As baseball heats up toward the postseason in early August, a lot of teams are in the hunt. The American League hopefuls were discussed in an earlier post, but this will go over the senior circuit.
Here are the top three National League team with a chance at the pennant based on odds.
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Los Angeles Dodgers (+165)
The best team in baseball, so no surprise that the best odds for the NL title belongs to the Dodgers.
One of the offensive juggernauts, Los Angeles’ lineup owns four players hitting over .270. The Dodgers lead the league in on-base percentage (OBP) and are top five in team batting average (BA).
LA leads the league in earned run average (ERA), walks and hits per inning (WHIP) of 1.07, and second in BA against with .216.
Simply put, the Dodgers just built a team designed to be great, and its’ lived up to expectations through August. The acquisition of Freddie Freeman helped propel LA tremendously. Freeman is hitting .321, clubbing 15 homers, while driving in 69 RBIs.
It’s the easy choice to bet on LA with an impressive 14-game lead over the San Diego Padres in the division race.
New York Mets (+325)
Significant jump from LA to NY, but the Mets own the second-best odds for the National League pennant.
A top-five team in team BA and OBP, the Mets made critical signings in the offseason that bolstered the lineup like Starling Marte and Mark Canha. While both of these players are not pushing for MVP, they provided solid production in the lineup.
Perhaps the biggest turnaround though is Francisco Lindor who is hitting .273 with 19 HRs, and 77 RBIs. This is quite an improvement from his .230 average in 2021 and he now is a reliable three hitter for the Metropolitans.
The pitching is the biggest asset for NYM as it managed a great record without ace Jacob deGrom, now he is back, and he pitched a gem against the Braves Sunday. Max Scherzer is back from injury as well, so this team may begin to click on all cylinders soon.
These odds may approach the Dodgers level as both starters come back, but the Mets look like a scary team to face in any series.
Atlanta Braves (+500)
Ranked third in best NL odds, the Atlanta Braves own the first Wild Card.
Losing four out of five to the New York Mets hurt the odds. A key factor is the pitching struggles. Two pitchers are having abysmal seasons, Ian Anderson and Charlie Morton. Particularly Anderson as he was sent down to AAA with a 9-6 record and 5.11 ERA. After a terrible start, Moron turned it around as his last seven starts indicate with a 2.76 ERA despite a 1-2 record.
Injuries hampered the Braves as Ozzie Albies remains out, and may miss the rest of the season, but not confirmed. Another injury is Kirby Yates, who is scheduled to join the team in late August.
Another key is Ronald Acuña Jr., who recovered from an ACL injury but still struggles as he gets to 100 percent.
Atlanta is scuffling lately, and it is worth watching how the team handles the rest of August. The Braves face the Mets again and the Houston Astros.