The Los Angeles Dodgers have led the way this season with the best record in baseball at the All-Star break. Nobody is surprised that they are the sport betting favorites to win the National League pennant. The Dodgers own a nine-game lead on the Arizona Diamondbacks for the best record in the National League. The NL West has been better than expected with the Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies looking like legitimate contenders. However, even in a tough division it looks like the NL pennant is the Dodgers’ to lose. Here is a look at the best bets to win the NL pennant.
Los Angeles Dodgers +240
The city of Los Angeles has been treated to some excellent baseball so far this season. The Dodgers lead the majors with 61 wins, including an MLB-best 39-11 record at home. LA won 18 of its last 20 games heading in to the All-Star break with an average margin of victory of 3.5 runs over that span. Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and Rich Hill have led one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball. Meanwhile, Kenley Jansen and Josh Fields have led a talented bullpen. The Dodgers also rank fourth in the majors in runs scored this season with Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Corey Seager leading the way. LA appears destined to compete in this year’s World Series. It will be very interesting to see if they can deliver the city a championship this season.
Washington Nationals +300
Bryce Harper and the Nationals will certainly have something to say about the Dodgers contending for a World Series title. However, Washington will have a tough time catching LA for the AL pennant. Harper has hit .325 with 20 home runs already this season. Daniel Murphy has hit .342 with 14 home runs and 64 RBI. Even Ryan Zimmerman has exceeded all expectations by hitting .330 with 19 home runs. The Nationals have scored the second-most runs in the majors this season behind only the Houston Astros. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer has delivered another dominant season but Washington’s pitching still has room for improvement, especially when it comes to the bullpen. The Nationals will have their work cut out for them trying to catch the Dodgers. That doesn’t mean they can’t do it.
Chicago Cubs +333
The Cubs were everybody’s pick to get back to the World Series and repeat as champions. In fact, most predictions had them finishing the regular season with the best record in baseball and then cruising to the championship series. However, that sort of thing just doesn’t happen in reality and Chicago is staring up at a 5.5-game deficit behind the Milwaukee Brewers at the All-Star break. Nobody would have predicted the Cubs would be two games below .500 at the midway mark of the season. Injuries and inconsistent play have kept Chicago from reaching its potential. There is still time for the Cubs to turn things around. However, it will be very difficult for them to catch the Dodgers for the AL pennant, which makes their +333 price a little surprising at this point.
Arizona Diamondbacks +600
While the Cubs have disappointed, the Diamondbacks have been one of the most pleasant surprises in the NL. Arizona is just 7.5 games back of the Dodgers for the best record in the NL West and they have earned every single one of their 53 wins. The Diamondbacks pitching staff has delivered the second-best ERA in the majors. Jake Lamb has been outstanding, Chris Owings and David Peralta have been solid, and Paul Goldschmidt is the most underrated superstar in the majors. Meanwhile, Arizona’s pitching staff has been its biggest strength with Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray leading the way. The Diamondbacks will have a tough time catching LA. However, considering their price tag they might be worth taking a shot on to challenge LA for an AL pennant.
Colorado Rockies +1000
Colorado has had a lethal offense for a very long time. The difference now is that the pitching staff has improved to the point where the Rockies can contend in the NL. Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Mark Reynolds and D.J. LeMahieu have led a powerful offense. However, the key has been the performances of Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman and Kyle Freeland in the starting rotation. Also, the bullpen deserves a ton of credit as well. Colorado’s pitching staff is finally good enough to help them contend in the loaded NL. The Rockies might not win an NL pennant, but they could be a Wild Card team in 2017.
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