The 2019 MLB season is right around the corner now, which means its last call for getting in your online sports betting futures wagers for division winners. In the National League in particular, there is some money to be made picking which teams will finish atop their respective divisions. We took the time to break down the outlook for each division. We also figured out where the smart money is when it comes to the best regular season win total wager. Here is a look at how each National League division is projected to play out, along with our best regular season win total futures bet among NL teams.
National League East
The Atlanta Braves shocked the baseball world last season when they finished atop the National League East with 90 wins. Despite the emergence of Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr., the sportsbooks are expecting Atlanta to take a step back this season at +300 odds to repeat as division winners. In their place, the Philadelphia Phillies are the favorite to win the NL East at +175 odds. The offseason additions of Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto are expected to put them over the top as a legitimate favorite to win the division. Remember, this was a team that was 68-54 last season before nosediving to a 12-28 finish over the final six weeks. Adding three All-Stars should get them to the finish line in better shape.
Meanwhile, Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals, is expected to be Philadelphia’s biggest challenger in the division at +275 to win it. With Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg still on the roster, the expectation is that the Nationals still have enough pieces to contend. They might have the best pitching rotation and that’s always crucial. The New York Mets clock in as a contender at +350 odds while the Miami Marlins, at +1000 odds, are expected to finish dead-last.
National League Central
The Chicago Cubs had their bid for a three-peat as NL Central champs thwarted by a Milwaukee Brewers side that won eight straight to close out the season – including a tiebreaker against the Cubs in game 163 to steal the division. Chicago is expected to bounce back this year as the favorite to win the NL Central at +200. However, just like last year, they should face some stiff competition. The St. Louis Cardinals made the biggest offseason splash in the division with the addition of Paul Goldschmidt. That’s bumped their odds to +225. Meanwhile, the defending champion Brewers are at +325 odds. Beyond the big three, neither the Cincinnati Reds nor the Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to contend for a division title this season with both teams listed at +700 odds.
National League West
There won’t be much value betting on the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the NL West this season at -400 odds. However, the Dodgers are the clear favorite in a division that isn’t expected to be very competitive this season. The Colorado Rockies have a decent roster – including a formidable offense that should put up big numbers. However, the Rockies still don’t have much in terms of pitching as most FanGraphs and PECOTA projections expect their staff, which overachieved last season, to take a step back.
If they can’t keep up with Los Angeles, who will? The San Diego Padres made a big offseason splash with the addition of Manny Machado but they don’t have many quality arms in their rotation or bullpen, which is the biggest reason they are listed at +1000 to win the division. Neither the San Francisco Giants at +2200 or the Arizona Diamondbacks at +3300 are expected to provide much of a challenge to the Dodgers in the NL West.
Best Regular Season Win Total Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers Over 92 Wins
While there isn’t much value betting on the Dodgers to win the West, there is definitely some value for betting the OVER on their regular season win total. The Dodgers are coming off back-to-back World Series appearances, but they added to their bullpen with Joe Kelly and they have a solid core group that features Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Rich Hill, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. They registered 92 wins a year ago and while they had a quieter-than-expected offseason, this is still the best team in one of the weakest divisions in baseball. They’ll beat up on the Giants and Diamondbacks plenty, and should win the majority of their matchups with the Rockies and Padres. The smart money is on the Dodgers to finish with more than 92 wins this season.
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