The MLB division title race in the NL East has taken some twists and turns over the course of the season. The Philadelphia Phillies started out at the top of the list with MLB predictions weighing heavily on that team’s offseason moves.

The Atlanta Braves got red hot in June to forge their way into the division lead and most of the current baseball betting advice pegs this team as the only real competition to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers from winning a third-straight NL Pennant. 

Also in the mix during the dog days of the MLB regular season is the Washington Nationals. Backed by some strong starting pitching and a few strong bats, the Nationals have been able to remain relevant in this race after most MLB predictions had Washington taking a big step backwards this year.

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All the top offshore sportsbooks taking MLB action online have continually updated the futures odds to win the NL East. With the MLB regular season schedule rapidly pressing on, it is time to assess the current value in the latest futures odds.

Betting on The Frontrunner

Atlanta took over the lead in the NL East towards the tail end of the first half of the season and it has held on ever since. At 67-48 through 115 games, the Braves have a comfortable, but not an insurmountable six-game lead in the division standings. Their betting odds to seal the deal with a second-straight NL East title are now set at -1000. There is no value taking that big of a risk with more than 45 games left to play, Yet, it probably does not make all that much sense going against this team to win the division.

I would put things in a wait-and-see mode. Atlanta has 14 games against the next two teams in the standings from Sept. 5 through Sept. 19. If things start to tighten up, and the Braves odds start to come down, that would be the time to make this bet.

Teams Still in the Hunt

The Nationals and the Phillies are also battling one another for a wild card spot in the NL, so things should remain interesting right through the final game of the season. Washington has the inside track with the Oddsmakers at +750 odds to win the division. Philadelphia has slipped to +2000 to close the gap and come out on top. If you have money to burn, a small bet on either team could provide a very nice return.

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My issue is that neither team has shown the ability to go on a winning tear. Midway through the first full week of August, they are each spinning their wheels at 5-5 in their last 10 games. If one of the two teams can start stringing some wins together over the next few weeks, it would add some value to their odds. That is still a mighty big “if” right now.

Riding Out the String

The New York Mets made a huge splash right before the MLB trade deadline on July 31 by trading with Toronto for starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. This move was more of an eye to the future even though the Mets could mathematically still win the division. It also helps that New York is white-hot over the past 10 games or so, but I still have this team riding out the string at +6000 odds to win the division.

The Miami Marlins are more than 20 games off the pace and already off the NL East futures board at most books.

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