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National League Pennant betting splits before Opening Day

We take a look at how the public is betting on the National League champions heading into the 2021 MLB season.

New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso at bat against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning of a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.  Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

The heavy betting favorite to win the National League this year is the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also, water is wet.

But the Dodgers haven’t taken in all of the action over at DraftKings Sportsbook. There are a handful of clubs that have received a significant portion of bets to win the NL. Let’s talk about some of those teams and identify who might surprise and unseat the reigning champs.

The Dodgers (+175) are fully expected to repeat as NL champions. Division rival San Diego Padres have the second shortest money line at +390. San Diego has commanded 16 percent of the bets; only the Dodgers, at 40%, have received a higher share. The Dodgers also lead the way with 26% of the handle, but the Mets (+525) are second there at 23%.

The Padres and Mets are both fine teams if you’re looking to pick a favorite to knock off the Dodgers. But being in the same division as L.A. means San Diego will likely have to ride a Wild Card berth all the way to the World Series. The Mets made a few splashy moves during the offseason, but big questions remain about what they kind of production they will get out of their starting rotation past Jacob deGrom.

That’s why the Atlanta Braves (+500) look like the best value play here. They return basically the same offense from last season, one that led baseball in OPS and tied the Dodgers for tops in slugging percentage last year. The starting rotation has young stars such as Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Mike Soroka but will also have Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly to give it a veteran presence. Basically, the team that took the Dodgers to the Game 7 of the NLCS last year returns in whole in 2021, but with a better pitching staff. I would like to take my chances with that.

NL Pennant Betting Splits

Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
1 LA Dodgers +175 26% 40%
2 NY Mets +525 23% 11%
3 SD Padres +390 19% 16%
4 STL Cardinals +1050 12% 7%
5 ATL Braves +500 6% 13%
6 CHI Cubs +2200 4% 3%
7 PHI Phillies +2000 4% 3%
8 WAS Nationals +2000 3% 2%
9 MIL Brewers +2500 2% 1%
10 CIN Reds +1500 1% 1%

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