As the second half of the Major League Baseball season approaches, plenty has changed from an odds perspective.
We’ve already covered the major risers and fallers in the World Series odds, but now it’s time to hone in on the individual division races.
We’ll start with the National League where clear betting favorites — the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers — have been established despite the relatively close proximity in the standings.
(All odds via BetMGM, teams listed by current divisional standings)
The Mets have opened a 3.5-game lead in the NL East and are significant favorites to win the division at -300 at BetMGM. The Phillies are in second place at 44-44 but are only a half-game up on the Braves and 2.5 games ahead of the Nationals. Those three teams have similar division title odds at the break, but the Braves took a big hit with star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. going down with a season-ending knee injury. The Braves opened the season as the betting favorites at +125, but are now listed at +650.
Will the Mets run away with the division? The Phillies won seven of their last 10 games before the break to get back to .500, the Braves have had a hard time getting into a rhythm all year, and the Nationals have been very streaky. During June, the Nats had a 16-5 stretch. Since then, they have lost nine of their last 11. The Marlins, meanwhile, are nine games back and +8000 to win the East.
New York Mets (47-40)
Philadelphia Phillies (44-44)
Atlanta Braves (44-45)
Washington Nationals (42-47)
Miami Marlins (39-50)
The oddsmakers considered the NL Central one of the most wide-open divisions in baseball on Opening Day. The Reds, Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers were all listed between +225 and +300 with the Pirates a distant fifth at +5000. Three months later, the Brewers are in first place and the heavy betting favorite at -650.
The Brewers are four games ahead of the Reds and eight games up on both the Cubs and Cardinals while Pittsburgh is 18 back. The Reds won eight of 10 entering the break and are listed at +500, well ahead of the scuffling Cubs (+1600) and Cardinals (+2000). The Cubs and Cardinals could end up being sellers at the trade deadline.
Milwaukee Brewers (53-39)
Cincinnati Reds (48-42)
Chicago Cubs (44-46)
St. Louis Cardinals (44-46)
Pittsburgh Pirates (34-56)
Three of the four best records in the National League reside in the NL West. The Giants have been one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball. When the season began, the Giants were +8000 to win the World Series and +4000 to win the NL West. Now they have the best record in baseball at 57-32, but the oddsmakers in Vegas are still skeptical.
Not only are the Giants +1600 to win the World Series, they have the third-best odds to win the division at +375. Still, that’s a massive climb from the Opening Day odds of +4000. The defending champion Dodgers are the betting favorites to win the World Series (+375) and the West (-250). In the division, the Padres are in between the two at +175 despite being six games behind the Giants in the standings. The Dodgers are just two games back.
San Francisco Giants (57-32)
Los Angeles Dodgers (56-35)
San Diego Padres (53-40)
Colorado Rockies (40-51)
Arizona Diamondbacks (26-66)
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