In recent years, if you ask anyone during the preseason who should win the National League, and the answer would probably have been the Los Angeles Dodgers. They made it to the NLCS in four of the last five seasons and won the National League twice.
But they have also been the most dominant team in baseball lately which would make them the easy answer.
Sure enough, they are expected to be that team once again this season. However, as we found out last season, expectations do not always match up with reality. But if the oddsmakers at William Hill are right, the Dodgers should be NL Champs once again:
2020 National League Winner Odds:
- Los Angeles Dodgers +160
- Atlanta Braves +550
- Washington Nationals +700
- Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets +1000
- Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs +1200
- San Diego Padres +2000
- Arizona Diamondbacks +2200
- Colorado Rockies +7500
- Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants +12500
- Miami Marlins +25000
Usually, it would be easy to go with the Dodgers and not even think twice about it. They have been a dominant team for the last seven years, and there is no reason to think otherwise. Yes, they lost a few starting pitchers during the offseason. But they have talented guys ready to step in.
Should they need a little time to get their feet wet, the Dodgers offense, which was brutal before adding Mookie Betts, can pick up the slack. It would be easier to bet on them if David Price was playing, but they should be fine without him.
As for who can take them down this season—there are not too many good choices.
Atlanta has a lot of good, young talent. But losing Josh Donaldson will hurt, and not going after better pitching might keep them from even making it to the NLCS.
Losing Anthony Rendon will hurt the Nationals. However, they do still have an incredible rotation and a good lineup. When it comes to them, the worrisome part is the 19-31 start they had last season. They will not have time to recover from a slump this year.
The Mets are an interesting choice. They have the talent in the rotation and the potential for a great offense. But their injury history in this short season makes them a questionable choice. Philadelphia is a popular dark horse candidate for some people. But the perpetually .500 Phillies didn’t do much to get better during the offseason, so they shouldn’t be.
St. Louis let Marcel Ozuna walk, but otherwise have an excellent team coming back. If no one gets off to a slow start or regresses, they could be tough to beat.
So—who should you bet on?
The short season could make this year a little crazy. But in the end, it probably will not matter. No one improved enough to overtake the Dodgers. Yes, the Nationals took them down last season. But if the season were 60 games last year, the Nationals would have been sitting at home.
There is no reason to believe lightning will strike twice this. Take the Dodgers to win the NL. Maybe this time, they might actually win the World Series, too.