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Assessing the National League Teams With Realistic 2019 World Series Aspirations

| July 10, 2019 12:00 am PDT

There’s a handful of good teams in the National League, but right now, one is standing a cut above the rest.

I don’t root for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I’m willing to give credit where credit is due. After all, it’s kind of hard to ignore the facts.

Dave Roberts’ group is head and shoulders above the rest of the National League at this point, sitting with 60 victories on the eve of the second half of the season resuming.

LA is so far ahead in the NL West that the rest of the division is fully aware that they’re all playing for second.

Quite the opposite situation has arisen in the NL Central, where the five teams are bunched up by just 4.5 games in the standings. How it unfolds is anybody’s guess, although I have a hunch on how things will pan out.

Atlanta is in a terrific position to capture the NL East for the second straight year. However, the Nationals and Phillies are poised to challenge the Braves as the regular season winds down.

After scoping out the 2019 World Series odds and examining the National League pennant betting sheet, I’m starting to zero in on some value. Follow along and see if you agree.

2019 World Series Odds

The best team in the National League is also the 2019 World Series favorite. I predicted Los Angeles would come up short in their quest to be the last team standing when I wrote about fading the Dodgers back in January.

Given the current pricing, I see no reason to back off that claim just yet.

MyBookie.ag Bovada.lv BetOnline.ag
Los Angeles Dodgers +270 +270 +300
New York Yankees +300 +333 +400
Houston Astros +350 +375 +500
Atlanta Braves +750 +800 +900
Minnesota Twins +900 +850 +900
Chicago Cubs +2200 +2000 +1600
Tampa Bay Rays +2200 +2500 +2200
Philadelphia Phillies +2200 +2300 +2200
Milwaukee Brewers +2500 +2500 +2200
Boston Red Sox +2500 +2500 +2200
Washington Nationals +2500 +2800 +2200
Cleveland Indians +2800 +3000 +2500
Oakland Athletics +3500 +3500 +4000
St. Louis Cardinals +4500 +4000 +4000
Texas Rangers +5000 +5000 +5000
Colorado Rockies +6600 +6600 +6600
Arizona Diamondbacks +7500 +9000 +6600
Pittsburgh Pirates +7500 +8000 +10000
San Diego Padres +8000 +8000 +6600
Cincinnati Reds +9000 +6000 +8000
Los Angeles Angels +15000 +10000 +10000
New York Mets +20000 +20000 +15000
Chicago White Sox +40000 +25000 +25000
San Francisco Giants +200000 +100000 +15000
Seattle Mariners +400000 +300000 +50000
Baltimore Orioles +500000 +400000 +500000
Toronto Blue Jays +500000 +300000 +100000
Kansas City Royals +500000 +400000 +500000
Detroit Tigers +500000 +400000 +500000
Miami Marlins +500000 +400000 +100000

I’ll tell you about the World Series futures bets I’d be interested in placing below. I already dished on four World Series contenders in the American League. Now I’ll reveal the quartet of NL teams I’ll be targeting.

2019 NL Pennant Odds

It’s all the way down to even money if you want to bet on the Dodgers getting back to the World Series for a third straight year. Fortunately, you can latch on at +125 at BetOnline.ag.

MyBookie.ag Bovada.lv BetOnline.ag
Los Angeles Dodgers +100 +110 +125
Atlanta Braves +300 +300 +450
Chicago Cubs +1000 +900 +900
Philadelphia Phillies +1000 +1200 +1200
Milwaukee Brewers +1100 +1200 +1200
Washington Nationals +1200 +1200 +900
St. Louis Cardinals +2200 +2000 +1600
Colorado Rockies +3300 +3000 +3300
Arizona Diamondbacks +4000 +5000 +4000
Pittsburgh Pirates +4000 +4500 +5000
San Diego Padres +4000 +4500 +3300
Cincinnati Reds +4500 +3500 +5000
New York Mets +20000 +12500 +8000
San Francisco Giants +100000 +75000 +8000
Miami Marlins +200000 +200000 +50000

I’ve alluded to the Dodgers being the cream of the crop, and below is where I’ll elaborate.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Cody Bellinger is having an all-world season, and I mean that wholeheartedly. Not only did the 23-year-old lefty slugger pound out a franchise-record 30 dingers before the All-Star break, but his 220 total bases lead the Majors.

I’d have no problem structuring a 40-page essay based on what Bellinger has accomplished in his team’s first 92 games, but this article depicting Bellinger’s first-half accolades tells you everything you need to know.

I’d rather focus on how Max Muncy and Justin Turner are doing their parts and how Alex Verdugo has the makings of being a special player. When A.J. Pollock and Corey Seager return to this lineup, we’re talking about an exquisitely talented crop of hitters that Dave Roberts can roll out on a nightly basis.

As I expected, Rich Hill and Ross Stripling can’t be relied on to record 200+ innings, but here’s what I didn’t account for.

Hyun-Jin Ryu is pitching absolutely lights out.

Ryu’s dominating 1.73 ERA is the lowest among all qualified starting pitchers, yet I wouldn’t be surprised if LA decided to use him as their #3 starter in the postseason. That’s because Clayton Kershaw is having a bit of a resurgence, and Walker Buehler is as good as advertised.

With Kenta Maeda contributing and the lineup getting healthy, it could very well come down to Kenley Jansen and the bullpen being able to take care of business. There’s nothing here to suggest that the Dodgers won’t get back to the Fall Classic, but you’ll need to keep reading before you go locking in any wagers.

There are a few other teams who might have something to say.

Atlanta Braves

Only two National League teams were able to eclipse 47 wins by the All-Star Break. We know the Dodgers have 60 victories, and the Braves are next in line at 54-37. Currently six games up on Washington, Atlanta theoretically could pull away before Labor Day even arrives.

The Braves have a couple of bonafide studs, but it’s their balance from top to bottom that makes me think they could outlast a team like the Dodgers. Think about that for a second.

Ronald Acuna Jr. is living up to the hype, quickly turning into one of the top-10 players in all of baseball. Ironically, he might not even be the best player on his team.

Freddie Freeman is a sleeper pick to win the 2019 NL MVP, just as Noah Davis referenced last weekend in his post. Among other categories, Freddie leads the Braves in homers (23), doubles (25), and batting average (.309).

And trust me, there’s plenty more to like.

Dansby Swanson has mashed 17 jacks, and Josh Donaldson has launched 18 long balls. Heck, Ozzie Albies is hitting .290, and this Austin Riley kid is without a doubt a star in the making.

Can I finally bring up their pitching?

Atlanta’s team ERA (3.64) is the lowest in the National League, and the acquisition of Dallas Keuchel only makes them tougher. Don’t look now, but Mike Soroka is primed to do big things for this club down the stretch.

Now you know why I predicted the Braves would surpass their projected win total of 84.5 games when I assessed the topic back in January!

Milwaukee Brewers

Remember how historic of a year I told you Cody Bellinger is having for the Dodgers?

Well, take his preposterous numbers and tack on 19 stolen bases. Only then will you have an idea of how ridiculous Christian Yelich has been in 2019. It’s actually mind-boggling to ponder just how good of an all-around player Yelich is. I’d even go as far as saying he’s at least on par with Mike Trout in terms of his gift as a baseball player, and perhaps even better.

With that being said, asking yourself if Christian has enough support is entirely valid.

Mike Moustakas is making his presence felt with 25 homers, and Yasmani Grandal is providing the type of power from the catcher position that Milwaukee had hoped for in the offseason.

But Lorenzo Cain is hitting a paltry .246, and Ryan Braun is no longer anywhere close to being an elite outfielder. If the Brew Crew are going to win their division and factor into the playoff race, they may need to add a starting pitcher before the July 31st trade deadline.

Could Milwaukee trade for Madison Bumgarner in time?

I sure hope so, because Brandon Woodruff and Zach Davies aren’t exactly the “1-2 punch” that’s going to scare opposing batters. Acquiring Bumgarner could be the missing piece to link Craig Counsell back to the NLCS. If they get there, good luck to any team trying to hit off Brewers closer Josh Hader.

Washington Nationals

Trailing the Braves by six games in the NL East might sound like a lot, but it’s not insurmountable for a team as compelling as the Nationals. Max Scherzer is pitching like a total beast, and Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are legitimate aces.

In fact, you could make a case that their “top 3” is better than the Dodgers’ top 3, and that says a whole lot.

Everyone was concerned that Bryce Harper bolting for Philly would leave a major void in the middle of the lineup, but all it’s done is open the door for Juan Soto and Victor Robles to step in. Soto is quietly hitting .300 with 56 RBI, while Robles has 13 homers and has swiped 12 bags.

Trea Turner is developing into more of a leader, and Adam Eaton is finally healthy. With that being said, Anthony Rendon continues to establish himself as one of the most dependable hitters in the National League.

Would it be nice if Brian Dozier was a bit more productive? Sure. Is it unlikely that Anibal Sanchez maintains a 3.66 ERA? Probably.

But I’ve been high on Washington ever since spring training began, and I’m not about to sell out now. The Nats have won 10 of their last 12 games and are starting to look like a championship contender. I doubt their +2800 price tag (at Bovada.lv) to win the World Series gets any more attractive, which can only mean one thing.

Place a futures bet on Washington sooner rather than later. That way, you don’t risk FOMO.

Going Away

Sorry, fans in the Windy City. I just don’t see the Cubbies making a run at the World Series in 2019. As much as I would love to see the Phillies put it all together and be playing deep into October, I’m worried that’d be wishful thinking.

While everyone and their grandmother are backing the Dodgers to emerge in the National League, I don’t see any value in the wager. Not when you consider how good Atlanta and Milwaukee are, and not when a team like Washington has a trio of really talented starting pitchers.

If you are hellbent on investing in the Dodgers, go ahead and be my guest. I just prefer the upside attached to the other contenders much, much more.

Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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