The new MLB regular season is just two weeks into an extended 162-game schedule and there is already some surprising separation in a few division races in the American League. However, parity appears to be alive and well in the National League with some great early races in all three divisions.
This tight start across the board makes things even more interesting when it comes to the MLB futures at Intertops online sportsbook to win this season’s NL Pennant.
Frontrunner in The NL Pennant Race
The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the NL Pennant the last two seasons and they will be gunning for their seventh-straight NL West Division title. The Dodgers started spring training as +350 favorites to win the NL again this year and just two weeks into the regular season that number has been bet down to +300 as the best odds on the board.
Los Angeles is off to a rather generic start with an 8-6 record through its first 14 games, but it is tough to read too much into these early results. This is still the most complete team in the NL and the ace of its pitching staff Clayton Kershaw is getting ready to make his first start.
The Philadelphia Phillies were one of the most active NL teams this past offseason when it came to player personnel capped off by the acquisition of Bryce Harper as one of the prized jewels of the MLB free agent market. This move quickly elevated the Phillies to +450 betting odds as the second-favorite to win the NL.
Staying true to expectations, the Phillies got off to a blazing 5-1 start to move to the head of the class in the NL East. However, things are currently bunched up in the standings with everyone but the Miami Marlins separated by just one game. The East should remain a dog fight all season long between the top four teams, but the Phillies still have the inside track.
Everyone expected the NL Central to be a tight race this season after the Milwaukee Brewers won the division by one game last season over the Chicago Cubs. The St. Louis Cardinals and even the Pittsburgh Pirates remained in that race deep into the regular season. The Brewers are the top favorites in the Central this season with +550 betting odds to win the NL Pennant.
Milwaukee is setting the early pace at 8-5 through its first 13 games, but this is another division race that will probably come right down to the wire. The Brewers have already won an early-season series against both Chicago and St. Louis to make a statement that the road to the Central Division title still has to go through Milwaukee as the defending champ.
The Best of the Rest
The Cubs and the Cardinals are next on the list to win the NL at +800 betting odds. Chicago has stumbled out of the gate with eight losses in its first 12 games. The Cubs remains one of the highest scoring teams in the NL, but their pitching staff is on the wrong end of the list when it comes to runs allowed.
St. Louis has been able to keep pace with Milwaukee atop the standings through the first two weeks. The Cardinals’ pitching staff is off to a solid start with a staff ERA of 3.77 and they rank sixth in the league in scoring runs. This appears to be another team that can keep things interesting in the NL Central.