2015 National League Pennant Odds

Bryce Harper and the Nationals are favorites to win the 2015 NL Pennant.

Washington Nationals 13/4 – The addition of Max Scherzer rocketed the Nationals to the top contenders in the National League and rightfully so. He will eat innings which will help the bullpen. The offense is solid, but not spectacular in my opinion but I do like skipper Matt Williams a lot because he knows how to generate some runs.

Los Angeles Dodgers 19/4 – Brandon McCarthy makes the starting rotation deeper but did the bullpen and offense get any better? I think the Dodgers challenge but any dropoff could result in Don Mattingly going bye-bye.

Chicago Cubs 6/1 – Joe Maddon instantly adds wins to this team and adding some more talent to the already talented youth doesn’t hurt either. Can they live up to higher expectations? Time will tell.

San Diego Padres 13/2 – The addition of James Shields will give the pitching staff a much needed boost and the offense will be better as well. The problem is the division where the Giants and Dodgers aren’t going to go away anytime soon.

St. Louis Cardinals 13/2 – Although some extra pitching would have been nice in the offseason, the Cardinals did add Jason Heyward to the outfield and the line-up. I see no reason why the Cards aren’t right where they usually are in the end.

Madison Bumgarner will need a repeat performance if the Giants are to repeat as the champs.

San Francisco Giants 17/2 – The defending champs aren’t fond of odd-numbered years and their pitching staff, outside of Madison Bumgarner is a little questionable. Plus, who replaces Pablo Sandoval?

New York Mets 14/1 – Michael Cuddyer comes over from Colorado so while we can expect his numbers to drop a bit he is still a solid upgrade. There are capable players on this team so if the pitching can come through the Mets could be a challenge in the East.

Pittsburgh Pirates 14/1 – The Battling Buccos have to replace Russell Martin behind the dish and that won’t be easy. He was a great leader and was well-liked by the fans. A.J. Burnett returns to the rotation but will they get enough out of the starters this year?

Miami Marlins 16/1 – This team will have a very exciting outfield which should put butts in seats. The questions will be mostly about pitching and whether the Marlins will have enough of it to stay with the Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds 28/1 – After competing in recent years the Reds will take a significant step back. They lack any real depth and should they stay healthy could be a factor but they dumped too many guys to consider them.

Atlanta Braves 33/1 – The Braves unloaded a lot of players recently and seem to be throwing in the towel for this season and maybe next year as well.

Milwaukee Brewers 33/1 – The Brewmasters started so hot last season but then the roof collapsed and they were caught by St. Louis and Pittsburgh. I don’t see any type of start this year resembling what they did in 2014.

Arizona Diamondbacks 50/1 – This team is destined for the basement in the National League West unless they can best the Rockies which is debatable. The Padres got better and there’s no way they are in the same league as the Dodgers and Giants.

Colorado Rockies 75/1 – The Rockies have very little pitching and the offense is going to rely too heavily on just a couple of guys for them to be taken seriously in 2015.

Philadelphia Phillies 75/1 – It’s a fantastic baseball city that probably deserves better but I don’t see much hope in sight. This is going to be another long year especially in a division with three top, improved teams.

Who I like… As much as I hate going with the favorite, I think Washington gets over the hump behind a monster pitching staff and wins the pennant.

Odds to Win the 2015 American League Pennant

Masahiro Tanaka's health will be of extreme importance if the Yankees are to be in the running for the AL Pennant.

Boston Red Sox 11/2 – Pablo Sandoval may have shown up to Spring Training looking like Barney from “The Simpsons” but he is still being relied upon to deliver after the BoSox acquired this offseason. Offensively I think Boston will be fine. I am a tad concerned about the lack of a stud leading the rotation but this should be a good team in 2015.

Los Angeles Angles 6/1 – The Angels racked up 98 wins last season and the team appears to be largely the same. Even with Josh Hamilton’s pending suspension, LAA should be right there in the mix for the pennant.

Chicago White Sox 7/1 – This should be one of the more entertaining teams in the AL to watch. There’s plenty of offensive firepower now and the only question is how far can the pitching take them? Chris Sale will miss the opener after he injured himself getting out of a pool. Either way, this could be the team to beat in the AL Central.

Seattle Mariners 7/1 – Robinson Cano has some help in the lineup now and that’s something he didn’t have last year. Nelson Cruz and Seth Smith should both give Cano better looks at the plate. If the pitching can follow the lead of King Felix then this could be a team right there at the finish.

If the Tigers are going to win the AL Pennant then Justin Verlander must be much better than he has been the last two seasons.

Detroit Tigers 8/1 – The Tigers have had a wonderful run dating back to the arrival of Dave Dombrowski but is age finally catching up to them? Both Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera are banged up entering the season and what can they expect from Justin Verlander who has been average the last two seasons?

Cleveland Indians 9/1 – The Indians return Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and a lot of youth that gained valuable experience last year as the Indians pushed both Detroit and Kansas City to the brink. I can see this team winning the division or finishing well back in the pack. That’s how hard they are to figure out right now.

Toronto Blue Jays 10/1 – The Jays added Josh Donaldson and field general Russel Martin but how much will they improve the team? Toronto was right there for a good part of the season in 2014 so can they see this year to the end?

Oakland Athletics 12/1 – Count me as one who thinks the A’s take a step back this year. Yes, there are some new faces, the outfield is the same and there are two good starters leading the rotation but this division will be a bear and I don’t see the A’s winning the pennant.

Baltimore Orioles 14/1 – Most people would say the Orioles did more than expected last year especially with Chris Davis having a brutal year. The Birds do get both Manny Machado and Matt Wieters back so perhaps they will be in the race again but pitching depth will be vital.

Kansas City Royals 14/1 – The Royals aren’t returning to the World Series this year but they should still be competitive despite the loss of James Shields. If the bullpen is as successful as it was last year than anything is possible but I see a step back here.

New York Yankees 14/1 – The Yanks have potentially deep rotation and solid bullpen. If they can get through the early portion of the season where all the talk will be “A-Rod” they could be right there. The first season without Derek Jeter in the locker room will be curious to watch as well.

Texas Rangers 22/1 – The Rangers were devastated by injuries last season and this year isn’t starting much better. Shortstop Jurickson Profar is likely out for the season with a shoulder injury. Yu Darvish is expecting a big season but how much can he do?

Houston Astros 28/1 – Houston added guys like Jed Lowrie and Evan Gattis but at the end of the day this will continue to be a team on the rise rather than one that will compete.

Tampa Bay Rays 33/1 – Beloved manager Joe Maddon is in Chicago and these Rays have very little depth. This will be nothing short of a miracle if the Rays can even get to .500.

Minnesota Twins 50/1 – Well, at least the fans have a lovely stadium to attend games in…. Sorry, this isn’t happening in the Twin Cities in 2015.

My Favorite: I love the Mariners. They’ll fly under the radar in the Pacific Northwest before it’s too late for most opponents to notice.

Odds Makers Release 2015 MLB Divisional Odds

Odds makers online are gearing up for the start of Major League Baseball’s 2015 regular season on April 5. On opening day, the Chicago Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals. The divisional odds were released this week giving bettors plenty of time to review the numbers and make a pick they feel has the most value.

The American League East has been called the most competitive division top to bottom in baseball by odds makers at Bovada and topbet.

While the Boston Red Sox are the favorites to win the division with 2 to 1 odds. All of the five teams in the AL East are priced 5 to 1 or lower.

The other two divisions in the American League appear wide open, as there is only one team in both the AL Central and West with odds of double digits. The Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tiger are the co-favorites of the AL Central with 2 to 1 odds. The Los Angeles Angels are 3 to 2 to win AL West division, but just barely in front of the 8 to 5 Seattle Mariners.

In the National League East, the Washington Nationals are clear favorites at 1 to 4 to win the division, with the Miami Marlins a distant second at 5 to 1.

In the NL Central, the odds on favorite is St. Louis at 10 to 11, but Pittsburgh is 5 to 2 and Chicago 4 to 1.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a clear favorite to win the NL West. The Dodgers are 2 to 5, while the San Francisco Giants are a distant 5 to 1 with the San Diego Padres 7 to 2.

2015 MLB Divisional Odds

RED SOX 2 to 1
BLUE JAYS 11 to 4
ORIOLES 4 to 1
YANKEES 9 to 1
RAYS 50 to 1


TIGERS 2 to 1
INDIANS 2 to 1
WHITE SOX 9 to 1
ROYALS 13 to 1
TWINS 25 to 1

ANGELS 3 to 2
A’S 5 to 1
RANGERS 6 to 1
ASTROS 20 to 1

MARLINS 5 to 1
METS 6 to 1
BRAVES 35 to 1
PHILLIES 100 to 1

CARDINALS 10 to 11
PIRATES 5 to 2
CUBS 4 to 1
BREWERS 12 to 1
REDS 15 to 1

DODGERS 2 to 5
GIANTS 5 to 1
PADRES 7 to 1
ROCKIES 50 to 1

MLB Offensive Props Favor the UNDER

Odds makers have released hundreds of props for the Major League Baseball season. Several of the props are geared toward results prior to this summer’s All-Star break giving bettors something to look forward to prior to the end of the 162-game regular season.

When looking over the totals in the props for offensive results on two-way props, there are a few that appear to be high considering that strong pitching has dominated.

Pitching dominates so much now that the MLB has considered shrinking the strike zone at the lower end. The rules committee will analyze the strike zone during this season with a potential changed coming for the 2016 season.

However, bookmakers know most gamblers love to bet the OVERs, which makes them factor that into their final numbers.

One of the two-way props that stands out is the OVER 58.5 for the leader in stolen bases. More teams appear to be trying to get one of their runners in scoring position through a stolen base due to the game being dominated by pitching and runs are not scored as easily any longer.

Kansas City used the stolen bases as an offensive weapon on many occasions last season, which helped them to reach the World Series. Since copycatting is commonplace, look for more teams to use the Royals form of advancing runners.

However, do not look for stolen bases in the number that were posted during the 1970s and ‘80s, but it seems quite probable at least one player will steal 58.5 bases this season.

When it comes to power, the big what if is whether Giancarlo Stanton can remain healthy during the entire season. If he is able to play the full 162-game schedule, which he has not done for three straight seasons, he will likely hit the OVER on home runs of 44.5 and in RBIs of 126.5.

Last season Nelson Cruz was the MLB home run leader with just 40, and Adrian Gonzalez led in RBIs with 116. Therefore, the numbers 44.5 and 126.5 looks high.

It is expected that pitching will dominate again and some feel even more so than last year.

When making a choice for over/under on a two way prop beat, make sure you factor how strong the pitching has been the past few seasons. Most of the props that are two-way and offensive look like solid UNDERs with the exception of the stolen bases and total hits. The two-way total hits prop is sitting at 206.5, there has to be at least one hitter in MLB who can record more than 206.5 hits. However, just one player last season, Jose Altuve had over 206.5 hits, with 225.

Washington Nationals Top Win Totals Board for MLB

With Major League Baseball pitchers and catchers arriving for spring training, the start of the 2015 season is just weeks away.

Odds makers recently released their 2015 MLB win total for the season. Sure enough, bettors with fistfuls of cash are ready to put down their wager on the over/under for win totals.

Early money starting coming in on the UNDER for the Boston Red Sox at 86 wins, which pushed their total down to 84.5.

The Washington Nationals received interest as soon as the list was released Sunday night. The Nationals had the highest win total of all 30 MLB teams at 93, but was bet on to 94 according to Bovada and sportsbook.com.

Nearly every team received some action, with over 68% of the wager coming on middle wagers. One was Cleveland, at one house you could have the OVER at 81 for the Indians and at another the UNDER was 84.5, which according to topbet and betonline, created a window of opportunity of 3.5 games.

For many, one of the toughest teams to figure out is the New York Yankees. They have a veteran lineup with Rodriguez, Beltran, Teixeira and McCann, but their rotation following Tanaka is iffy. If Sabathia is able to come back healthy, he could help. However, Michael Pineda missed four out of the last five seasons.

The Yankees win total opened at 81.5 wins.

Another difficult team to put a handle on is the Houston Astros. The Astros are trending upwards but its young talent is hard to judge. George Springer played close to 70 games last season and had 20 home runs, but how will he be over a complete season?

However, they will be in one of the best top to bottom divisions in baseball with the Angels, A’s, Rangers and Mariners all vastly improved.

Houston opened at 75.5 wins on most sites, but on others, the Astros opened at 73.5.

The San Diego Padres were another team hard to pick a total for as they added pitching during the offseason and outfielder Matt Kemp. The Padres opened at 85.5 wins, which is higher than at other houses.

The Kansas City Royals opened as low as 79.5 in one house and as high as 83 on another. Odds makers believe the public will like the OVER on Kansas City, but one believes the Royals might not win more than 70 games this season.

Highest win total – Washington Nationals – 94

Lowest win total – Philadelphia Phillies – 68.5

My Thoughts on the Major League Baseball Playoffs


Bryce Harper is a key cog in the Nationals' machine.

I remember a time when the Fall Classic actually meant that it would be played in October. Actually, it’s now played in November because hey, the baseball season isn’t long enough already is it?

In fact I think a week after Thanksgiving don’t pitchers and catchers report?

OK, I won’t go there right now because this is a time to be celebrating baseball rather than ripping on it so let’s get to my thoughts on who will do what in the 2014 MLB Playoffs.

American League

Detroit vs. Baltimore.

The Tigers won five of six from the East Division champs but they haven’t seen each other since May. A lot has changed since then for both teams while some things have stayed the same. Postseason baseball is about pitching and timely hitting.

Detroit can handle both of those things with one exception; their bullpen. Brad Ausmus has his hands full in trying to juggle the bullpen because closer Joe Nathan has been a train wreck all season. The good news is that Justin Verlander is heating up and the rest of the playoff rotation is good.

Have to give the managerial advantage to Baltimore’s Buck Showalter who will not make knee-jerk decisions while Ausmus is a bit new at this playoff stuff.

Prediction: Tigers in 4

Royals vs. LA Angels

What a second half for the Halos who seemed destined for a wild-card spot. Their run coupled with Oakland’s misery have them back atop the West Division. The offense begins and ends with Trout, Hamilton and Puljos while the starting pitching will need to hold up despite injuries.

The Royals made a spectacular comeback last night to defeat the A’s in 12 innings despite the best efforts of Manager Ned Yost to screw things up in the 6th inning. KC will not be an easy out for the Angels especially because of the home crowd but I think talent will eventually be too much for the Royals.

Prediction: Angels in 7

Can Clayton Kershaw carry his outstanding season into the playoffs?

National League

St. Louis vs. LA Dodgers

The Dodgers won the season series 4-3 but they haven’t seen each other since the month of July. Both teams have some playoff experience but in terms of an edge that would have to go to the Cardinals.

If ever there was a series about starting pitching this would be it. There’s no reason to expect Clayton Kershaw to be anything other than brilliant in game one but the Cards will make him work I guarantee that.

If St. Louis can put together some hitting they have a shot.

Prediction: Dodgers in four

Giants/Pirates vs. Washington

A lot of people just want to hand the Nationals the World Series trophy and I can understand why but there’s a reason they actually play the games. Washington is third in hitting and first in pitching and they will also have a fan base as fired up as any in recent memory.

It’s been 90 years since a Washington baseball team has a won a title.

The Pirates will host the Giants tonight and while either team can give the Nats problems, I think the Buccos would offer more of a challenge but that’s not by a long shot by any stretch.

Either way, I like Washington to get by either team with great depth in both pitching and hitting.

Prediction: Nats in Four

If you’re dying to know my League Championship Series predictions I’ll abide by your wishes but just in case I’m not right about the divisional round I’ll “re-predict” later.

ALCS – Angels over Tigers in 5

NCLS – Nationals over Dodgers in 6.

Here’s the Latest on the Races in Major League Baseball



Buck Showalter has his Orioles just days away from an East Division title.

With about 14-15 games to go in the regular season of Major League Baseball, there are races that are just about to end and some that are about as close as they can get. Here’s a look at where we stand and who I like for the MVPs as well.


The surprising Baltimore Orioles have their magic number down to just three games as I write this and will clinch their first division championship since 1997 and have not won a pennant since 1983.

Toronto and New York are four and five games respectively out of a wild-card berth and unless something drastic happens neither will make the postseason. An unfortunate end to a great career for the Yankees’ Derek Jeter.


The Tigers swept the Cleveland Indians over the weekend to essentially knock them out of it. Detroit now has a 1.5 games lead over Kansas City who currently has a wild-card struggle with the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners.

The Royals and Tigers will meet for three more games later this week in Kansas City and each still have series’ left with Cleveland and the White Sox.


The LA Angels had their ten-game winning streak snapped Sunday but they lead the division by an amazing 10 games over Oakland. The A’s and Mariners are both still well alive for wild-card berths with only the Detroit/KC loser perhaps being a factor. Whether the Mariners make the postseason or not, Manager Lloyd McClendon should garner serious consideration for Manager of the Year honors. 

AL Picks: Orioles, Tigers, Angels. WCs Royals and A’s.

AL Pennant: Angels


I'm not at all surprised that Williams has the Nationals on the verge of a division title.


The Washington Nationals ran away and hid with this division in the second half of the season and currently lead the Atlanta Braves by 10.5 games. The Braves are currently four games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final wild-card spot.

NL Central

Milwaukee has had a rough second half of the season and has dropped to third in the division. St. Louis currently leads the Pirates by 3.5 games for the division lead. Pittsburgh and St. Louis will not see each other anymore down the stretch.

The Brewers can control their own destiny with series against both St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the final 15 games.


The San Francisco Giants have hung tougher than I thought they would with their rivals to the south. The LA Dodgers have a three game lead over the Giants and will entertain them for three more games next week.

At this time, San Francisco would need a major collapse to miss out on the playoffs altogether.

NL Picks: Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers. WCs Pirates and Giants.

NL Pennant: Nationals


I’ll start in the National League where there shouldn’t even be a vote. Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw will run away with the Cy Young Award and should also take the MVP prize as well.

On Sunday, he picked up his 19th win and gave up just two runs. Amazingly, his ERA actually went up to 1.70 for the season. Others in the discussion would include Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, Giancarlo Stanton of Miami and Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers.

This is Kershaw’s year though.

In the junior circuit, the competition might be just as poor with Mike Trout on the cusp of finally getting the MVP Award after finishing twice behind Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.

There are cases to be made for Oakland’s Josh Donaldson or Kansas City’s Alex Gordon but I don’t know how anyone catches Trout who deserves the award as much as anyone in recent memory.

Odds Makers Take Notice of Brewers Sweeping Dodgers in LA

Major League Baseball has less than a month and a half before the regular season ends and the race for the World Series begins.

Odds makers have released their most recent futures for the World Series. The Milwaukee Brewers sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend was noticed by bookmakers, as the odds for the Brewers on Bovada and sportsbook.com were shortened.

Milwaukee had its odds shorted from 14 to 1 last week to 12 to 1 on topbet and betonline.

What made the sweep of the Dodgers so impressive by the Brewers was it was on the road, against a top National League team and included defeating Clayton Kershaw.

Milwaukee has played well all season and is currently leading the National League Central by 3 games over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers are 70-55 and have the second best NL record.

With the additional of a second spot in the wildcard race, more emphasis has been placed on winning the division so as not to play in a one-game play-in.

That is why the seven remaining head-to-head games between the Brewers and the second place Cardinals will be so important down the stretch.

The Brewers have a very deep lineup with Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez and Jonathan Lucroy, a candidate for the NL MVP award.

The pitching staff has not been same as the batting order, but owns an ERA of 3.60.

Yovani Gallardo showed he could pitch with the best of them by earning a win against Kershaw. Gallardo, Wily Peralta and Kyle Lohse are three formidable starters that can make life miserable for any opposing batter.

Nevertheless, there are nearly 40 games left in the baseball regular season and the stretch run of September is still to come.

All of the races in the Majors are within 7.5 games. The Baltimore Orioles lead the AL East by that amount over the New York Yankees, while Washington leads by 6 games over the Atlanta Braves.

In the AL West on a half game separates the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland A’s at the top. The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the NL West by 3 ½ games.



OAKLAND A’S 9 to 2









Christie Vetoes Sports Gambling Bill in New Jersey

Online sportsbooks and Las Vegas can breathe a sigh of relief after Chris Christie the Governor of New Jersey vetoed a bill on sports betting. Christie said that ignoring the federal law is counter-productive to the country’s democratic traditions.

Christie vetoed a measure that would have opened the door to sports wagering in racetracks and casinos in New Jersey.

Christie rejected the legislation that would have had New Jersey circumventing a federal ban on gambling on professional as well as college sports in New Jersey.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s case, which meant the ban remained.

While Christie helped lead a spirited effort legally in an attempt to change the existing law, he said he could not join an attempt to circumvent the court.

Christie said ignoring federal law, instead of working to reform the standards, is not in line with the country’s democratic traditions and is inconsistent with the values of the Constitution that he was sworn to protect and defend.

Both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature overwhelmingly passed the measure in June, just days after the ruling by the country’s top court.

Christie, who currently is considering running for the presidency, was indifferent when the legislature passed the measure, saying the court said no, so it was time the state moved on.

Ralph Caputo a Democrat and a sponsor of the legislation called the decision by Christie disappointing. He said the state was running out of its options for finding ways to raise much needed revenue.

The legislation he said would have given a much needed injection of revenue for Atlantic City as well as for the racetracks in the state.

The legislation was a viable opportunity to raise revenue and help to rejuvenate the casino industry in New Jersey, and we failed to take advantage of it.

Christie said he would be open to looking at other approaches to allowing sports betting that complies with the country’s federal laws.

The state has fought for years in its attempt to overturn legislation that allows sporting betting in only four states in country where sports betting is legal and the federal law will not be overturned any time soon.

MLB Still Busy, but NFL Starting to Pick Up Action

Gridiron action has started, but that does not mean Major League Baseball has lost its relevance.

Odds makers felt the effects of rookie Johnny Manziel’s debut with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, as bettors on Bovada and topbet pushed the Browns to a favorite of 2.5 points prior to kickoff after the Detroit Lions had opened the line as the favorite at -2.5.

There have been few limit plays thus far in the preseason of the NFL, even though the majority of sites have low limits on point total of $500 and on sides at $1,000.

While the preseason games play out, the limit wagers are few and far between. Odds makers at betonline and sportsbook.com say that baseball remains prevalent and where most of the nightly handle is done.

The majority of action on the NFL is small ticket, straight bets and a number of parlays, of which the majority are tied back to baseball games.

With many of the baseball games posting later, the entire risk for the day rests on them, which means the baseball group is the larger winner of loser on the following day’s report of wins and losses.

Most books will employ a much different strategy on the NFL games once the regular rolls into town. Many in the preseason want to be within a ½ point of the market number, while during the regular season it is more about the amount booked than what is the market.

This past weekend the books enjoyed a solid weekend in baseball. The books do so much better when the public’s popular teams like the Angels, Dodgers and Tigers lose.

Los Angeles dropped two straight to open a series in Milwaukee, while the Angels were riding a 4-game losing streak up through their game on Saturday.

With the second week of preseason NFL games on tap this weekend, bookmakers are expectedly more action.

In week one of the preseason, the favorites were 10-6 ATS and the UNDER cashed on 11 of 16 games. That is in stark contrast to the NFL preseason last year when the OVER cashed in 59% of the games.

Last week’s lowest total was just 35.5 between Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. That total cashed UNDER as the Bucs lost to the Jaguars 16-10. Blake Bortles the Jags No. 1 pick had a solid game at quarterback.

The total that was the highest was 4

2 in a game between Philadelphia and Chicago. That game cashed on the OVER as the Bears outlasted the Eagles 34-28. That total on most lines was opened at 38.5, but was all the way to 41 before Tuesday night.

While baseball will remain relevant for now, the focus of public bettors will little by little move over to the NFL and NCAA by the time September rolls around.