MLB NL Championship Odds: Dodgers Still Way Ahead of the Pack

Ryan Kirksey is here to look at the MLB NL Championship odds. The Dodgers are still out in front but is anyone closing the gap?
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MLB NL Championship Odds: Dodgers Still Way Ahead of the Pack

When looking at the MLB NL Championship odds, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still way out in front of the pack. They are currently 16-7 leading the NL West by 0.5 game over the San Diego Padres but when looking at their loaded roster it's easy to see why the oddsmakers adore them.

Here's a breakdown of the MLB NL Championship odds heading into the second week of May.

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NL Championship Odds

TeamOddsImplied Chance
Dodgers+23030.30%
Mets+45018.18%
Brewers+65013.33%
Braves+80011.11%
Padres+90010%
Giants+10009.09%
Phillies+17005.56%
Cardinals+17005.56%

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San Diego Padres (+900) (Bet $100 to win $900)

Of all the potential contenders in the National League, is it actually possible that the Padres have the best starting pitching options? They just got back Mike Clevinger after 1.5 years away with injury. He is added to a rotation of Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Mackenzie Gore, Blake Snell, and Sean Manaea. And that doesn't even include Nick Martinez and the mini-breakout season he is having.

When Snell is back from injury the Padres will have an interesting problem on their hands. Go with a six-man rotation or move two people to the bullpen? Do you really want to minimize the starts that Musgrove (2nd in the NL in WAR) and Darvish will make by adding a sixth member of the staff? It's a good problem to have for a team already performing well on offense. The Padres are walking more than any other NL team and are also tied for third-most runs scored. Like the Mets below, they will also get a massive weapon back around July when Fernando Tatis, Jr. returns. Can they hang with the Dodgers until then? If so, a Wild Card berth may be in their future.

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Atlanta Braves (+800) (Bet $100 to win $800)

The 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves have looked uneven to start the season, but they just got some major reinforcements back in the lineup by way of Ronald Acuna, Jr. coming back from injury and rehab. He adds major pop and speed to an already dangerous lineup. But the Braves need to shore up the pitching to get back into the thick of any NL Championship discussion.

Through the first month, the Braves pitching staff ranks 22nd in team ERA (4.08) which is especially considering the depressed offensive environment. They also have the seventh-highest walk rate in the league which is uncharacteristic of the many control-type pitchers on their roster. I believe this is a team that very easily takes a Wild Card slot this season, and we have seen what they can do when their team gets hot at just the right time.

Milwaukee Brewers (+650) (Bet $100 to win $650)

It's the Brewers and not the preseason favorite Cardinals that have taken the pole position in the NL Central through four weeks. As expected, they are getting phenomenal pitching performances out of their three-headed monster of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. Add in the fact that Eric Lauer turned into Pedro Martinez for the first month of the season and we have a real contender on our hands.

After rocky starts to the season, both Willy Adames (1.402 May OPS) and Christian Yelich (1.111 OPS) are both heating up drastically, and Rowdy Tellez looks like the second coming of Babe Ruth (with his hitting and his physique) in the month of May. Their bullpen - always one of their greatest strengths - looks unhittable again although Josh Hader is dealing with a minor injury. Because of their pitching up and down the roster, the Brewers are my dark horse candidate to win the NL. With so much action on the Mets and Dodgers, however, we may see better odds as the season moves along.

New York Mets (+450) (Bet $100 to win $450)

The New York Mets are already running away with the NL East division, as they currently are at least 5.5 games ahead of the Miami Marlins. Neither the Phillies or Braves are putting up much of a fight so far, but that could certainly change as their injury concerns lighten and league-wide offensive production picks up.

But the best thing about the Mets' season looking forward is they might get back the best pitcher in the game around July. If Jacob DeGrom joins a rotation that already features Max Scherzer, a rejuvenated Carlos Carrasco and breakout pitchers Chris Bassitt and Tylor Megill, there may be nothing their divisional opponents can do anyway. As we sit one month in, it looks like the Mets will cruise into the playoffs, setting up a potential Battle Royale with the only team ahead of them on this list.

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Los Angeles Dodgers (+230) (Bet $100 to win $230)

The Dodgers may only have the fourth-most wins in the NL through the first month, but that's not dissuading oddsmakers or bettors away from what may be the most complete team in the majors. Even with some unexpectedly slow starts from some of their offense, they are beginning to roll through the division already.

Both Max Muncy (.634 OPS) and Justin Turner (.481 OPS) are really struggling through the first month and the up-and-down performances from Cody Bellinger have been well-documented. But I get the Dodgers didn't exactly count on getting vintage Clayton Kershaw through his first four starts back from injuries last year. With a 2.35 ERA and 11.74 K/9 through 23 innings, the Dodgers have three legitimate ace candidates to throw in a playoff series. Even with some of the offensive disappointments, it will be an upset if the Dodgers aren't the favorites to win the NL from start to finish this season.

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Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.

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