The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t just favored to win the National League West this year; they are favored to win the World Series at +500, as of March 25, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Manager Dave Roberts has already guaranteed that outcome. But the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers should have something to say about that as they make their way through the summer.
Here are the odds for each NL West team to win the division this season.
2022 NL West odds
Favorites: Los Angeles Dodgers
Following the signing of Freddie Freeman, baseball pundits are asking if this Dodgers lineup is the best ever. It’s asked only to be provocative and to kill time on debate shows until the season actually starts. But yes, if the Dodgers’ hitting stars all shine — and get healthy campaigns from Mookie Betts, Max Muncy and others who dealt with ailments last year — then we could see something historic here. This lineup is so deep, it wouldn’t be terribly shocking if Will Smith or Cody Bellinger batted eighth at times.
The starting rotation has more question marks. Specifically, what does Clayton Kershaw have left at age 34? When will Dustin May return following Tommy John surgery last May? Will Andrew Heaney and/or Tyler Anderson be actual difference-makers at the back end of the rotation? But Walker Buehler and Julio Urias are still here. David Price and Tony Gonsolin provide useful depth.
San Diego Padres
The Padres aren’t really a favorite; they are much closer to third place than first, according to DK Sportsbook. It’s easy to understand why since their best player and one of the best players in the entire league, Fernando Tatis Jr., is out until at least June. As such, this offense is going to be inconsistent for a while. Luke Voit, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers make up the middle of San Diego’s order; good luck guessing what they will provide.
The top four in the Padres’ rotation — Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, Mike Clevinger — have all proven themselves to be aces in the past. But Snell has been a clear step or two below his Cy Young level for a couple of years now. Darvish really struggled in the second half of last season, and Clevinger is coming back from TJ surgery. San Diego might finish second in this division, but it may not be a close second.
Darkhorse: San Francisco Giants
The Giants were a true darkhorse in the NL West entering last season; their odds of winning the division in early March 2021 from DraftKings Sportsbook were +4000.
The reigning division champs aren’t nearly as much of a longshot this time around, but can they conjure up some magic once more? Buster Posey has retired. Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria, all of whom exceeded expectations last year, are in their mid-30s, and the latter two have been injured frequently in recent seasons. Unheralded bats such as Steven Duggar, Darin Ruf and Austin Slater, can they pick up even more of the slack?
The pitching staff is pretty good, especially after Logan Webb announced his presence as a real ace last season. Free-agent pickup Carlos Rodon can join him in that category if he can stay off the injured list. The bullpen has a stud in the making in Camilo Doval in front of veteran lefty Jake McGee and submariner Tyler Rogers.
Run prevention is going to be key for the Giants to compete once again; they probably aren’t going to win many high-scoring games. Granted, doubting them last year made all of us look foolish. Perhaps Gabe Kapler’s crew can prove 2021 was no fluke. But a second-place finish far behind their arch rivals from L.A. would make much more sense than a repeat.
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