March 22, 2022

2022 MLB Futures: Best Bets for Win Totals

The MLB win totals market is not the sexiest future on the market, but it may be one of the best. With 162 games in a season, there are plenty of opportunities for teams to go on a run, and push over their preseason win totals. 

The reason futures are so fun is that you throw some money down, walk away, and then a few months later, you have a little walking-around money. I would not advise you to take some action on every team, but if you spread a few units across the board, you could walk out of the regular season with a nice chunk of change. 

There are still some free agents looking for a new home, so these win totals are not set, but with opening day fastly approaching, it is time to take a look at the best overs and unders on MLB win totals. 

*Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Best Overs

Chicago White Sox Over 91.5 Wins (-110)

The White Sox are only projected to win 87 games according to FanGraphs, but they have the advantage of playing in a weak division, and there is potential up and down their roster. The lineup features Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Luis Roberts, and now a healthy Eloy Jimenez, while the bullpen is lights out with a lethal trio of Craig Kimbrell, Liam Hendriks, and Garrett Crochet.

The Guardians, Royals, and Tigers' offenses would not scare me at all if I were the White Sox. Losing Carlos Rodon to the Giants certainly will hurt the rotation, but it is not like he was THE guy for the White Sox. Unless the Twins see a resurgence after the signing of Carlos Correa, I do not see how the White Sox do not pummel this division, and easily go over their season win total.

Cleveland Guardians Over 76.5 (-110)

For the most part, the artists formally known as the Cleveland Indians had a solid 2021 season after trading away Francisco Lindor and effectively slamming shut their championship window that unexpectedly opened in 2016.

It is hard to call an 80-82 season solid, but every single one of their starters spent time on the IL, and injuries to Josh Naylor, Franmil Reyes, and practically everyone else derailed any momentum they had earlier in the season.

The Guardians did not make a single move this offseason, which is typical, but if Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, and Aaron Civale regain their dominant form, this pitching staff combined with a strong bullpen anchored by Emmanuel Clase is among the best in the American League.

We may be banking on Cleveland to stay healthy, but this feels like a low total to me, so I will smash the over.

Los Angeles Dodgers Over 96.5 (-115)

The Dodgers have only gone over this total three times in their last nine seasons (not counting the COVID-shortened season), and in those years they went over, they averaged 105.3 wins.

It is hard to believe that this lineup could get any better, but adding Freddie Freeman certainly will help them. The Dodgers will also benefit from the DH finally making its way into the National League starting this season, which will help them keep all of their key guys in the lineup without having to watch their starting pitchers puke all over themselves with a bat in their hands.

I think the Padres will be better this season, but I find it hard to believe the Giants will accidentally win 108 games again. I like the Dodgers to retake the NL West, and easily go over this number with their dominating lineup and shutdown pitching.

Colorado Rockies Over 68.5 (-110)

The signing of Kris Bryant was a surprise, but an even bigger surprise is that their win total only increased by 2.5 games. Letting Trevor Story walk in free agency remains a mystery, but Colorado won 74 games with a bad roster last season, and although Story and Jon Gray left in free agency, this roster is not overly worse this season.

Playing in the NL West is no picnic, and I am not predicting the Rockies to be good this season, but they still have a couple of pieces on their roster that will keep them from being completely mediocre.

The signing of Bryant leads me to believe that the Rockies think they can build a winner now, and although they have some interesting trade chips if this ship crashes and burns, this win total is way too low for a team that did not get significantly worse.

Pittsburgh Pirates over 64.5 (-110)

Make no mistake, the Pirates are not a good team, but the NL Central is very bad. The Reds are in full-blown tank mode, the Cubs unloaded all of their key players last trade deadline, and the Brewers and Cardinals are very unpredictable.

Pittsburgh won only 61 games last season, but top prospects Ke'Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz are expected to start the season in Pittsburgh, and the Pirates showed a little fight in them at the end of the season.

I love to take the over on low win totals because you just never know when a team will go on a massive winning streak at some point in the season to push them over this total. Like the Cardinals' 17-game winning streak that pushed them into the playoffs last season, it only takes one stretch of good play for bad teams to go over their win totals. With their top prospects coming up this season, the Pirates are going to be better, but they still have a long way to go before they become a playoff team.

Best Unders:

New York Yankees Under 91.5 (-110)

Like the White Sox, a big reason for my stance on their win total is the division they play in. Having to play the Red Sox, Rays, and Blue Jays is not easy, and unless they significantly improve their roster throughout the season, they might be in massive trouble. The Yankees traded for Josh Donaldson in the offseason, but missing out on every single top-tier free agent is tough to see.

The Yankees just barely went over this number last season, and they needed a late-season resurgence to do that. The East has gotten better, while the Yankees have practically stayed the same. It also does not help that New York's vaccine mandate is still in place, and the rumored players who are unvaccinated on the Yankees are significant.

Either way, this team does not have the pitching or the reliability when it comes to their star players.

Seattle Mariners Under 84.5 (-110)

The Seattle Mariners made a late-season playoff push last season and were still alive entering the final day of the regular season. They won 90 games, and the Mariners are one of the youngest teams in baseball, so they have plenty of time to build a winner with this core.

Seattle is getting a lot of love because of what they did at the end of last season, and they added Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to be their Ace this season. However, their youth worries me, and the fact that they needed a late-season push to be in contention leads me to believe that they just overperformed in a weak American League last season.

Kansas City Royals Under 75.5 (-115)

The Royals brought back Zack Greinke on a one-year deal, and they will return Salvador Perez, Whit Merrifield, and Andrew Benintendi. However, Perez is due for regression coming off a 48 home run season, and their lineup is not overly strong.

They do play in a weak division, but if things go south, which is likely with this roster, players like Merrifield, Greinke, Carlos Santana, and others will be shipped out at the deadline while the Royals wait for their promising farm system to come up.

Top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. will start the season with the Royals, but unless he is the greatest shortstop of all time, the Royals should be in for another rough year.

Los Angeles Angels Under 83.5 (-110)

The good news is that the Angels finally decided to pay a pitcher this offseason when they gave Noah Syndergaard a one-year, $21 million contract. The bad news is that Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020, and he did not look good in his two appearances last season.

The Angels also let Andrew Heaney walk on over to the Dodgers in free agency, and the lineup outside of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani offers very little. Los Angeles also needs both Trout and Ohtani to stay on the field, which has not been a guarantee lately.

If the Angels stay healthy, they have the benefit of playing in a somewhat weak division, but the pitching staff is still bad, and with no real splashes this offseason, the Angels should be mediocre again and waste another season of one of the greatest baseball players of all-time.

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