2015 National League Pennant Odds

Harper
Harper
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.

Bumgarner
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

Tanaka
Tanaka
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.

JV
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

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

AL CENTRAL ODDS

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

AL WEST ODDS
ANGELS 3 to 2
MARINERS 8 to 5
A’S 5 to 1
RANGERS 6 to 1
ASTROS 20 to 1

NL EAST ODDS
NATIONALS 1 to 4
MARLINS 5 to 1
METS 6 to 1
BRAVES 35 to 1
PHILLIES 100 to 1

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

NL WEST ODDS
DODGERS 2 to 5
GIANTS 5 to 1
PADRES 7 to 1
ROCKIES 50 to 1
DIAMONDBACKS 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

Washington Nationals Top World Series Futures Heading to Spring Training

Spring Training will start soon across South Florida and the desert southwest, even though it is the dead of winter in the majority of the U.S. A number of teams will start reporting this week to their spring training facilities with the pitchers and catchers reporting first.

In just a few short weeks, the teams will be ready to start their spring training schedules and prepare for the 2015 season.

According to one online report, many of the Major League Baseball’s 30 teams will have pitchers and catchers reporting starting today February 12 and all camps are open officially starting February 20.

The upcoming season could see big changes for teams, as the offseason was busy with a number of trades and big free agent signings.

According to Bovada and sportsbook.com, the team with the best odds to win the World Series is the Washington Nationals. The Nationals hit the jackpot this past offseason when they signed Max Scherzer to a $200 million seven-year deal. When Scherzer is added to a staff that is considered by most one of the league’s best, many teams will dread three- and four-game series with Washington.
One of big surprises on the futures board for the World Series is the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs made significant changes during the offseason, including signing Joe Maddon to manage the club. However, the club is 16 to 1 and in front of teams such as Kansas City, Baltimore, the Yankees and Detroit and that is a big stretch.

According to topbet and betonline, the Cubs have been cellar dwellers the last two seasons and next to last the two seasons prior to that.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are second on the list due to their strong starting rotation that compares with that of Washington. When the Dodgers and Nationals meet, the over under could be low as 1 or 2. Just kidding, but that just underscores the strength the two pitching staffs have.

The season is long, injuries are always a play away and these odds will be adjusted up and down like a yo-yo between now and October.

2015 World Series Odds

Washington Nationals 6 to 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 13 to 2
Los Angeles Angels 10 to 1
St. Louis Cardinals 12 to 1
Boston Red Sox 14 to 1
Seattle Mariners 14 to 1
Chicago White Sox 15 to 1
San Francisco Giants 15 to 1
Chicago Cubs 16 to 1
San Diego Padres 18 to 1
Detroit Tigers 20 to 1

Washington Nationals Move To Top of World Series Futures

It may be just mid January, with the NFL preparing for the Super Bowl, the NCAA for March Madness and the NBA for the All-Star break.

However, odds makers have released their futures for the World Series to be played in October.

This offseason has been relatively quiet for Major League Baseball, but that ended when Max Scherzer signed a $210 million seven-year deal with the Washington Nationals.

Upon the signing, the Nationals moved up to the top spot on the MLB Futures board as well as on Bovada and betonline for the World Series. The Nationals had their odds shrink to 5 to 1 to win the World Series.

Washington was priced following the Winter Meetings at 8 to 1, but passed the Dodgers and are now the new favorite to win the 2015 World Series.

With Scherzer in the fold, the Nats have a rotation of Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez. With a rotation like that, it is safe to say it is the best in baseball.

While the signing of Scherzer was certainly a big deal, the depth of their rotation might allow them to solidify their weaknesses, most notably the infield.

It is quite possible this is not the last of the signings by the Nationals during the offseason.

The Detroit Tiger, the team that lost Scherzer saw their odds to win the World Series double to 20 to 1 from 10 to 1.

Nobody will likely feel sorry for the Tigers, as their rotation will be led by the talented southpaw David Price and their batting order by Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers should once again be very strong.

The Dodgers have not been as active in the trade or free agent market as they were last season, with the exception of trading Matt Kemp their talented outfielder to San Diego. Nevertheless, with their strong pitching rotation the Dodgers are a strong second on the futures board.

The futures will undoubtedly see many more movements before the regular season starts in April. However, on this day, the Nationals are at the top of the board on both topbet and sportsbook.com.

2015 World Series Futures

WASHINGTON NATIONALS 5 to 1
LOS ANGELES DODGERS 6 to 1
LOS ANGELES ANGELS 8 to 1
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 12 to 1
SEATTLE MARINERS 12 to 1
BOSTON RED SOX 14 to 1
CHICAGO CUBS 14 to 1
DETROIT TIGERS 20 to 1
BALTIMORE ORIOLES 20 to 1
KANSAS CITY ROYALS 20 to 1

MLB Winter Meetings Shake Up World Series Futures

While college football takes a breather and NFL football is winding its way toward the postseason, the MLB winter meeting took center stage this week.

With all the shake up amongst teams, the futures board for the 2015 World Series on Bovada and topbet saw a great deal of movement.

Several teams made big alterations to their playing rosters in what was one of the busiest winter meetings of MLB in quite some time.

Sites such as betonline and sportsbook.com were trying to stay abreast of all the transactions taking place to adjust the rankings for each team on the futures board to determine odds and daily lines for the World Series.

Daily lines can be changed in due time, but the future wagers take place now  and very quickly as bettors begin investing on different teams that became very active in the winter meetings, while trying to exploit some kind of edge they find in the numbers if they believe a line was not adjusted enough by a book maker.

The team that has been the most popular for bettors prior to and after the close of the winter meetings in San Diego is the Chicago Cubs.

One sportsbook said that over 18% of its overall handle for the World Series was on the Cubs and more than 15% of the overall tickets that were written.

The Cubs have become a popular bet after signing Jon Lester to a contract. Chicago had opened at 50 to 1 in October following the World Series and was bet down prior to the meetings to 30 to 1, now after the meetings the Cubs are at 16 to 1.

Another sports book has the Cubs as low as 5 to 1 and calls them their biggest liability on the board by far.

It is not strange to have large handles on the Cubs. They are typically the team that is most wagered on regardless of what prospects they have of winning or not.

Chicago has not won the World Series since 1908. However, with Theo Epstein in charge they have someone who brought Boston the World Series. Bettors feel that the Cubs president can do the same for them as he did for the Red Sox who had not won a title since 1918.

Besides signing Lester, Chicago added Miguel Montero a catcher and Joe Maddon as manager.

Los Angeles was busy at the meeting and remained on top at 5 to 1. The Red Sox were very active and went from 25 to 1 to 15 to 1.

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.

WORLD SERIES ODDS 2014

LOS DODGERS 7 to 2

OAKLAND A’S 9 to 2

WASHINGTON NATIONALS 6 to 1

LOS ANGELES ANGELS 7 to 1

DETROIT TIGERS 8 to 1

BALTIMORE ORIOLES 8 to 1

KANSAS CITY ROYALS 12 to 1

MILWAUKEE BREWERS 12 to 1

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 14 to 1

SEATTLE MARINERS 18 to 1

Oakland A’s Odds Shortened for World Series After Trade

The Major League Baseball summer classic, the All-Star Game is quickly approaching which is the figurative midpoint of the season.

Although teams have played more than half their schedule, the All-Star break is a midpoint breather for teams battling for a division title or a wildcard berth in the playoffs.

The latest World Series Futures have been updated and released with the Oakland A’s sitting at the top with their odds shortened from 9 to 2 to 4 to 1.

The trade deadline comes in August and will have a big impact on the futures of teams for the World Series. Last week a trade was made by the A’s that already has impacted the World Series Futures.

Oakland acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, two starting pitchers, from the Chicago Cubs for two minor league prospects.

Several teams were after Samardzija the Chicago ace, but Oakland surprised the league by acquiring him.

The move shortened the odds for Oakland on Bovada and topbet, and put the other teams in baseball on notice that the A’s were gearing up for the stretch run to October.

The Oakland pitching staff already had the No. 2 team ERA in the league and with Hammel and Samardjiza the A’s likely have the best starting rotation in the American League, and if it were not for the Los Angeles Dodgers the A’s would have the best in baseball.

Oakland owns the best record in baseball at 55-33, but is only 3.5 games in front of the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. The Angels have shortened their futures from 12 to 1 to 10 to 1, on betonline and sportsbook.com.

With the two wildcard berths available in each league, it is much more important to win the division and avoid a one-game play-in.

Samardzija showed in his debut on Sunday with Oakland why the A’s let a top prospect go in the trade. The powerful right-hander tossed one-run ball over seven innings to win.

With he and Hammel added to a the A’s rotation Oakland now has Scott Kazmir with an ERA of 2.53, Sonny Gray at 3.08 and Chavez at 3.23.

Oakland already has strengthened its hold on the American League. Though the pitching staff has been discussed for the most part of late when mentioning the A’s, the club has one of the best hitting lineups as well.

The A’s are first in runs scored with 444, second in on base percentage and eighth in slugging percentage.

2014 World Series Futures

OAKLAND A’S 4 to 1

LOS ANGELES DODGERS 9 to 2

DETROIT TIGERS 9 to 2

WASHINGTON NATIONALS 10 to 1

LOS ANGELES ANGELS 10 to 1

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 12 to 1

ATLANTA BRAVES 12 to 1

MILWAUKEE BREWERS 12 to 1

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 15 to 1

BALTIMORE ORIOLES 16 to 1