The MLB playoffs begin on Friday, Oct. 7, kickstarting the road to the 2022 World Series. All postseason-eligible clubs are using the regular season's final days to give them as much momentum as possible heading into their championship quest.
When it comes to the World Series, teams like the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros are natural picks because of their dominance this year. There are even a lot of bettors counting on the Atlanta Braves to become the first back-to-back champs in over 20 years.
However, several dark horses could shock a lot of people this postseason. Every club experiences a fresh start once the playoffs begin, which is why it's never smart to rule out an underdog title run.
Here are the three best dark horse World Series bets to make ahead of the upcoming MLB postseason, according to MLB odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.
World Series 2022 Dark Horses
1. Toronto Blue Jays (+1600)
The Toronto Blue Jays have had their highs and lows this year, but have been one of the best teams in baseball lately. Their .677 winning percentage since the beginning of September is fifth-best in the Majors. On top of that, they've scored an MLB-leading 166 runs over that span. The next-closest team — the offensively-gifted New York Yankees — have scored 18 fewer runs. The Blue Jays also have the 12th-best ERA (3.71) since Sept. 1, proving that they're a well-balanced team on both sides of the ball. Winning the World Series is all about getting hot at the right time, which is exactly why Toronto has a great opportunity to bring the title north of the border once again.
2. St. Louis Cardinals (+1700)
Speaking of bird teams, the St. Louis Cardinals are another solid dark horse pick. The Cardinals are a top-10 team this season when it comes to runs scored (4.76, No. 5), hits per game (8.54), home runs per game (1.23, No. 8) and team ERA (3.76, No. 9). There's also the fact that St. Louis is fortunate enough to have NL MVP favorite Paul Goldschmidt and potential finalist Nolan Arenado on its roster. The Cardinals could also be extra motivated to win the World Series due to Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols' impending retirements. Both men have been fan favorites throughout their lengthy careers and nothing would be better than to send them off into the sunset with another championship run.
3. Seattle Mariners (+3000)
Seattle Mariners fans are buzzing now that their team ended the longest playoff drought in professional sports. That type of achievement can propel a team on a memorable postseason run. Fortunately, the Mariners do have the talent to capitalize on that momentum. Julio Rodriguez is the AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner, Eugenio Suarez is back to being a 30-home run hitter while Cal Raleigh and Ty France have combined for 46 round-trippers. Bullpens also play a huge role in a World Series chase, which is why it's great that Seattle's relievers have combined for a 3.35 ERA — seventh-best in the MLB. The Mariners have made those who've counted them out pay this season and it won't be surprising if that trend continues into the playoffs.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.