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How the public is betting the NL East during Spring Training

The Atlanta Braves are slim favorites in the National League East headed into the 2021 season. We break down how the public is betting the division.

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman celebrates at the dugout after scoring against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning in game five of the 2020 NLCS at Globe Life Field. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a strong argument to be made that the National League East is the best division in baseball. The Braves came within a game of making the 2020 World Series. The Nationals are just two years removed from their own World Series title. The Mets made some big moves in the offseason. The Phillies bring back a star-laden lineup, and the Marlins are ahead of schedule after making the playoffs last year. Let’s discuss each NL East team and how they are being viewed by those betting on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Atlanta Braves (+120)

The Braves possess the best odds to take the NL East crown. They account for 18% of the handle but a division-high 42% of the bets. Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman will try to get them into the Fall Classic with the help of one of the best players in the game, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell Ozuna, who led the National League in home runs and RBI last year. The starting rotation has a trio of promising pitchers in Max Fried, Mike Soroka and Ian Anderson. That rotation should be deeper this year with the inclusion of veteran Charlie Morton.

New York Mets (+140)

The Mets’ division odds aren’t far behind the Braves. New York has received 52% of the handle and 38% of the bets. They were one of the most aggressive teams during the winter as they acquired star shortstop Francisco Lindor, catcher James McCann and pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who will slot in behind two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. If injured SP Noah Syndergaard returns by midseason and looks like his usual self, the Mets will have one of the best rotations in baseball.

Washington Nationals (+600)

The Nationals have taken in 7% of the handle and 10% of the bets. Their lineup is highlighted by Juan Soto, who produced an incredible 1.185 OPS during his age-21 season last year. Trading for Josh Bell and signing Kyle Schwarber should provide more pop to this offense and more protection behind Soto. However, the biggest key for the Nats is doing whatever possible to keep starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg healthy.

Philadelphia Phillies (+875)

The Phillies haven’t made the playoffs since 2011. They have received 21% of the handle and 9% of the bets. Bryce Harper is still in the middle of the lineup, and the Phillies were able to re-sign J.T. Realmuto, the best catcher in the game. They need more contributions from their pitching staff behind starters Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. The addition of Archie Bradley should improve a bullpen that had the worst ERA in baseball last year.

Miami Marlins (+2500)

The Marlins were the surprise team of the shortened 2020 season. But the bettors don’t think they can hang over the course of a 162-game season. They account for just 1% of the handle and 2% of the bets. The team will lean on a starting rotation filled with five pitchers who are 25 or younger. Top prospect Sixto Sanchez and Sandy Alcantara highlight that group. The Marlins signed former Atlanta outfielder Adam Duvall, who hit 16 homers in 57 games last year. He, Starling Marte and Jesus Aguilar make up the heart of Miami’s lineup.

Here’s a look at the betting splits as they sit as we kick off Spring Training on March 1st for the 2021 MLB season.

NL East betting splits, March 1

Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
1 NY Mets +140 52% 38%
2 PHI Phillies +875 21% 9%
3 ATL Braves +120 18% 42%
4 WAS Nationals +600 7% 10%
5 MIA Marlins +2500 1% 2%

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