safe bet or “lock.” The Dodgers’ World Series chances may be far from being a lock, but that doesn’t make it a bad bet, either.
LA Shouldn’t Pay Much Attention To NL West Opponents
No other team in the division poses a real threat to L.A.’s title chances. The Padres (+1900) have made the playoffs one time since 2006, and that was in the condensed, Covid-influenced 2020 season that featured record-eight playoff teams per league. San Diego has had a solid shot at making the playoffs this season, but then projected-2022 MVP candidate Fernando Tatis Jr. fractured his wrist during the offseason and will now miss the first few months of the season, dropping their projected win total from 91.5 to 86 and potentially causing the Padres their playoff chances.
San Francisco (+2800) shattered its 2021 projected win total of 75.5 with an MLB-leading 107 games but ultimately lost to the Dodgers 3-2 in the NLDS. The Golden City should expect considerable regression this year with Buster Posey (retirement), Kevin Gausman (Toronto), and Kris Bryant (Colorado) all gone.
Arizona and Colorado (both +25000) will both likely finish toward the bottom of the standings, both division-wide and MLB-wide.
Los Angeles Is Loaded
If someone told you that the Dodgers would end up being better after losing their best pitcher in Max Scherzer and one of their best fielders in Corey Seager, you would think they’re crazy. Yet somehow, they might’ve gotten better.
Scherzer’s departure makes L.A.’s rotation more top-heavy than in years past, but it’s still one of the Majors’ best, with Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, and Clayton Kershaw still handling the front.
Here’s where the Dodgers get scary. The team added Freddie Freeman to an already top-five offense that features All-Stars and MVPs Mookie Betts, Trae Turner, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, and Cody Bellinger. This lineup has one of the greatest combinations of slugging, power hitting, and run-scoring ever.
The Dodgers filled their hole at reliever when news broke out today that Los Angeles traded for reliever Craig Kimbrel. The 8-time All-Star has been one of the best closers in baseball, leading the MLB in saves four times. Kimbrel was misused by the White Sox, often playing the set-up role instead of his usual ninth-inning role, which resulted in a 5.09 ERA through 24 games. Los Angeles is optimistic that they’ll see the 2021 Cubs’ version of Kimbrel that posted a 0.49 ERA and 23 saves through 39 games.
“Lock” Is A Stretch, But +475 Odds Is A Steal
The Dodgers have paved themselves a very smooth path to the playoffs and a manageable ride to a championship. They have the highest projected win total (97.5) in the MLB this season and are 11 projected wins clear of their toughest divisional opponent in the Padres (88.5). They are also likely to receive a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Los Angeles has playmakers in all areas of the game. They have a pitching rotation, albeit a little shallow, that can keep up with almost any other in the league. In the lineup department, no other lineup in the league will be able to keep up with the Dodgers’ array of hitters.
That being said, baseball is nearly impossible to predict. I would not call the Dodgers a lock to win the World Series. But for a team this stacked to be listed at +475 to win the title, you cannot pass up on that.
Featured Image: ClutchPoints