San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) walks back to the dugout after striking out against San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports.
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) walks back to the dugout after striking out against San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports.

3 National League win totals to bet before start of 2022 season

With Spring training officially underway in Arizona and Florida, late-March always serves an ideal reflection point for baseball bettors. This season (thanks to an owner’s lockout), Opening Day will arrive on Thursday, April 7th and the chase for the Commissioner’s trophy will commence yet again.

Back on January 5th, WynnBET was the first sportsbook to release win totals for the 2022 MLB regular season — at that time, MLB was still amidst a work stoppage. Since then, the padlocks have been removed from the team facilities and baseball offseason has been able to resume its natural course. 

All said and done, we WILL have a full 162-game season. Of course, our oddsmakers at WynnBET have adjusted win totals to reflect March’s player transactions. Before Opening Day, here are three National League team win totals to consider playing …

REMINDER: Teams must play a minimum of 160 games throughout the 2022 regular season to be considered “action.” All lines current as of March 30th, 2022.

Philadelphia Phillies OVER 86.5 wins (2021 record: 82-80)

Let us begin with the 2021 NL East Runner-up. The Phillies had high hopes coming into last season and were able to put together a few solid stretches of play (even 2x Super Bowl Champion Chris Long noticed improvements). Having acquired both Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto in 2019 (and dealing with the shortened 2020 season), Philly has made it clear that they intend to end their now ten-season-long playoff drought. 

To at least build momentum, the Phillies’ 82 wins last year is their highest mark since they last made the postseason in 2011. This year, I believe Philadelphia is poised to make a run at the NL East crown (with winning >86 games a very real possibility).

Once the Owner’s lockout ended, the Phillies did well to acquire OF Nick Castellanos from Cincinnati. Castellanos is coming off a career-year in which he collected 34 home runs and 100 RBI behind a .309 batting average—he very well could be the final catalyst Philadelphia needs to get over the hump. A lineup featuring Castellanos ahead of Harper and Realmuto may do wonders for everyone involved. However, the NL East is (at its worst) the third-most competitive division in baseball; Does Philly have the pitching to successfully navigate through the sluggers in New York and Atlanta?

Philadelphia’s pitching staff is led by their ace, Zack Wheeler. In 2021, Wheeler dealt to a 14-10 record with a fantastic 2.78 ERA in 32 starts. Having spent his early days in MLB with the Mets, Wheeler knows the division well and commands a four-seamer, slider, sinker and curveball. After the big righty, Philadelphia’s next best arm is Aaron Nola, who is a respectable veteran. However, the Phillies’ team ERA was an abysmal 6.23 (dead-last in the N.L.) last season. If they can get steady production on the mound on Wheeler’s off-days, Philly will be a scary team. In 2022, I see them playing consistently enough to win OVER 86.5 games.

Milwaukee Brewers OVER 90 wins (2021 record: 95-67)

Viewing from 30,000 feet, the NL Central seems to have a lot of activity on-going. While the Cubs and Reds have unofficially committed to rebuilds, the Pirates are looking for their own direction to head after losing 101 games in 2021. From there, we are left with the Cardinals (who are arguably the most consistently productive team in MLB) and the Brewers. Looking at current rosters, Milwaukee seems to be a tier above St. Louis, with everyone else several tiers below them.

In 2021, the Brewers showcased one of their most successful seasons-to-date. Behind the year’s most effective starting pitching tandem (Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burns), Milwaukee won the NL Central for the second time in the last four seasons. Under manager Craig Counsell, the Brewers have an established corps that could have them playing deep into Autumn.

Milwaukee won 95 games in 2021, and that was all while slugger-Christian Yelich hit only .248 with 9 home runs. At one time an MVP frontrunner, Yelich still possesses potential to be amongst baseball’s best hitters. When he is right, this Brewers lineup essentially has pop at every position. Additionally, the lineup features a harmonious blend of righty and lefty bats.

Given that the Cardinals should pose the only legit challenge within the division, I think the Brewers have a shot to possibly win 100 games in 2022 (they also have the luxury of playing a weak-A.L Central). MIL has dominant arms, can hit for power and is hyper-athletic (you’ve seen guys like Kolton Wong, Lorenzo Cain and Jackie Bradley Jr. play defense, right?). Coming off of a 95-win-season and a divisional title, I love Milwaukee to win OVER 90 games this season. 

San Diego Padres UNDER 86.5 wins (2021 record: 79-83)

Everytime it looks like the Padres may be close to putting it all together, something strange happens (and it usually pertains to Fernando Tatis, Jr.). If you caught our story on WynnBET’s MLB MVP odds, you know that I am extremely high on Tatis, Jr. as a player. However, a mysterious wrist-fracture (suffered in a motorcycle accident sometime last December) is likely to keep Tatis on the shelf until at-least June. Obviously, this does not bode well for Slam Diego—Tatis is the gas that makes the Padre-car “go.”

For the Friars, this feels not-so-different from last season. Entering 2021, San Diego had built enough talent, aspirations and hype to make them the media darling. With their main goal of supplanting the Dodgers (even the public libraries from the respective cities got involved), San Diego saw their 2021 season start well before deteriorating under injuries (most notably to Tatis, Jr.). Ultimately, they would drop out of the divisional race while the Giants and Dodgers left them in the California-cellar.

Once again, the Padres are presented with an ailing Tatis early in the season. If San Diego fans and bettors want to look at things optimistically, maybe Tatis Jr. only misses 50 games. But can the Padres really be sustainable for a third of the season without their best player on the field?

When you consider all that Tatis does (hitting, hitting for power, fielding, stealing bases and scoring runs), it’s tough to imagine this team winning over 86 games. I acknowledge that the Padres are deep with talent (especially in the infield), but Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer can be quite streaky. Simply put, San Diego is a team I need to see succeed consistently before I buy in. For the 2022 season, I see the Padres hovering closer to .500—The N.L. West is still scrappy, and dealing with the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies all year does not bode well for a win total.