MLB NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION ODDS & PREVIEW
We are at the doorstep of spring and that can only mean one thing: Major League Baseball is near! Pitchers and catchers have reported to camp for the 2023 MLB season and before long it will be time to play ball. While we wait for the first pitch it is not too early to lay down some of our early futures bets at JazzSports. We will start by breaking down the National League for Division favorites and the team that will represent the NL in the 2023 World Series. Here are the MLB National League Division Odds.
MLB National League Division East
Last season the NL East challenged the NL West as the best division in baseball in the preseason. This season it looks like an even closer challenge. The Phillies proved to be better than their regular season would indicate, winning the National League Title and added Trea Turner to the lineup. The Braves and Mets meanwhile battled all season long and reloaded for another tight race.
The addition of Turner makes Philadelphia very interesting, but the team will likely have to dig out of an early season hole unless they can tread water minus Bryce Harper for some time. Outside of Harper’s rehab and plugging in Turner this team looks eerily similar to last season. Make no mistake, the Phillies are a playoff team that will boast a dangerous offense in the fall.
The Mets and Braves race is almost another coin flip. Atlanta surpassed New York in the final week of the regular season last year. It did not make any big splashes but still has one of the strongest bullpens and a deep lineup. The one place the Braves fall a little short is in the starting rotation.
This is where the Mets dealt a blow to Atlanta. New York won the Justin Verlander sweepstakes, scoring an off-season win over their rivals. Verlander fills the hole left by Jacob deGrom and is a pretty fair upgrade. He had a league-best 1.75 ERA last season, winning 18 games and 185 Ks. The offseason could have been even better if the Mets would have sealed the Carlos Correa deal but this is still the team to beat in the NL East.
MLB National League Division Central
The NL Central had some surprising results in 2022 but the intrigue in the last run for Cardinals greats Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina made for a lot of magic. St. Louis won the division and was a team nobody wanted to face in the postseason.
This year’s Cards will have some holes to fill if they are to make another trip to the postseason. The starting rotation in particular needs another solid arm or two behind Adam Wainwright and Jordan Montgomery. By contrast, the outfield has the talent to spare which will make for an interesting spring training.
The Cardinals outperformed expectations in 2022 while the Brewers were one of the most underperforming teams. The pitching staff in Milwaukee is excellent but the offense could not keep up. It will be hard to improve this season after losing Hunter Renfroe so Milwaukee is reliant on a couple of under-the-radar pickups to fill the gap. Still, we like this rotation and with a strong enough start, they could be buyers at the deadline. The Brewers get back on top in the Central.
MLB National League Division West
The NL East has a lot of talent but the West is completely stacked. It’s an arms race between the Dodgers and Padres and we always have to watch those sneaky Giants. To no surprise, the Dodgers are again the frontrunners.
L.A. suffered some significant offseason losses though. Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner are gone, dealing a major blow to the team’s production at the plate. This is certainly the weakest lineup the Dodgers have had in the last four years, for now. The Dodgers are always a team to watch around the deadline.
As L.A. gets weaker San Diego grows stronger. Before we get to this strong lineup, let us consider the potential defense. The Padres can roll out Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto in the outfield. The infield will add Xander Boegaerts to a group that includes Kim Ha-Seong, Manny Machado, and Jake Croenenworth. Add pitcher Aaron Nola to that mix and the Padres will be tough to score on.
Now the offense is where things get really scary. San Diego has all of that speed and the power of Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter to put pressure on opposing pitchers. The Padres were outside the top 10 in runs per game last season. That will not be the case this year. The Padres have the tools to be a top-4 team at the plate and a top-tier defense. That will finally get this team past the Dodgers in the NL West.
MLB National League Division Champion
The National League is a powerhouse league once again this season, perhaps even more than in recent years. Even as the Dodgers take a small step back – they are still a contender by the way – other clubs have loaded up.
The real contenders in the NL are the Dodgers, Padres, Mets, and Braves with the Phillies as the dark horse.
There is a lot of baseballs to be played and the trade deadline will shake things up at the top. With that, we expect the Padres and Mets to meet in the NLCS. The Mets will ultimately outlast San Diego thanks largely to its experienced pitching led by Verlander, reaching the World Series for the first time since 2015.
Follow us on Social Media for Instant MLB National League Division Odds News, Highlights & More.