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2009 National League Pennant Odds

MLB: Manny key to NL title

Free agent Manny Ramirez could be the key to the National League pennant and a big payday. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a tremendous value at 8:1 odds to win the N.L. pennant at Sportsbook.com. Those odds are sure to drop quickly if Ramirez finally signs with the Dodgers and that could happen any minute with pitchers and catchers already reported.

Ramirez almost single-handily led L.A. to an NLCS berth last year after being acquired from Boston at the trading deadline. Manny and his agent Scott Boras believed that entitled him to a five or six year deal at $25 million per season. 

Instead, Ramirez is just one of several baseball free agents who have seen their market shrink with teams unwilling to give long-term deals. 

The Dodgers are still willing to go two, possibly three years on his contract at big money and even Boras isn’t likely to come up with one his infamous ‘mystery’ teams to top the bidding at this point. The San Francisco Giants are the only other team to publicly have any interest and they are a long shot. 

Assuming Ramirez eventually signs with the Dodgers, he will solidify a lineup that begins with shortstop Rafael Furcal, the team’s key free agent signing so far, at the top. 

Los Angeles’ lineup will be very strong 1-8 and it will certainly be good enough to win a pennant. The Dodgers hitters, led by Ramirez’ .520 average and four homers, hit well in the post-season last year but were ultimately let down by their pitching staff against the Phillies after sweeping the Cubs. Bet on Baseball at sportsbook.com

There are some questions with the depth of the starting pitching with Derek Lowe and Brad Penny out of the picture. Similar question arise with the closer spot as Jonathan Broxton is ready to resume the role even though he gave fans heart palpitations on many an occasion last season. 

Los Angeles (7:5) is a slight favorite to win the N.L. West right now over an emerging Arizona Diamondbacks team and those odds will also be adjusted once Ramirez is signed and delivered. 

A look at the rest of the N.L. Pennant favorites has the New York Mets the top-dog at 5:2, followed by the Cubs (3:1) and the World Champion Phillies (5:1). The Diamondbacks are in the next tier at 10:1 along with the Atlanta Braves. 

The Mets and Cubs each have serious question marks surrounding them and the last time an NL team made consecutive World Series appearances was the Atlanta Braves in 1996, so the chips are certainly stacked against them. 

And while you are looking at the MLB future odds, don’t forget to check out the early odds for the World Baseball Classic. The Dominic Republic is the favorite at 7:5, followed by USA (8:5), defending champion Japan (6:1), Cuba (8:1), Venezuela (10:1) and Puerto Rico (12:1). 

Nobody does baseball betting like Sportsbook.com, so head over to the live odds page and get ready for all the action from now through October.

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