The Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season has right around 110 games in the books, leaving the pivotal last two months to decide pennant races and playoff positioning. This then seems a good time to see how things have progressed thus far and explore the latest 2019 NL Pennant betting odds at the sportsbooks.
In the National League (NL), the Los Angeles Dodgers juggernaut marches onward, building a big double-digit divisional lead in the NL West. And with all those games separating the Dodgers – winners of the last two NL pennants – from the rest of the pack, Los Angeles occupies its familiar perch as even-money favorites to reach the World Series yet again.
So says online sportsbook Bovada, which opened the Dodgers as (+350) favorites to hang the NL pennant ahead of Opening Day back in mid-March. Four and half months of sustained .640 baseball later, and those odds have improved to even money as the dog days of summer set in.
The Dodgers are no doubt motivated to get the championship monkey off of their collective back, having failed to parlay NL pennants in 2017 and 2018 into a World Series win. And aside from parting ways with stalwarts like Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig over the offseason, Los Angeles returned with its All-Star caliber core of Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Clayton Kershaw, and Hyun-Jin Ryu intact.
Blessed with both a stacked lineup and strong pitching, Los Angeles had amassed an impressive +156 run differential heading into the week – the best in baseball by 30 runs, and more than double that of any other NL team. Barring an unforeseen playoff upset, the dynamic Dodgers definitely deserve their status as overwhelming favorites to represent the NL in this year’s Fall Classic.
When the opening 2019 NL Pennant betting odds were posted, the Dodgers’ primary challenger for the pennant was the Philadelphia Phillies at (+550). The Atlanta Braves, meanwhile, were stuck behind three NL Central contenders and faced (+850) odds.
Fast forward to today, and the Braves have flipped that script by grinding out a lead in the NL East division standings. With a gap separating Atlanta and Philadelphia, the surging Braves have improved their 2019 NL Pennant betting odds to (+375) as the team appears poised for a division title and possible pennant-deciding NL Championship Series date with the Dodgers.
Atlanta has fallen back to Earth of late, however, amidst a rash of injuries and prompting discussion of making a splash before Wednesday’s trade deadline.
The struggling Phillies – who sit on the outside looking in of the Wild Card race and sport a negative run differential – have dipped all the way to seventh place on the pennant betting board at (+1400). The much hyped addition of superstar slugger Bryce Harper has disappointed thus far, while second-year manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t been able to push the right buttons like he did in his rookie season.
As for the aforementioned three NL Central contenders, the Chicago Cubs (+850), St. Louis Cardinals (+900), and Milwaukee Brewers (+1200) are bunched closely together in more ways than one. Conceivably, all three teams could stamp a ticket to the postseason, although Milwaukee’s negative run differential makes an eventual September swoon quite possible.
After losing out in the Harper sweepstakes, the Washington Nationals looked to be entering a rebuilding period, but nobody told the players who stuck around.
Free agent pickup Patrick Corbin has fit in nicely with ace Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, giving Washington the strongest 1-2-3 in a rotation of any playoff contender. And third baseman Anthony Rendon has shouldered the offensive load once carried by Harper, batting .318 with 23 home runs, 80 runs batted in, and a .404 on-base percentage to lead the Nats in all four categories.
Washington trails Atlanta in the NL East, but a crucial head-to-head series this week could see that gap shrink in a hurry, which would likely improve the Nationals’ current pennant odds of (+1200).
The National League Wild Card race is filled out by the usual suspects for the most part, and the San Francisco Giants are back in contention for a playoff spot thanks to a July for the ages.
In his swan song as a manager, Bruce Bochy has lived up to his legendary reputation by leading an undermanned squad of underdogs to a scorching record this month. That torrid run catapulted San Francisco – which opened as (+6600) longshots to take the pennant – from the NL West cellar and expected trade deadline sellers to potential buyers hoping to solidify their playoff chances.
Accordingly, the Giants have cut their pennant odds in half and currently offer a (+3000) price to hoist their fourth pennant of the decade. And to see how the entire NL pennant race stacks up, from Los Angeles to Miami and everyone in between, see the table below:
|Team||N.L. Pennant Odds on 7/30/19||N.L. Pennant Odds on 3/13/19|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||EVEN||+350|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+900||+750|
|San Francisco Giants||+3000||+6600|
|New York Mets||+8000||+1300|
|San Diego Padres||+10000||+2800|