Last Updated: 2019-03-05
With the competition expected to be at a fever pitch in the National League East and the National League Central, the National League West Division isn’t going to get a whole lot of attention. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the odds-on favorite and the other four teams aren’t being given much of a chance to dethrone last year’s NLCS champion.
The San Diego Padres closed the gap between themselves and the Colorado Rockies by signing Manny Machado, otherwise this would have been an extremely top-heavy division from a futures betting standpoint. To some degree, it still is, but at least the Padres have thrown themselves into the discussion.
The Dodgers own the longest division winning streak. They’ll be in search of their seventh straight NL West crown this season. They’ve posted their highest Pythagorean Win-Loss percentages in that span in the last two years. It’s pretty easy to see why the odds are so lopsided here.
Here are the NL West odds as of March 5 at BetOnline Sportsbook:
Los Angeles Dodgers -400
Colorado Rockies +550
San Diego Padres +1000
San Francisco Giants +2200
Arizona Diamondbacks +3300
The suitors for Bryce Harper were the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants as far as NL West teams go. The Dodgers and Giants came up short and the Padres likely backed off after they locked in Manny Machado. Harper’s decision held the NL West odds hostage for a little while, but once they were reposted, not much had changed.
The Dodgers are at -400, which implies an 80 percent likelihood that they pick up a seventh straight division title. In my humble opinion, that isn’t a high enough line. The Dodgers were one of last year’s biggest underachievers from a Pythagorean Win-Loss standpoint. Remember that Game 163 was required between the Dodgers and Rockies to decide a division champ. The Dodgers went 92-71, but had a 102-71 record per Pythagorean Win-Loss, which is a standings metric based on run differential.
The Rockies were 85-78 by that measure. The Dodgers needed to win Game 163 to win the division, despite a 17-game advantage by run differential. Los Angeles was also 101-62 per BaseRuns, another alternate standings metric. The Rockies were 85-78 by that as well.
The Dodgers are clearly the best and deepest team in this division. Even though holding -400 for several months is a tough pill to swallow, this line should be more like -500 or -550 in my estimation. The only team with a legitimate chance to challenge the Dodgers is the Rockies and we tend to see teams regress when they overachieve the way that the Rockies did.
If everything goes 100 percent according to plan for the Padres, they’ll be capable of challenging for the second Wild Card. The Giants and Diamondbacks aren’t worth the time of day from a division futures standpoint.
It is Dodgers or nothing here.
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