2022 MLB Futures Betting: Diamondbacks, Yankees, Mets Outpacing Projected Win Totals

Baseball executives identify Memorial Day as the first real mile marker and opportunity to begin figuring out the shape of the season. But who wants to wait two more weekends to fire up the grill, never mind begin pondering which Opening Day over/under wins totals look too low or too high? 

Here’s a look at some teams exceeding and others not yet meeting expectations. All preseason win projections from BetMGM.

OVER-ACHIEVING

New York Yankees (23-8)

Preseason: 91.5 wins

Current pace: 120 wins

New York Mets (22-11)

Preseason: 88.5 wins

Current pace: 108 wins

Do you believe in numerology? This year marks 22 years since the Yankees and Mets played in the World Series — or half the amount of time the Big Apple waited for a Subway Series after the Yankees-Dodgers duel in 1956. A 12-team playoff field will make for a challenging path to the World Series, but at the very least, it appears both New York squads will reach the postseason for just the fifth time. And to exceed their preseason win projections, all a pair of teams on pace to surge past 100 victories have to do is play at a barely better than .500 clip the rest of the way — a 69-62 mark for the Yankees and a 67-62 record for the Mets.

Los Angeles Angels (21-12)

Preseason: 84.5 wins

Current pace: 103 wins

As far as harmless conspiracy theories go, the idea Major League Baseball expanded the playoff field to finally get Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the October stage is a pretty good one. But the Angels, on a 103-win pace and experiencing magic moments by the armload — an Ohtani grand slams and a no-hitter by Reid Detmers — don’t look like a token playoff entrant, even if the surging Houston Astros might force the Angels into the wild card round. And they don’t even need to play .500 ball — 64-65, to be exact — to get to 85 wins.

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Minnesota Twins (18-14)

Preseason: 81.5 wins

Current pace: 91

Cleveland Guardians (15-15)

Preseason: 76.5 wins

Current pace: 81

The Twins (plus-7) and Guardians (plus-10) are the only teams with a positive run differential in an AL Central just begging to be won by someone else other than the stumbling Chicago White Sox. The Twins were on an early 100-win pace before getting a reality check in being swept by the Astros — the aggregate score of 21-3 sounded more like a Texans-Vikings game — but their better-than-expected pitching (their 3.38 ERA ranks sixth in the majors) should keep them in the race. And a surprisingly potent lineup for the Guardians — who rank fifth in the bigs in OPS at .723 after finishing 21st with a .710 mark last year — coupled with their usual solid starting pitching is likely to at least ensure a run at .500.

Arizona Diamondbacks (17-15)

Preseason: 66.5 wins

Current pace: 86 wins

New pitching coach Brent Strom has worked wonders (the Diamondbacks rank 11th in the majors with a 3.55 ERA one year after finishing 29th with a 5.11 ERA) in Arizona, whose run differential of minus-13 indicates some regression is coming. But a 50-80 record the remainder of the season will allow the Diamondbacks to surpass their preseason projection.

Baltimore Orioles (14-18)

Preseason: 62.5 wins

Current pace: 71 wins

Avoiding 100 losses isn’t usually a cause for celebration. But not everyone’s the Orioles, who are in danger of becoming the first team since the 1962-65 Mets to lose 100 games in four consecutive full seasons. A decent start fueled by some solid pitching has the Orioles on a 71-win pace. Now can they get out of last place, too, thanks to the spiraling Boston Red Sox?

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UNDER-WHELMING

Chicago White Sox (15-15)

Preseason: 92.5 wins

Current pace: 81

The talent is there for the White Sox to go on a month-long tear and run away from the rest of the AL Central…right? Chicago ranks 25th in the majors with a .638 OPS and has committed an AL-high 26 errors. The White Sox’s pitching was pretty good, at least until Thursday night, when a 15-run outburst by the Yankees spiked their ERA from 3.25 to 3.65. That’s hard to do! And perpetual Cy Young candidate Lance Lynn (knee) and popular breakout pick Eloy Jimenez (hamstring) are weeks away from returning. If the White Sox are going to win the division, they’ll almost surely do so with fewer than 90 wins.

Boston Red Sox (11-20)

Preseason: 85.5 wins

Current pace: 57 wins

As FanGraphs noted this week, we should be used to this rollercoaster act by the Red Sox, who have won two World Series and finished last four times in the last 10 seasons. The Red Sox, on a 57-win pace, are underachieving everywhere and their only three players with an OPS+ north of 100 are impending free agent J.D. Martinez and 20-something stars Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, each of whom are at an impasse with management regarding long-term contract negotiations. 

Detroit Tigers (9-23)

Preseason: 77.5 wins

Current pace: 46 wins

Kansas City Royals (10-19)

Preseason: 74.5 wins

Current pace: 56 wins

Playing in a mediocre division made the Tigers and Royals attractive over targets, but there may be no sniffing 70 wins unless the teams with the second- and third-worst OPS numbers in the game (.591 for the Tigers, .590 for the Royals) go round-robin against one another the rest of the season. The Tigers, who are 9-23 overall and just 3-6 against the Central, need to go 69-61 the rest of the way to get to 78 wins while the Royals (10-19), who are at least 7-6 in the division, need to go 65-68 to get to 75 wins.

Cincinnati Reds (8-24)

Preseason: 73.5 wins

Current pace: 41 wins

Break up the Reds, who are on a 116-win pace over the last six days! Of course, even with that 5-2 surge, they’ll have to go 66-64 to finish with 74 wins. Anything is possible, but that’s a tall task for a team threatening to post the highest ERA of all-time despite the deadened baseball.

Washington Nationals (11-22)

Preseason: 70.5 wins

Current pace: 54 wins

The Nationals have recorded series wins against the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants, but this doesn’t look like a team that can go 60-69 over the final four-plus months. Of course, this might be recency bias after Thursday’s baserunning exploits against the Mets, which should have been set to the Benny Hill theme.

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