T-minus two weeks until Opening Day of the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) season, and for the time being anyway, every ballclub boasts a pristine 0-0 record and all the hope that entails. Here’s a look at the 2019 NL pennant odds.
Unlike in the American League (AL) – where the division winners and Wild Card spots seem all but preordained – the National League (NL) is decidedly up for grabs.
Based on the opening odds posted by online sportsbook Bovada, the AL is home to only five teams – Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, and Athletics – offering better than 15 to 1 odds on winning the pennant.
Shift the focus to the Senior Circuit, however, and the race features no less than nine teams with a 15 to 1 shot or better on the 2019 NL pennant odds of reaching the World Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have captured the NL pennant two years running, and while they may not have a World Series title to show for it, this perennial powerhouse sits atop the pennant betting board at (+350).
That price may be wishful thinking though, considering the Dodgers’ many defections over the offseason. Mainstays like outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, along with starting pitcher Alex Wood, were shipped to the Cincinnati Reds (+4000) in a cost-cutting move, fundamentally reshaping the L.A. roster as a result.
And although he was always going to be a short-term rental added for last year’s futile championship run, infielder Manny Machado was poached in free agency by an NL West rival in the San Diego Padres (+2800).
All things considered, the Dodgers will still trot out one of the more talented teams in all of baseball – especially after adding standout center fielder A.J. Pollock in free agency – but L.A. could be due for regression in 2019. Especially if all-world ace Clayton Kershaw continues to suffer from injuries and aging, as the dominant southpaw is currently struggling with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
If L.A. can’t get it done, oddsmakers like the Philadelphia Phillies (+550) as the most likely candidate to dethrone the Dodgers.
Philly made the biggest splash of Hot Stove season, ending months of intrigue and negotiations by signing outfielder Bryce Harper to a ridiculous $330 million contract covering 13 years.
The Phillies were surprise contenders for much of 2018 under first-year manager Gabe Kapler, peaking at 15 games over .500 in August before a September swoon doomed them to an 80-82 finish.
Nonetheless, with a strong starting staff led by Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, and sluggers like Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and Jean Segura throughout the lineup, Philadelphia could easily enjoy the same renaissance season that saw the Atlanta Braves (+850) claim the NL East title last year.
Next up on the betting board are three NL Central clubs that are no strangers to postseason success.
In 2016, the Chicago Cubs (+600) finally broke through for their first Fall Classic triumph in more than a century, and they’ve played October baseball in four straight seasons.
The St. Louis Cardinals (+750) have missed the dance for the last three years, but they won the NL pennant on four occasions since 2004 – hanging a pair of World Series banners along the way.
And although the Milwaukee Brewers (+800) have never won it all, a 96-win season in 2018 produced an NL Central title and a trip to the NL Championship Series – where the “Brew Crew” fell in seven games to the Dodgers.
|Team||2019 NL Pennant Odds on March 13|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+350|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+750|
|New York Mets||+1300|
|San Diego Padres||+2800|
|San Francisco Giants||+6600|