Nobody knows what is going on in baseball, including the owners and Player’s Association. The lockout is a significant issue, and it’s unknown when baseball will return. Spring Training will likely be delayed in some way, which means Opening Day could be in jeopardy at this point.
With baseball being inactive, it’s an excellent time to place future bets. The odds are terrific at this point because of the lockout on some of the best US betting apps. One of the best apps in the United States is BetMGM, especially when it comes to baseball betting.
BetMGM has the Washington Nationals at +10000 or 100 to 1 to win the World Series today. This means a $100 wager would return $10,000, or $10 for $1,000. The Nationals are a long shot at winning the Fall Classic, but anything can happen over 162 games and the postseason. Let’s take a look at the projected 2022 Nats to see if they have a chance of making noise this year.
The one player who deserves his section in this article is Juan Soto. Soto is one of the best young players in baseball, and he has put up monster numbers since joining the league. Baseball is a team game, but it’s also a game where individuals shine.
One player can change the outcome with a single swing. Soto is this man for the Nationals, and he will have to produce at an MVP level in 2022 to give his team a shot. In 2021, Soto batted .313 and had an OPS of .999.
These stats put him at third in the league, and he is just 23 years of age. Soto came to the show in 2018 when he was just 19 years old. His career slash line is .301/.432/.550 with 98 homers and 312 RBI.
He is also a two-time Silver Slugger, one-time All-Star, and World Series champion in 2019. I expect Soto to be leading the Nationals for a long time because he is a generational talent.
The problem with the Nationals is they lack star power besides Juan Soto. One of their best hitters last year until the trade deadline was Kyle Schwarber. The Nationals gave up at the halfway point last season for prospects and went through a sell-off.
They also traded Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers, which was the top move of the deadline. This showed that Washington was ready to start a rebuild. We have seen rebuilding teams gain steam and do well at the deadline, but this is a rarity in Major League Baseball.
A few players must step up this year to give Washington a chance to contend for the World Series. One of those players is Carter Kieboom. When Kieboom was taken 28th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Nationals, he is still young and must prove he can be the star that the team envisioned.
This should be his first full year in the show, and he already has 414 plate appearances. Yet, the production has not been close to what is needed. He is hitting .197, but he does have a solid eye with a .304 career OBP.
Josh Bell is another player who has been solid for the Nationals, and he provides a lot of pop. He is not consistent enough to change games, which is his biggest downfall. Bell hit .261 last season with 27 homers in 144 games. He is still in his peak years at 29 and will play a massive role in creating a winning culture in Washington.
The Pitching Staff
The pitching staff will be in better shape than the lineup if pitchers do as expected. This year, the most significant need for the Nationals is for Patrick Corbin to pitch like a $140,00,000 pitcher. He signed this deal in 2019 over six seasons, and he was not the guy they thought he would be after his encouraging 2019 season.
Since signing the deal, he is 25-30 with a 4.47 ERA and a WHIP of 1.532. These are very bad numbers for a pitcher who was expected to settle in behind Max Scherzer. Of course Corbin needs to become an ace to give Washington much of a chance.
Josiah Gray, who came to the Nationals from the Dodgers, will also step up. He was a top prospect in the Dodgers organization, but they shipped him to Washington for Scherzer and Turner.
Gray was not ready for the spotlight last season, but we saw glimpses of his top-prospect ranking. However, at 24 and as a former top prospect, he will need to show he is worthy of all that the Nats traded for him last year. The previous pitcher to highlight is Stephen Strasburg. Injuries have plagued Strasburg, but he must step up this season.
He will be fully healthy heading into the season, so a fresh start should serve him well. I would not put money on the Nationals to win the Fall Classic, but the payout is huge if your bet hits.