Cubs favored to win NL Pennant
The Cubs were the media darlings in spring training and after winning over 100 games in the regular season, Joe Maddon’s club remains favored to win the pennant.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Cubs are 11/10 to win the National League pennant this season, followed by the Nationals at 16/5. The Dodgers have the next-best odds at 19/5 while the Mets are 9/1 and the Giants are the current long shots at 10/1 despite winning the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
It’s no surprise to see the Cubs favored to win the NL pennant heading into the postseason. Not only did they win 103 games in the regular season (best in baseball), but they boast an incredible pitching staff, which features Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. They also have a dominant closer in Aroldis Chapman and a lineup that’s chockfull of power thanks to Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell.
Best Value: San Francisco Giants
The Giants had a second-half to forget but are seemingly once again hot at the right time. They swept the Dodgers at AT&T Park to clinch the second wild card spot in the National League despite facing Los Angeles’ three best pitchers in Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda. San Francisco has two elements that are needed to make a World Series run: Pitching and defense. Led by Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore and Jeff Samardzija, the Giants have a solid rotation to win multiple series if they can get past the Mets on Wednesday night. Plus, with Sergio Romo now re-established as the closer, their issues in the pen have been tempered. It’s an even year, and the Giants offer great value at 10/1.
Worst Value: Washington Nationals
While the Giants have shined when the lights are brightest, the Nationals have disappointed. Despite having outstanding teams in 2013 and 2014, Washington failed to live up to expectations in early postseason exits. Max Scherzer will be dominant, but do the Nats have the pitching depth to make a deep run? And will nagging injuries derail Bryce Harper? Don’t be surprised if the Nats come up short again this postseason.