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MLB Expert John Bollman's NL West Betting Preview - 2022 Season


Now that we got the pre-season analysis out of the way, we finally get to get to some real handicapping. As I go through each division, I want to talk about each team, as well as talk about any lines I like or don’t like. I am not really a big player awards guy, because I think that has too much to do with injury luck and player motivation. However, there are certain MLB futures that I absolutely love to play.

The main ones are Regular Season O/U Win Totals, To Make the Playoffs, To Win the Division, To Win the League, To Win the World Series. After I handicap the rest of the divisions, I will go through my World Series plays. The first four bet types I mentioned are the plays that I will be considering when going through each division, until my last article where I will go over my World Series plays. If I don’t mention a line for any of those bets, it is because I either don’t have an opinion on it or I don’t think there is value.

I will also make sure to recap all my official FlashPicks futures plays for each division at the bottom of each article. Sound good?

NL West Overview

I want to talk about the NL West first because I think they have one of the most interesting divisions this season. Dodgers are always a powerhouse, but they have still only won one World Series in the last 30 years. Can the Padres bounce back after an under .500 season? And will the Giants back up their 2022 NL West Division Title? The Rockies and Diamondbacks are both in full rebuild mode now so we can go over them first.

Colorado Rockies

Rockies just lost Trevor Story and Jon Gray to free agency, as was expected. They traded Nolan Arenado two seasons ago which pretty much signaled to the rest of the league that the rebuild was officially in progress. So why are we talking about the Rockies? Well, there are going to be plenty of times this season where we get great value on them, so we will want to know how that team is constructed to figure out how to maximize that value. They also just signed Kris Bryant to a massive 7-year contract to get through the rebuild. Their win total is set at 68.5 and I was originally considering playing the under. However, in the altitude of Coors Field and so many young players, this team could manage about 70 wins for sure. Anything can happen in the altitude of Coors Field, and I tend to stay away from super low unders because young teams are very talented and can also go on runs.

German Marquez and Austin Gomber are solid starting options for this team and they have some very intriguing bullpen arms. However, it will take them a couple years to harness their stuff. Ryan McMahon just signed a 6-year extension with the Rockies so he should last through the rebuild as well. Kris Bryant is a massive, unexpected addition but he shouldn’t move the needle yet. Brendan Rodgers is a former top prospect, and they still have Charlie Blackmon. This is a team I would stay away from in general as I don’t think they will be very good, but there is so much variance in that stadium and that lineup.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are also in a big rebuild with their win total set at 65.5 and +15000 odds to win the NL West. They have a couple good options at the top of the rotation in Zac Gallen, Madison Bumgarner, and Luke Weaver. They also have solid backend bullpen options in Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy. Ketel Marte is a bonified stud, and Christian Walker should be in for a better 2022 after jumping on the scene in 2020. This team has top prospects like Seth Beer and Alek Thomas expected to be up this season.

So just like the Rockies, this team has the pieces to be decent if they stay completely healthy and don’t trade any players at the trade deadline. However, that is not how baseball works and these teams will both be sellers at the trade deadline. So despite the free agents these teams pulled like Mark Melancon and Kris Bryant, they could turn around and deal them at the deadline just as fast. Stay away from any futures on these two teams.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Let’s go to the Dodgers next. The Dodgers are -190 to win the NL West this season, which is too high for a division this good. This team lost Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen but they added players like Daniel Hudson and a full season of Trea Turner. They re-signed Clayton Kershaw and added Former MVP Freddie Freeman. They still have former MVPs in Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts, and you know both of those guys are going to have much better seasons than they did last season. They still have plenty of depth in Gavin Lux and Edwin Rios among others, and they have the DH option to rotate their big bats through to get them off their legs. This team will be scary good again, maybe even scarier than we’ve ever seen. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this team challenges the Mariners 2001 record for wins at 116. They are that good.

This team is the favorite to win the World Series for a reason at +600 and they will be right in the thick of things once again. Their win total has already skyrocketed to 99.5 after opening at 94.5 with the signing of Freddie Freeman. I would probably take it up to 100.5 or 101.5 but I would stay off if it gets higher than that. This team is so stacked and so full of depth that it is silly to leave them out of any World Series conversation, including ours.

San Diego Padres

The next two teams are very interesting because a lot of people have them going in opposing directions. We will start with the Padres who just swiped manager Bob Melvin from the Athletics. They have Mike Clevinger returning from injury and he should help that rotation by eating innings. Yu Darvish had an incredible start last season but collapsed along with the rest of the Padres. Who knows if Blake Snell shows up and when. The starting rotation is supposed to be the backbone of this team, but it doesn’t make me very confident.

We could see top prospects like Mackenzie Gore and Luis Campusano make it to the Major Leagues this season and be positive contributors. They also have a very good bullpen if they don’t have to pitch 4 innings a night, but all these assets just make you wonder how they were so bad last season. Bob Melvin should help a lot of that, he is a World Class manager and I am excited for the world to see what he can do on a team with a real payroll. Fernando Tatis Jr. has been injured very often the past couple seasons and he is expected to miss at least the first 2 months of the season with a broken wrist, maybe even three. The Padres win total is set at 87.5 but with the Tatis Jr. news, I think this is way too high. I was honestly thinking about playing this over, and I do like the Padres to win the World Series soon. However, I just don’t think they are there in terms of depth yet and I think a season of Bob Melvin and a healthy (hopefully) Tatis Jr. next season will do them wonders.

They are still just +1800 to win the World Series and they could definitely do it this season, I just would stay away from their futures this year.

San Francisco Giants

Last, we have the Giants. They surprised everybody last season winning 107 games and led the league in doing it. Yet, their win total is only set at 85.5. They are +2500 to win the World Series, ranked 12th best odds after leading the league in wins last season. This team and this front office continue to get no respect. They lost Buster Posey to retirement and Kevin Gausman to free agency, but they added guys like Carlos Rodon, Alex Cobb and Matthew Boyd. Joey Bart is a top MLB prospect, and he is expected to replace Posey. I could definitely see this team regressing from last season, in fact I will say there is no chance they win 107 games again. But I think there is a very good chance they can win close to 95 games, at least 90 games even with injuries. I love this Giants win total over.

NL West Plays

Now let’s recap our official NL West futures plays. Only one play on the board here but expect much more out of this division when we get to the World Series Futures article.

John's Pick

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Giants Regular Season Wins Over 85.5 @ -110