A Guide for the 2022 MLB Season

MLB Pitcher

After a brief, 99-day scare, the 2022 MLB season appears to be back on track. The MLB and MLBPA reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), ending the labor shortage. With the lockout officially over, we can now turn our attention to the upcoming 2022 MLB season.

The return of America’s pastime is big enough news in its own right. However, the MLB season also offers plenty of betting opportunities. With a full schedule of games ahead, many popular online sportsbooks have already posted odds for dozens of prop bets. Keep reading for a look at how you can win real money betting on the MLB.

Important Dates for 2022 MLB Season

The 2021-22 MLB lockout was the second-longest work stoppage in MLB history. As a result, there were many indications that the season would be shortened. The MLB even went so far as to cancel the first two series of the regular season.

Luckily, the two sides reached an agreement in time to save the full regular season. The MLB even announced that the two series that were canceled would be rescheduled for later in the year. Spring training games have already started, and the 2022 MLB opening day is just over two weeks away. A full list of the important dates for the 2022 MLB season can be found below.

  • Open Day of the 2022 MLB Season: April 7th
  • 2022 MLB All-Star Week: July 15th-19th
  • MLB at Field of Dreams: August 11th
  • End of the 2022 Regular Season: October 5th
  • Start of the 2022 MLB Wild Card Games: October 7th

How Did the MLB Lockout End?

The lockout started last December when the CBA expired. To end the labor shortage, the MLB and MLBPA had to come to terms with a new labor deal. Team owners used the lockout to create leverage for the negotiations.

As with most professional sports CBA negotiations, a large part of the discussions centered on money. Despite not having a hard salary cap, the MLB effectively limits player earnings with the luxury tax. The two sides also struggled to come to terms on the amount for the pre-arbitration pool and minimum salary expectations.

MLB Dodger at Bat

In addition to the issues regarding compensation, the MLB and MLBPA also looked to address long-standing issues such as tanking. The two sides also discussed the playoffs’ structure and reports of service time manipulation. Not all of the issues were resolved, but both sides eventually did agree on a new CBA.

What New Rules Will There Be This MLB Season?

There have been many temporary rule changes in the last two seasons to help the league cope with the pandemic. As part of the CBA negotiations, the league and the players agreed to make several of the changes permanent. Some issues, such as a pitch clock and the defensive shift, will be addressed next year by a joint competition committee.

The CBA talks led to two major rule changes that will be adopted this season. First, the two sides agreed to implement a universal designated hitter. How that decision will affect the reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani is yet to be seen. The MLB and MLBPA also agreed on an expanded playoff. Now, six teams from each league will have a chance in the post-season.

Not all of the changes from the pandemic are sticking around. For instance, doubleheaders are back to their full nine innings. The automatic runner rule in extra innings was also eliminated. Both changes were implemented in the 2020 season but received mixed reviews and will not be making a comeback.

Betting Odds for the 2022 MLB Season

With the season opener just weeks away, bettors are running out of time to place their preseason MLB bets. If you are new to online MLB betting, make sure you check out our top-rated sports betting sites. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the MLB betting odds available at Bovada.

Who Are the 2022 World Series Favorites?

One of the biggest talking points every offseason is which team will be the favorites to win the next championship. After all, despite what Commissioner Manfred may believe, the World Series trophy is important. According to the oddsmakers at Bovada, the LA Dodgers (+450) are the preseason favorites to win it all.

MLB Rays vs Dodgers Play

The Dodgers failed to win back-to-back championships last season, but their roster is loaded and ready for another championship run. In the AL, the Toronto Blue Jays (+800) have the best odds to win the World Series. They also have the second-best odds overall. The Yankees (+900), Astros (+950), and Mets (+1000) are also listed at 10-1 odds or better to win it all.

Favorites to Win the National League

LA is the favorite to win it all this season. So, it is no surprise that the Dodgers (+220) are also the favorites to win in the National League. They came up short last season, losing in the NLCS to the eventual world champion Atlanta Braves.

The Braves themselves have the third-best odds to win the National League at +600. Atlanta is slightly behind the New York Mets who are listed at +500. Rounding out the top-four is San Diego. Bovada currently has the Padres at +650 to represent the NL in the World Series.

Favorites to Win the American League

In the American League, there are four teams with 5-1 odds or better the win the ALCS. At the top, the Astros and Blue Jays are tied at +400. Houston has been in title contention for years and could make back-to-back appearances in the World Series. Toronto on the other hand missed the postseason entirely last season.

There is also a tie for the third-best odds to win the American League. Bovada has both the White Sox and Yankees listed at +500 to make the World Series. Both teams have struggled to make deep playoff runs in recent years. Neither the Yankees nor the White Sox have appeared in the World Series in over a decade.

2022 National League MVP Betting Favorites

Bovada also offers betting odds on a number of regular-season awards, including MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year. In the National League, Bovada has Juan Soto (+300) with the best odds to win NL MVP.  Soto was the runner-up last season and is in a prime position to get over the hump this year.

Soto is the preseason favorite, but he is far from the only player with betting value. Several other players also have better than 10-1 odds for the award. Ronald Acuna Jr. (+550) has the second-best odds to win NL MVP. Last year’s winner Bryce Harper (+850) is also a contender, as is Fernando Tatis Jr. (+950).

2022 American League MVP Betting Favorites

In the American League, the preseason MVP betting is a three-man race. Reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani (+325) is favored to repeat in 2022. However, Ohtani’s production could be reduced with the new DH rules. The Angels’ two-way star won the award unanimously last season.

MLB Cardinals Player and Catcher Talking

If Ohtani’s performance does dip, the door will be open for Mike Trout (+350) or Vladimir Guerrero Jr (+400). Trout won the award in 2019, but his 2021 season was derailed with a calf injury last May. This year, he looks to get back on track and into MVP form. Guerrero Jr. on the other hand finished second in AL MVP voting last season.

Conclusion

Despite the second-longest labor stoppage in league history, the 2022 MLB season appears to be back on track.

Keep an eye on our sports blog section for more on the best online sports betting odds.