- BetOnline and Bovada favor the Dodgers (+170) to win their fourth NL pennant in the past five seasons
- The San Diego Padres (+500) added All-Star starters Blake Snell and Yu Darvish in free agency
- The Nationals’ loaded starting rotation make them undervalued at +2500
It just so happens that the two best teams in baseball play in the NL West — the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, who haven’t won a division title in 15 years, both spent ungodly sums of money in the offseason to secure the National League pennant in 2021.
With MLB spring training games underway in Florida and Arizona, let’s look at the odds for both clubs and examine a few underdogs that could play spoiler in the NL this October.
Odds to Win the 2021 National League
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+170||+170|
|San Diego Padres||+500||+425|
|New York Mets||+600||+550|
|St Louis Cardinals||+1400||+1100|
|San Francisco Giants||+6600||+6000|
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Dodgers favored to win another NL pennant
The Dodgers (+170) have appeared in three of the past four Fall Classics and added reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to a staff already featuring Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and five-time All-Star David Price, who opted out of last season. With a batting lineup featuring two former MVPs in Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts, it’s possible that Los Angeles is better than the team that won the 2020 World Series.
Second last year only to the Dodgers in run differential, the Padres (+500) were swept by Los Angeles last October while without injured starters Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet. San Diego certainly won’t be short on pitching this season after acquiring two All-Stars in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, and their Fernando Tatis Jr.-led lineup should be as potent as ever.
Fernando Tatis Jr. will earn more money per year ($24.3M) than his dad did in his entire MLB career ($17.8M) 🤯 pic.twitter.com/tL4JMS7tMG
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) February 22, 2021
Other National League contenders
Winners of three-straight NL East titles, the Braves (+600) were up 3-1 on LA in the NLCS last year before falling apart. Atlanta finished second in runs scored in the National League in 2020, and with a young lineup featuring reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr., they’ll likely continue to mash.
After their blockbuster trade for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, the Mets (+600) will also be heavily in the mix if two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard (returning from Tommy John surgery) and Marcus Stroman (elected not to play in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns) form a dominant trifecta.
“He’s doing everything he’s supposed to be doing.”
“Everything is going as expected.”
Noah Syndergaard isn’t discussing the particulars of his rehab, but Mets officials say it’s all exactly where it should be:https://t.co/Rtnz7JMzP0
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 28, 2021
The Cardinals (+1400) stole superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Rockies and play in what should be one of baseball’s weakest divisions. St. Louis is a much stronger bet than both Cincinnati (+1800), who lost Bauer as a free agent, and Chicago (+2500), who shipped away Darvish for middling prospects.
However, the Washington Nationals (+2500) look like the best value in the National League after adding Jon Lester to a rotation already featuring Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin.
Young superstar Juan Soto led the MLB in OBP (.490), slugging (.695), OPS (1.185) and OPS+ (212) during the shortened 2020 campaign, becoming the youngest player to ever win the NL batting title (.351), and should continue his ascendance for the 2019 World Series Champions this season.
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