- BetOnline has updated its 2019 AL and NL Pennant odds with the playoffs starting next week
- The Astros’ (-125) starting rotation makes them the favorite over the Yankees (+250) in the American League
- The Dodgers (-110) aim for their third-straight World Series appearance
October baseball is less than a week away. With the Wild Card round of the MLB postseason starting next Tuesday, the Athletics, Rays, and Indians are all duking it out for the final two playoff spots in the American League, while the National League is pretty much set in stone.
Let’s look at the odds at BetOnline to see who’s favored to win the AL and NL pennants.
ODDS TO WIN AMERICAN LEAGUE PENNANT
|New York Yankees||+250|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1400|
HOUSTON ASTROS VS. NEW YORK YANKEES
Having both already topped the 100-win mark, Houston and New York are locked in a race for first place with just a handful of games to go.
Home-field advantage will be important if their 2017 ALCS battle is any indication. The Astros and Yankees won all their games in their home ballparks, with Houston taking the series 4-3 en route to their first World Series title.
So, who’s the AL favorite? Houston has the devastating Cy Young-contender combo of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, while New York boasts a dangerous lineup of power hitters.
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) September 18, 2019
Six Yankee regulars have more than 20 homers and that doesn’t even include Giancarlo Stanton, who finally returned from a nearly three-month injury absence last week.
However, manager Aaron Boone is going to have to use his bullpen early and often to get past the Astros. According to Sports Illustrated, Yankees opponents have an MLB-best .920 OPS against the team’s starters when facing them for a third time in a game.
AL Pennant Pick: Astros (-125)
ODDS TO WIN NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-110|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+500|
|New York Mets||+15000|
DODGERS VS. CARDINALS VS. BRAVES VS. NATIONALS
No offense to the red-hot Brewers, but their look to be four legitimate contenders in the National League: LA, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Washington.
The Cardinals have won 23 pennants, which is tied for the third-most among all franchises (and just one behind the Dodgers), so the NL Central champs should never be counted out.
Atlanta recently clinched its second straight NL East title, but they’ll need Ronald Acuna Jr. healthy for the playoffs. The 21-year-old Venezuelan superstar is currently battling hip tightness, which is a real shame considering he’s just three steals away from joining the 40-40 club.
Ronald Acuña Jr. has reached 100 RBI for the season and joins Hall-of-Famers Hank Aaron in 1955 (106 RBI) and Eddie Mathews in 1953 (135 RBI) as the only Braves players with 100+ RBI in an age-21-or-younger season. pic.twitter.com/s4QmPzsN7c
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 21, 2019
Los Angeles will have home-field advantage through the NL playoffs as they attempt to reach their third-consecutive World Series. Cody Bellinger is a heavy favorite for NL MVP after hitting .300 with 46 homers and 114 RBI, but his Dodgers will face a tough test in the NLDS assuming the Nationals get past Milwaukee.
After starting the season 19-31, Washington clinched a Wild-Card berth with what must have been the sweetest of wins over old friend Bryce Harper and the Phillies on Tuesday night.
Boasting a starting rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Aníbal Sánchez, I like the Nationals to upset the Dodgers and Braves before facing the Astros in the World Series.
NL Pennant Pick: Nationals (+700)