- The Dodgers enter Spring Training as the favorite to win the National League pennant.
- The Cubs won 95 games last season despite several key injuries.
- The Cardinals could be on the rise after acquiring Paul Goldschmidt, and Andrew Miller in the offseason.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs are once again among the favorites to win the National League pennant. Are they a good bet, or is there another team that offers greater value?
2019 National League Pennant Odds
|Team||Odds to Win the 2019 National League Pennant at
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+400|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+700|
|New York Mets||+1000|
|San Diego Padres||+4000|
|San Francisco Giants||+4000|
Dodgers Are Favored to Win National League
The Dodgers are the favorites to win the National League at +400. They won the pennant last year and made some notable changes in the offseason, but it’s hard to say whether it’s for the better. They dumped Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in a trade that was meant to save the team money from the luxury tax payroll. The other main moves included bringing in reliever Joe Kelly, outfielder A.J. Pollock, and catcher Russell Martin.
The losses of Puig and Kemp are notable as that duo combined for 44 home runs and 148 RBIs. However, they still have plenty of pop with Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, and Chris Taylor. And the Dodgers did get a couple of prospects from the Cincinnati Reds, which could be used in a trade for Corey Kluber down the road.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 18, 2019
For the Dodgers, they still have Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, who could form one of the best one-two punches in baseball. Beyond that, they have a very good team almost everywhere across the board. More importantly, their division is a piece of cake. The Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants could make some noise but this is the Dodgers’ division to lose. The real question is whether they have enough offense to go deep into the playoffs after the big trade.
The Cubs Aren’t Far Behind at +700
It was a bitter end to the 2018 season for the Cubs as they lost back-to-back one-game showdown (first in a one-game playoff, then in the NL Wild Card Game) to bring their season to a close. Considering how this team likes to make a splash, it’s been a very quiet offseason.
The Cubs still won 95 games last year despite dealing with injuries to Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward, Addison Russell, and Anthony Rizzo.
The Cubs will be hoping that a return to good health will make all of the difference. They still won 95 games last year despite the fact that Yu Darvish – the prized signing of the 2017 offseason – had arm problems all year long and star third baseman Kris Bryant was never fully healthy. Jason Heyward, Addison Russell, and Anthony Rizzo all dealt with injuries too.
Potential lineups for Maddon/Cubs in 2019:
1. Zobrist/Descalso – 2B
2. Bryant – 3B
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Javy – SS
5. Schwarber – LF
6. Contreras – C
7. Happ/Almora – CF
8. Heyward – RF
Leaves Caratini/Bote plus 2 of Zo/Descalso/Happ/Almora on the bench.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) December 18, 2018
If this team stays healthy, they’ll again be in the 100-win radius. There’s star power all over the lineup, and while the National League Central will be tough, they will be one of the teams to beat.
Cardinals Are a Value Play
The St. Louis Cardinals won 88 games last year and their arrow is pointing up. They were aggressive this offseason, picking up six-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt, who has won three of the last four National League Silver Slugger Awards. They also added Andrew Miller on a two-year contract, who had been one of the games best relievers prior to an injury-plagued 2018 campaign.
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) February 18, 2019
This team ranked sixth in the national league in ERA (3.85) despite being very young. Their average pitching age was 26.4 years of age last season – second-youngest in baseball – so we can expect this unit to improve.
With the Cards addressing the bullpen – arguably their biggest weakness – and adding Goldschmidt to the lineup, they are my pick to win the National League at +700.