NL Pennant Odds: Who Can Take Down Dodgers?

Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the 1st inning of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium
Image Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Handicapping the National League pennant race means answering one key question: Do you want to try to fade the Dodgers? The SuperBook has Los Angeles the prohibitive +225 favorite in its NL pennant odds, but recent years have shown that the Dodgers are far from invincible.

After all, the NL includes the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, who knocked off the Dodgers in last year’s NL Championship Series en route to the title. The Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets are in the mix, as well, as are the San Diego Padres. continues its MLB season preview by breaking down odds to win the NL championship.

NL Pennant Odds

Team Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers +225
Atlanta Braves +500
Milwaukee Brewers +700
New York Mets +700
San Diego Padres +900
St. Louis Cardinals +1,200
San Francisco Giants +1,200
Philadelphia Phillies +1,200
Chicago Cubs +4,000
Miami Marlins +4,000
Washington Nationals +4,000
Cincinnati Reds +5,000
Colorado Rockies +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +10,000

Odds from the Westgate SuperBook as of 2 p.m. ET on April 5.

Dodgers Dominant on Paper

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) is greeted in the dugout after scoring a run in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium.
Image Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The rich got richer in the offseason, with the Dodgers (+225) adding former NL MVP Freddie Freeman to a lineup that could be one of the best in MLB history, especially with the NL now using the designated hitter full time.

“On paper, they’re definitely a step above the rest of the league,” SuperBook manager Randy Blum said.

But despite the acquisition of Freeman, Blum said there isn’t “much distance as the last couple of years” between the Dodgers and the rest of the field.

A major wild card is starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, who remains on the restricted list because of legal issues. If the 2020 NL Cy Young winner ends up being cleared to play, the overwhelming NL West favorites will receive a big boost to their rotation (moral implications notwithstanding). And that would certainly impact NL pennant odds.

“I think he’ll probably pitch at some point, and that’s like adding an ace,” Blum said.

Still, for all their talent, the Dodgers have only claimed the NL pennant in one of the past three seasons.

Champs Are Still Here

Matt Olson #28 of the Atlanta Braves looks on during a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins on March 22, 2022 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida
Image Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

So, if you’re looking to beat the Dodgers, why not start with the team that did it last year? The Braves lost Freeman to Los Angeles, but Blum said Atlanta is probably better for it, having replaced him with first baseman Matt Olson from Oakland.

“I don’t think a lot of casual fans know how good Matt Olson is,” Blum said.

Olson hit .271 last season (.911 OPS) with 39 home runs and 111 RBIs, and he finished eighth in AL MVP voting.

Atlanta also will get back star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr, who missed the Braves’ playoff run after tearing his right ACL in July. So the +500 second choice in the NL pennant odds market might merit consideration.

Brewers Win Arms Race

Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the third inning during game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves
Image Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Blum believes Milwaukee (+700) has the pitching to challenge the Dodgers and Braves, with starters reigning NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes and fellow 2022 Cy Young candidate Brandon Woodruff topping the rotation, and gas-throwing relievers Josh Hader and Devin Williams holding down the bullpen.

“That’s about as good as it gets right now,” Blum said.

Milwaukee lost to Atlanta 3-1 in last year’s best-of-5 NL Division Series, but the Brewers are strong favorites to repeat as NL Central champs.

Troubled Contenders

Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets reacts walking to the dugout in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during game one of a doubleheader at Citi Field on July 7, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets won 4-3.
Image Credit: Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The NL is more top-heavy than the AL pennant odds market, with few attractive sleepers. Even the other so-called top contenders have problems.

After a slew of offseason moves that plugged several holes, New York (+700) appeared poised for a great year. But Mets ace Jacob deGrom is already out with a shoulder injury to start the season and is facing an uncertain timetable for his return. San Diego (+900) was the biggest disappointment of 2021, missing the playoffs despite a heap of talent. The Padres are regrouping under new manager Bob Melvin, but they will be missing stud shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (broken wrist) for at least the first couple of months.

The Giants were last season’s the biggest surprise, outlasting the Dodgers for the NL West crown before losing to Los Angeles in five games in the NL Division Series. San Francisco got unlikely performances from several veterans last season to win an MLB-best 107 games.

“It’s hard for me to imagine that they’re going to duplicate that,” Blum said of San Francisco. That’s part of the reason why the Giants are just the co-sixth choice in the NL championship odds market, tied with St. Louis and Philadelphia at +1,200.

The Phillies have been popular with bettors so far, but Blum said he doesn’t get it. Philadelphia went 82-80 last season and missed the playoffs, despite an MVP season from outfielder Bryce Harper.

“It’s a little surprising to us,” Blum said of the Philly love in the MLB betting community. “They’re a good team, not a great team.”