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Updated look at NL West standings, best value bet to win based on odds movement

The Dodgers were favored to win the NL West entering the season, but how have the odds changed two months into 2021? We break down the movement and identify the best value bets.

MLB: New York Mets at San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates with third baseman Manny Machado after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Mets during the third inning at Petco Park.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the best winning percentages in baseball reside in the National League West. That checks out. But the best winning percentage in MLB belongs to the San Francisco Giants?! Whoa, nellie. That has, obviously, drastically improved their odds to win the division, but which team offers the best value on DraftKings Sportsbook? Let’s examine the NL West odds and figure out where is the best place to put your money.

  1. San Francisco Giants (35-21) —
  2. San Diego Padres (35-23) 1.0 GB
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers (33-23) 2.0 GB
  4. Colorado Rockies (23-34) 12.5 GB
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks (20-38) 16.0 GB

Analysis: The Dodgers sit in third place in this division, but they have basically been who we thought they were. Injuries to a few critical players — Dustin May and Cody Bellinger — have impacted them, but they’ll be fine. They won’t win 115 games as some were forecasting in March, but they should still be the favorite in this division. On DraftKings Sportsbook, they are; L.A. is at -225, down only slightly from Opening Day. (-250).

I think the Padres have done what we expected as well. If someone told you during Spring Training San Diego would be playing .600 ball and be a half game out of first place in June, you wouldn’t blink an eye. Some singular performers, such as the incomparable Fernando Tatis Jr. or a turn-back-the-clock Mark Melancon, definitely stand out. But this team remains on course. Their lines state the same thing; the Padres opened at +175, were +200 by Opening Day and are at +180 now.

But what about the most pleasant surprise in MLB? The Giants are being led by the oldest offense in the league. The average age of a Giants hitter this season is almost 31 years old. Buster Posey, 34, Brandon Crawford, 34, and Evan Longoria, 35, are all playing like All-Stars. Ace Kevin Gausman has a 1.40 ERA through 70 innings, and he joins four other starting pitchers who have an ERA of 3.60 or better. That accomplished group contains Alex Wood, Logan Webb, Anthony DeSclafani and Johnny Cueto. Can all of this really keep going?

No.

Like, absolutely not. We know who these veterans are and most, if not all, of them will experience regression as we move through the summer. If you want to view the Giants as a value at +1200 — they opened the season at +4000 — be my guest. But you’ll just be throwing money away. Unless the Dodgers and Padres are both beset by roster-wide injuries, the cream will rise to the top. Maybe toss a couple of bucks on the Giants for fun, but don’t invest heavily. This has been a nice story, but it won’t last.

Betting value: I’d gladly take the Padres at +180. I think they have shown that they can be just as good as the Dodgers, and there is still much to be desired from starting pitchers Blake Snell and Dinelson Lamet. Plus, with Tatis Jr., all things are possible.

Odds to win NL West

Team Opening Odds April 1st May 1st June 1st
Team Opening Odds April 1st May 1st June 1st
LA Dodgers -182 -250 -550 -225
SD Padres +175 +200 +325 +180
SF Giants +3000 +4000 +2800 +1200
ARI Diamondbacks +3000 +5000 +6600 +20000
COL Rockies +2500 +5000 +15000 +20000

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