When the 2022 baseball season began, most of the best online MLB beting sites ticketed the Houston Astros for yet another AL West Division title. Nearly halfway through the schedule, it turns out the oddsmakers may have been spot on.
Despite a touch-and-go start to the season, the Astros will enter July with a dominant lead over the rest of the American League West Division. Just look at the odds to win the AL West in 2022 as proof, courtesy of the linemakers over at BetOnline:
|Los Angeles Angels||+2400|
This is a big-time lead for the Astros. And yet, there’s still plenty of baseball left to play. Could the Texas Rangers maybe sneak their way into the race? How about the Los Angeles Angels? Or maybe the Seattle Mariners? (No, we won’t pretend the sad-sack Oakland Athletics have a chance.)
Regardless of where you’re leaning at the moment, make sure you’re rechecking these 2022 MLB futures before settling on any picks. All MLB division title lines are subject to shift through the end of the season, and our 2022 baseball betting odds are accurate heading into games on Thursday, June 29.
On the bright side, with so much time left on the MLB’s 2022 docket, you have ample opportunity to check out our in-depth reviews of the top online odds providers. Whether you’re looking for the best sites to bet on the World Series or the best online sportsbooks in the United States, we’ve got you covered. And then some.
When the season first opened, it looked like the Houston Astros’ window might be closed. Their offense, in particular, looked absolutely cooked.
So much for that.
The Astros have worked their way back into the top 10 of on-base plus slugging percentage and are now fifth overall in straight slugging percentage. Almost no team has been as potent from behind the plate over the past eight weeks or so.
Houston’s rise is so stark that both Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker are starting to generate MVP buzz. We have a hard time seeing either of them catch up to Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees in this discussion, but the mere mention of them says it all: The Astros are back.
Oddsmakers remain higher on the Angels than other teams in the AL West even though Los Angeles doesn’t have the second-best record. And yet, there’s no mystery as to why: The Angels have super-duper stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, and everyone else doesn’t.
While we understand this logic, we’re not quite sure whether to fully endorse it. Baseball isn’t basketball, where one player can carry an entire team. Nor is it even like football, where having a megastar quarterback can ensure Super Bowl contention. Two players aren’t going to ferry the Angels back above .500, which they left behind long ago.
And, frankly, that’s a shame. Both Trout and Ohtani are hanging around the outskirts of the MVP discussion. They just can’t get any help on a consistent basis—not from the starting pitchers, not from the bullpen, not from supporting position players, not even from the lineup management.
Make no mistake, Los Angeles will always hang around this conversation because of Trout and Ohtani. But we’re starting to feel like their odds are being superficially inflated.
This question is actually easier to answer than we thought. It’s the Mariners all the way.
Both Texas and Seattle leave much to be desired on the offensive side of the plate. Neither batting order packs a ton of power, and they both rank middle of the road to worse in on base percentage.
Our determining factor comes down to the pitching staff, both inside the starting rotation and bullpen. The Mariners have quietly cobbled together a top-10 ranking in ERA, and opponents are hitting just .235 against them from behind the plate. The Rangers have virtually no elite pitching metrics or performances of which to speak.
In fact, we’d call Texas holding onto second place in the AL West this late into the season an unmitigated miracle.
Look, let’s be real: There is no other choice here.
Maybe you don’t trust the Houston Astros given the age of some key members of their core and the rickety manner in which they began the season. Get over it. We beg you These aren’t April’s Astros. They are on fire. No batting order is more terrifying at the moment.
Beyond that, even if you don’t trust the Astros, you should trust everyone else behind them much less. Houston enters July leading the second place Rangers by 10 games in the loss column. It would take a collapse of monument, epic, borderline unfathomable proportions for the Astros to cede first place.
Scoff at -2000 odds if you must. Just know they probably aren’t getting any more attractive. The AL West is already won as far as we’re concerned.
SBS Prediction: Houston Astros (-2000)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your 2022 MLB betting: