MLB Betting: National League Future Odds 2013

Willie Bee

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 9:28 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 9:28 PM UTC

Frank McCourt is long forgotten in Los Angeles where the Dodgers will begin the 2013 season with a record payroll and at the top of the National League odds list as favorites. Are they the team to back with your MLB picks this season?

Congratulations are in order for the Los Angeles Dodgers who have secured at least one title for 2013 without ever taking the field. A sixth World Series Championship, and the franchise's first in 25 years, still has to be earned on the field, but LA already owns the crown for having the largest single-season payroll.

Estimates vary from $216 million to nearly $230 million, easily skipping over the $209 million shelled out by the New York Yankees in 2008 as the top payroll to date. Don't expect Dodgers ownership to be too concerned if the final tally is at the high end of those approximations; after all, Magic Johnson's group spent more than $2 billion last March to acquire the club from Frank McCourt and his circus.

Los Angeles also sits atop another list with the Dodgers currently tagged as National League favorites according to MLB futures odds. For those looking to add the Dodgers to their MLB picks, Bovada has them at 17/2 to win the 2013 World Series. Those odds have them tied for second with their freeway rivals from Anaheim, both just slightly behind the Toronto Blue Jays' 15/2 price, and current projections for winning the NL have the Dodgers a little below 5/1.

A big chunk of the payroll was added in a blockbuster deal with Boston last August when Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford moved west. Los Angeles also acquired Hanley Ramirez from Miami in a July swap, and have since brought in pitchers Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu via free agency this winter. The Dodgers will have 10 players earning at least $11 million on this year's roster.

San Francisco figures to be the Dodgers' biggest competition in the NL West. The Giants are coming off their second World Series title in three years, and currently 15/1 to successfully defend the crown. Arizona (45/1), San Diego (75/1) and Colorado (100/1) bring up the rear of the division.

Check out our predictions for the American League Future Odds here.

Nationals Top 3-Team Race In NL East

Washington's rise to the top of the NL East in 2012 came a year ahead of schedule; can the Nationals now take it one step further and win the franchise's first National League pennant?

With the MLB odds listing them at 9/1 to go all the way, Washington is projected to be a 5/1 selection to take the NL flag, right behind the Dodgers and with roughly half the payroll. The Nationals won 98 games in 2012 behind a very young and solid rotation, and they should get 4-6 more starts from phenom Stephen Strasburg in 2013 which makes them definite contenders for a 100-win campaign.

That rotation will also once again include Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler, plus the Nats inked free agent veteran Dan Haren and recently announced they had re-signed Adam LaRoche. And, oh yeah, NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper just turned 20 and will have 139 MLB games under his belt when the '13 season begins.

The Braves and Phillies aren't going to let Washington cruise to the division crown without putting up a fight. Atlanta finished just four games behind the Nats a year ago, and Philadelphia could be the real sleeper in the NL after a disappointing 81-81 record. Both the Braves and Phils are currently 16/1 choices to win the Series while the New York Mets (75/1) and Miami Marlins (100/1) are relegated to long shot status.

Cincinnati Leads NL Central Contenders

Dusty Baker and the Reds cruised to the NL Central title in 2012 by nine games, the largest gap of any division winner. Cincinnati is once again expected to take the flag in 2013 and presently priced at 12/1 to win its first World Series since 1990. The Reds should come in around 8/1 choices to take down the Senior Circuit title, slightly ahead of the Giants who sent Cincinnati packing from last season's playoffs.

Cincinnati has enjoyed a relatively quiet offseason with the only major addition being Shin-Soo Choo in a swap from Cleveland. The Reds also re-signed Jonathan Broxton who was acquired from Kansas City last July to perform in a setup role for then-closer Aroldis Chapman. Broxton will likely assume the closer's role this season as the Reds enter spring training with designs on using Chapman in the rotation.

Another NL Central squad that has been quiet this offseason is St. Louis. The Cardinals won it all in 2011 and made it back to the NLCS last year before bowing to San Francisco in seven games. St. Louis should have both Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright healthy at the same time together for the first time since the 2010 season, giving the Cards a formidable 1-2 punch in the rotation. The Redbirds are listed at 25/1 to win their 12th World Series crown.

It's important to remember that NL Central teams will not have the Houston Astros to beat up on this year, and that could affect the division's chances of producing one of two wild cards for the playoffs. The Cardinals and Reds appear to be the only postseason contenders at this time with the Brewers (40/1 to win World Series), Pirates (50/1) and Cubs (100/1) seen as also-rans.

* Note: Estimated odds based on current World Series prices at Bovada (Jan. 1)

































Be sure to check out our other MLB Team Futures:

MLB Betting: Yankees Futures

MLB Betting: Phillies Futures

MLB Betting: Orioles Futures

MLB Betting: Rangers Futures

MLB Betting: Angels Futures

MLB Betting: Tigers Futures

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