The 2022 World Series has a bit of a David vs. Goliath feel to it.
The Houston Astros, winners of 106 regular season games, swept their way through the entire postseason and now face off vs. a red-hot Philadelphia Phillies squad that won just 87 matchups this season, but caught fire in the playoffs.
Via ESPN Stats and Info, this is the second-largest win discrepancy in World Series history.
Houston is nearly a -200 favorite to take home the Fall Classic for the second time in franchise history, while the Phillies are anywhere from +155 to +165 depending on the book. But despite the Astros projected by the books to win, Phillies OF/DH Bryce Harper has jumped into the lead for World Series MVP.
Here's where the latest odds stand.
2022 World Series MVP Odds
Several sportsbooks, including BetMGM have already taken plenty of action on the big names and favorites, including Harper, Yordan Alvarez, and Alex Bregman of the Astros.
For those looking for a few intriguing candidates a bit further down the board with a much larger payday, here are my favorite dark horse candidates for World Series MVP:
Best World Series MVP Dark Horse Bets
- Jeremy Peña
- Yuli Gurriel
- Nick Castellanos
Jeremy Peña (+1800)
Yordan Alvarez may be the best hitter in the Houston lineup, but nobody's been hotter than Peña of late, taking home ALCS MVP honors.
The 25-year old, in his first ever postseason, led the Astros with an OPS of .991, hitting .303 with six extra bases, including three home runs.
Eight players in Big League history have won both the LCS MVP as well as World Series MVP. Should Peña cash at +1800, he would be the first player in American League history to win both awards, with all eight winners coming out of the NL.
Yuli Gurriel (+3100)
Gurriel did not have a particularly impressive regular season, but his playoff numbers speak for themselves.
The 38-year old first baseman is first on the Astros during the playoffs with a .367 batting average, and hasn't struck out once the entirety of the postseason.
He's also found his power stroke in October, hitting a quarter of his home runs during the playoffs than he did in the regular season.
Nick Castellanos (+4000)
Castellanos is my favorite of all the dark horse candidates to win World Series MVP.
The numbers have been solid throughout the playoffs with nine hits, three of them for extra bases with six RBI, but more importantly, the Phillies right fielder hits directly behind Bryce Harper in the lineup.
Castellanos hit .311 with runners on base this year, is an excellent contact hitter and can also consistently drive the ball to the gap for extra bases.
On the last episode of "Daily Betslip," I went over some more of these numbers for Castellanos in greater detail as BetSided's Iain MacMillan and I revealed our picks for World Series MVP.
If Harper continues to remain locked in at the plate, expect the Astros to pitch around him, leaving Castellanos with plenty of opportunities to deliver in the clutch, all while getting plenty of fastballs to feast on.
Follow all of Ben's betting plays in real-time HERE!
Game and futures odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.