Could the best value bet to win the NL West be the San Diego Padres?

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the most talented team in baseball. They are so talented that it doesn’t even matter much that they will again not have former NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer on the mound this season because of his off-field issues and now record-setting suspension.

LA has the money and prospects to go make any trade should a hole on the roster arise. It’s almost not fair to the rest of the National League, honestly, and the new collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players did nothing to level the playing field.

The Dodgers had won seven straight NL West titles until last season when they won 106 games … and finished second in the division to the San Francisco Giants. Incidentally, the record for consecutive division titles is 14 in a row by the Atlanta Braves from 1991-2005. Los Angeles is a -260 favorite this year.

Timeline For Tatis

San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr

San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr looks out from the dugout during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)

This writer, though, would argue that the San Diego Padres at +475 might represent the best betting value as of today. The Padres are right behind the Dodgers as of this writing yet haven’t had arguably the best all-around player in the National League this season in superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. He is recovering from wrist surgery but apparently all is going well and could be back by mid-June.

Tatis probably would have won the NL MVP last season if not for a few injuries and the Padres fading down the stretch; he had been the favorite entering this season before we all learned about the wrist injury. No one knew he had injured it because players weren’t allowed to talk to team officials during the lockout. That Padres lineup could be frightening once Tatis is back because both Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado are off to red-hot starts. Machado is a +800 third-favorite for NL MVP.

Also consider that the Padres just saw the return of Mike Clevinger, who was one of the American League’s best pitchers from 2017-20 with Cleveland before being traded to San Diego in August 2020. Clevinger missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.

The Giants (+450) were supposed to take a step back from last season after losing a few key players, but the signing of pitcher Carlos Rodon has worked wonders, and it’s just such a well-run organization that San Francisco probably will stay in the hunt.

Colorado (+2500) has been a pleasant early surprise, but the Rockies are what they usually are: Good at home and horrible on the road. Arizona (+10000) has played above its paygrade thus far but has no shot at the division or playoffs.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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