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2013 National League Betting Futures – MLB Odds – Handicapping

2013 National League Pennant Race

Spring training sites in both Arizona and Florida are in full swing as all 30 MLB ball clubs are hard at work preparing for the start of another season. Only two will make it all the way to this year’s World Series so this time around I am focusing my attention on my top favorite, contender and longshot to get there from the National League. All odds quoted have been provided by Cappers Picks’ top sportsbooks.

The Favorite

The best team during the regular season last year was the Washington Nationals with an overall record of 98-64. The loss of pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg spelled an early exit from the playoffs but that should not be the case this time around.

The National’s lineup from last season remains basically intact after finishing fifth in the NL in runs scored and had a team batting average of .261. Bryce Harper is coming off a ‘rookie of the year’ campaign and while Jason Werth as yet to earn his keep in his first two seasons in Washington, he could be primed for a breakout year.

The starting rotation remains the best in the NL after finishing last season with a team ERA of 3.33. The Nationals did lose Edwin Jackson but the addition of Dan Haren should be able to fill the void.

The Contender

It is hard to believe that a team that has won two World Series in three seasons would be considered just a 7/1 contender to win a third and a +175 second-favorite to win the NL West, but that is exactly what the defending champion San Francisco Giants are up against. I feel there is tremendous value in these odds as this team has proven time and time again that you can never count it out.

San Francisco made a strong offseason effort to keep last season’s lineup as intact as possible by resigning free agents such as Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro as well as bringing back Andres Torres. The Giants were not necessarily known as one of the better hitting teams in the NL last year with a team batting average of just .269 but they made the most of their opportunities with 718 runs.

The real strength of this ball club still lies in the pitching and if Tim Lincecum can maintain the form he showed in the playoffs as opposed to the regular season, they should be even better this time around with pretty much the same staff.

The Longshot

The Cincinnati Reds won the NL Central by nine games and are -125 favorites to win it again, but keep an eye on the Milwaukee Brewers at +650 to win the division and as 18/1 longshots to win the NL. They finished 83-79 last season and have enough talent to add 10 or so wins to that total this year.

If the Brewers are going to make a move to the top of the NL it will most likely be behind a solid set of bats that led the league in runs last season with 776. They also led in home runs with 202 and boasted a .437 slugging percentage.

Bovada

Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum are gone from the starting rotation but neither player lived up to their inflated contracts last season. Milwaukee will look to Yovani Gallardo and second-year pitcher Mike Fiers to fill the void. There are still some overall question marks, but this staff is deep enough to keep the Brewers competitive all season long.

Complete Odds to win the NL

Washington Nationals 15/4

Los Angeles Dodgers 4/1

Cincinnati Reds 6/1

Atlanta Braves 7/1

San Francisco Giants 7/1

Philadelphia Phillies 8/1

St. Louis Cardinals 9/1

Milwaukee Brewers 18/1

Arizona Diamondbacks 25/1

Pittsburgh Pirates 28/1

Chicago Cubs 40/1

New York Mets 40/1

San Diego Padres 40/1

Colorado Rockies 60/1

Miami Marlins 75/1

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.


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