Sorting Out the NL Contenders From the Pretenders
The NL East is loaded with three of the best teams in baseball but the oddsmakers are making the Mets the team to beat.
Let’s check out the MLB futures odds and talk about the best bets in our World Series futures MLB picks.
The NL Fab 5
New York Mets (+350)
Some of the other offshore books have the Dodgers as the favorite to win the National League pennant but BetOnline has the Mets listed at the top of the heap and the odds on New York are virtually identical across the board.
When the new owner, Steve Cohen, bought the team he decided he wanted to build a winner and his checkbook has been wide open to make that happen. Last season the Mets tied for first place in the NL East with the Braves but lost the tie-breaker, were declared the second-place team, and lost in a best-of-three series to the Padres.
Nevertheless, it was a quantum leap from their 2021 season in which they won only 78 games.
Therefore, if this is a team trending up, which it is, then look for the Mets to take the next logical step this season after signing Justin Verlander to play catch with All-Star catcher Omar Narvaez while inking 3-time NPB All-Star pitcher Kodai Senga to a long-term pact.
They also signed José Quintana to bolster the back end of their rotation and picked up a decent veteran reliever in David Robertson. Sure, Jacob deGrom departed for greener pastures in Texas but overall, the Mets are even better than they were last season and are my favorite to capture the pennant and, perhaps, bring a World Series title back home to Gotham.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+375)
The Dodgers have won their division nine times in the last 10 years but have notched just one World Series title during that decade of domination. If the window isn’t closing on these postseason chokers, then it probably should.
Is that harsh? No, it’s really not harsh enough because this team collects All-Stars like I collect losing lottery tickets. Maybe I can use them as a write-off one day when I hit it big but what’s LA’s excuse?
This year Big Blue is among the favorites to win the National League crown but are they a better team without Trea Turner and Justin Turner in the lineup or are Tyler Anderson, Chris Martin, and Craig Kimbrel throwing seeds on other teams this season?
Yes, the Dodgers will be in play again this season but save yourself the postseason blues and ride another team in your MLB futures.
San Diego Padres (+450)
The Padres are everyone’s favorite that doesn’t have a dog in the NL fight. They knuckled up and finally punched the bully on the block right out of the playoffs when they sent the Dodgers packing in four games in the NLDS last year.
This season they have a wagon just waiting to unload. Fernando Tatis Jr. will be back from his year-long suspension and when you consider the rest of the lineup featuring Manny Machado, Juan Soto, and additions like Xander Bogaerts, Matt Carpenter, and Nelson Cruz, it’s tough to ignore the Padres as the logical choice to usurp the Dodgers as NL West champs.
Atlanta Braves (+550)
The Braves won 101 games last season and copped the top spot in the NL East last season. And they did it with a myriad of injuries to key contributors, all of whom will be back to begin the season.
Players like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies both missed substantial swaths of time while pitchers Charlie Morton and Max Fried also spent time in the trainer’s room.
Dansby Swanson, William Contreras, and Adam Duvall have all exited Atlanta but this team still has the goods to give the Mets a run for the division crown and make a deep dive into the postseason. I think New York is simply the better club but at odds of (+550) to win the NL pennant, there’s plenty of value on the Braves this season.
Philadelphia Phillies (+650)
The Phillies began last season at 22-29, made a managerial change, and suddenly there was no hotter team in baseball. They struggled a bit down the stretch but once they entered the postseason, they knocked off all comers until bowing to the Astros in six games in the World Series. All this after an 82-80 season the year before and coming out of nowhere to become the biggest Cinderella story in years.
This year they won’t be flying under anyone’s radar but they have the chops to compete in the best division in baseball, the NL East. Despite their status as the reigning NL champs, the oddsmakers consider the Phillies to be the third-best team in their own power-packed division.
And without losing any key contributors, Noah Syndergaard being the most notable, the Phillies added the following:
- SS Trea Turner: Signed to an 11-year, $330 million contract.
- RHP Taijuan Walker: Signed to a 4-year, $72 million contract.
- LHP Matt Strahm: Signed to a 2-year, $15 million contract.
- RHP Craig Kimbrel: Signed to a 1-year, $10 million contract.
- LHP Gregory Soto: Acquired from the Detroit Tigers.
- INF/OF Kody Clemens: Acquired from the Detroit Tigers.
- INF Josh Harrison: Signed to a 1-year, $2 million contract.
If you want value, you could do much worse than the Phillies at (+650) to repeat as kings of the National League.
MLB Futures Across the Books
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.