National League Betting Preview For 2017

The National League is full of 2017 World Series contenders and it all starts with the defending champion Chicago Cubs. Yes, the Cubs finally broke the curse of the Billy Goat and Chicago fans everywhere have forgotten about Steve Bartman's infamous blunder in 2003 and are completely over the past….ok maybe they’re not quite over it just yet, but it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal now that the Cubbies are finally champions after the longest championship drought in all of sports. They will be looking to get back to the World Series in 2017 and even after a couple of losses via free agency, they still have more than enough talent to do it again. Teams that will be nipping at Chicago’s heels this season include the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. It can be argued that the NL is the tougher of the two leagues as all five teams we have mentioned are within the top eight in the league in terms of World Series odds for 2017, according to Bovada’s sportsbook. There are also plenty of other teams that made it a point to make big signings this offseason so prepare for a competitive year in all three divisions in the National League. Below, we go over the league favorites and longshots, as well as our picks for this year’s dark horses. We also provide an in-depth look into each team's specific odds and chances for the upcoming 2017 season.

Who Are The Favorites To Win The 2017 National League Championship Series?

When considering the National League favorites for the 2017 World Series, you have to start with the Defending champions themselves, the Chicago Cubs. Currently, the Cubs have the best odds to make a repeat performance of last year, becoming the first team to do it in over sixteen years. The departure of ace Aroldis Chapman to the Yanks doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference in their odds, either. With a +185 line, the Cubs are definitely the front-runners to win the National League. What bettors should keep in mind, though, is that there hasn’t been a team that’s won back to back World Series in over 16 years and that the Cubs aren’t the best at breaking streaks – at least not in a timely fashion.

The Cubs biggest competition for the National League Championship is the Washington Nationals, whose bevy of offseason moves have improved their World Series betting odds to +500. The Nationals are a young, talented group, and the addition of Adam Eaton helped them fill the gap they had in outfield. They did trade away two of their best prospects for him, so he’s got a lot of pressure riding on him to make the trade seem worthwhile. Rounding out the National League Favorites for this MLB preview would be the San Francisco Giants, another extremely talented team. At +550, they have the third best odds to take home the National League Championship this year. The Giants’ biggest issue last season was their bullpen, which they’ve taken bounds to fix by signing Mark Melancon, one of the best pitchers available this offseason. Addressing this problem fixed quite a few of the holes which kept them from advancing in the playoffs last year.

Who Are The 2017 Longshot and Dark Horse Teams In the National League?

Unfortunately for Ohio baseball fans, the longshot team to win the National League Championship heading into the 2017 season is the Cincinnati Reds. With a +10000 line attached to their name, the Reds are tied for the worst odds in the NL, alongside the San Diego Padres. With a cadre of problems that can’t be remedied in the few months of the offseason, Cincinnati has a couple of pitchers in their farm leagues that have the potential to be stars, but until they make their debut, that’s all just speculation. The Reds have no relief pitchers and don’t have enough clout to pick up the players they need, especially after the deal with Greg Holland fell through. The Reds will just have to work on developing their farm teams over the next couple of seasons until those prospects are ready. The San Diego Padres, the other team tied for the worst odds in the league, have pretty much the same problem. Their bullpen can be considered weak at best, and things aren’t much better on the other side of the ball. The team had the worst batting average in the league last year, .235. They, too, have talent in their farm leagues but it’s still too soon to call any of those players up. The Padres will have to work on improving the players they’ve got before they get better.

In every season, there is always at least one team that rises from obscurity to make a run for the Title. A team that, by the end of the regular season, has everyone scratching their heads muttering “how did we not see this team coming?” In the National League, there are a handful of teams with Dark Horse potential in their MLB preview. Their 2017 National League betting odds might not reflect that right now, but isn’t that exactly what makes betting on a Dark Horse so appealing? In the offseason, a couple of teams have really garnered a bit of attention in this area. The first team you should look at are the Colorado Rockies, a team that had the second-best offense in the entire league last year. To top that off, they had a couple of talented first-year pitchers in Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray, both of whom are on track to pick up right where they left off at the end of last season. If both pitchers can take that next step for 2017, the Rockies should make an excellent showing in this season. Currently, their 2017 National League betting odds are +2800.

Another team you may not be thinking of but should pay attention to are the Miami Marlins. I know what you’re thinking right now. They finished just shy of .500 and lost their Ace pitcher last season. But hear me out – the Marlins have an incredibly talented group of players – Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Adam Conley, to name a few – led by Giancarlo Stanton, who had a very off year in 2016. If he can get back to his usual dominance at the plate and the Marlins add a good number 1 to their bullpen, they’ll definitely be a playoff worthy team. At +2200, their odds are right around the middle of the pack to win the 2017 National League Championship. You won’t lose much on this team but you stand a lot to gain.

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