MLB Picks: Early Look at NL Futures, Top Choices, Undervalued Sleepers & More

Monday, February 23, 2015 6:15 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 6:15 PM UTC

Today I’m going to go over some of my early thoughts pertaining to National League futures. It will include my top choice, an undervalued sleeper, and teams I deem to be overvalued.

<p style="text-align:center;"><iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="330" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Odds to Win the National League Championship</strong></p> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>Washington Nationals</p> </td> <td> <p>13/5</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Los Angeles Dodgers</p> </td> <td> <p>4/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>St. Louis Cardinals</p> </td> <td> <p>6/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>San Francisco Giants</p> </td> <td> <p>8/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Chicago Cubs</p> </td> <td> <p>10/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Pittsburgh Pirates</p> </td> <td> <p>10/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>San Diego Padres</p> </td> <td> <p>10/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>New York Mets</p> </td> <td> <p>15/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Miami Marlins</p> </td> <td> <p>20/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cincinnati Reds</p> </td> <td> <p>40/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Milwaukee Brewers</p> </td> <td> <p>40/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Atlanta Braves</p> </td> <td> <p>50/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Arizona Diamondbacks</p> </td> <td> <p>65/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Colorado Rockies</p> </td> <td> <p>65/1</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Philadelphia Phillies</p> </td> <td> <p>150/1</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Washington Nationals (13/5)</strong><br /> If there’s actually something that I do indeed dislike about sports betting, it’s wagering on a chalk, or prohibitive favorite. Having said that, I’m sure you can find this selection as being hypocritical in that regard. However, my choice of Washington to win the National League pennant is more of a professional opinion, than what I would ordinarily convey for sports betting advice. Let me be clear, I would never wager on a futures option at these <a href="" target="_blank" title="Shop for the best MLB odds on offer">MLB odds</a>, but if I were doing an interview on ESPN Radio for example, the Nationals would be my overwhelming <a href="" target="_blank" title="Free MLB Picks">MLB pick</a> if posed the question pertaining to this subject matter.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Best Starting Rotation Hands Down</strong><br /> Stephen Strasburg<br /> Max Scherzer<br /> Jordan Zimmerman<br /> Gio Gonzalez<br /> Doug Fister</p> <p>This is definitively the best starting pitching rotation in <a href="" target="_blank" title="Top National League Contenders Based On Current Odds Offerings">the National League</a>, and arguably may be at the top of the heap in all of baseball. The Nationals also possess a top notch bullpen, although I’m not a big fan of Drew Storen as a closer.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Washington Starting Lineup and Depth is Top Notch</strong><br /> When examining the Nationals projected starting lineup, I’m not finding many holes or flaws. The big key in my opinion will be the ability of often injured Ryan Zimmerman to stay healthy. If he’s able to do so, Washington has a legitimate chance of winning 100-games this season. Hopefully for the Nationals sake, the move to first base will help alleviate the injury issues that Zimmerman has endured in recent seasons.</p> <p>Denard Span-OF<br /> Anthony Rendon-3B<br /> Jayson Werth-OF<br /> Bryce Harper-OF<br /> Ryan Zimmerman-1B<br /> Ian Desmond-SS<br /> Wilson Ramos-C<br /> Yunel Escobar-2B</p> <p><br /> <strong>Undervalued Sleeper Pick<br /> Miami Marlins (20/1):</strong> Many you might be getting a good laugh in regards to this selection. However, I’m here to tell you, I’m as serious as a heart attack. Jose Fernandez isn’t slated to return to the starting rotation until the middle of June, and if he were available on opening day, the Marlins would be more like 15/1. This is an underrated lineup led by a budding superstar in Giancarlo Stanton. The addition of Dee Gordon to the top of this lineup should pay huge dividends. If newly acquired Michael Morse can stay healthy for once, he’s capable of hitting thirty plus home runs in the middle of this order. Unfortunately for Miami, there in the same division as Washington, but I very much like their chances of contending for a National League wild card berth.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"> </p> <p><strong>Best of the Rest<br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="Dodgers Overvalued at +700 MLB Odds to Win World Series">Los Angeles Dodgers (4/1):</a></strong> Fantastic top of the rotation with Kershaw and Greinke. The projected batting order is a formidable one.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Pick St. Louis Cardinals Over 88.5"><strong>St. Louis Cardinals (6/1):</strong></a> An organization that seems to be a perennial contender for the last decade. When assessing this roster I don’t see much changing in that regard.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Smart Bet for San Francisco Giants to Repeat in 2015?"><strong>San Francisco Giants (8/1):</strong></a> Second best starting pitching rotation in the National League, and a roster of veterans who’ve been there and done that.</p> <p><br /> <strong>Overvalued Teams<br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cubs a Smart Bet for 2015 After Joe Maddon Hiring?">Chicago Cubs (10/1): </a></strong>They’ve definitely upgraded their starting pitching rotation. New manager Joe Madden is a proven winner, and will actually have ownership willing to spend money for the first time in his career. The batting order isn’t overly impressive, the bullpen still looks to be shaky, and there’s very little if any quality depth on the bench.</p> <p><strong>San Diego Padres (10/1):</strong> The Padres have certainly spent a plethora of money in the offseason to show their serious. I’m not confident the value they received by doing so will produce favorable results.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="" target="_blank" title="Overvalued? Maybe, But They Have Certainly Improved!"><em>Cubs &amp; Padres Are Among the Most Improved Teams for This 2015 Season</em></a></p> <p><br /> <strong>Divisional Predictions</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="" style="text-align:center;" target="_blank" title="Washington &amp; Miami Are Previewed in This Article">National East</a>: Washington</strong> (-300)</p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Breaking Down 'Over/Under' Season Total Wins">NL Central:</a> Milwaukee Brewers</strong> (+900)</p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="'Over/Under' Season Total Wins Based on Off-Season Line Movement">NL West:</a> San Francisco Giants</strong> (+350)</p>
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