We are in the midst of the All-Star break giving baseball handicappers and those making MLB picks a little down time to reflect and look ahead. Also, everyone can take a hard look at the futures odds.
In the National League, the betting odds have not changed so much as our perception of these teams based on their recent play. Let’s review the current MLB odds at 5Dimes and hunt for the right choices and value, as we did for the American League, as well.
The Los Angeles Dodgers maintain the top position at all sportsbooks as the team to beat in the NL at +260 MLB betting odds. While they are tied for first place in the NL West (tied in the loss column with the Giants, all teams will play 162, relax) they blew a golden opportunity pull away from sluggish San Fran with a 6-7 record in the first part July.
The fact of the matter is the Dodgers should have a better record than 54-43 (-0.8 units) and can improve if they start playing better at home where they are just 25-24 (-9.2 units), carrying big price tags. Nobody is questioning the talent, just the mental aspect of the game.
Washington has been steadily improving and is the second futures choice at +430. The Nationals have broken the spell of continuing multiple losses and with a full cast back, they are 25-15 in games decided by four or more runs. Similar to L.A., Washington has to become mentally tougher, but is not a bad value MLB pick.
Room with a View
Thanks to a combination of Milwaukee failures and St. Louis success, the Cardinals are back in the picture in the NL at +530. The Redbirds have won eight of 13 this month and while still just 29th in runs scored in the big leagues, they are showing signs of coming around. Still not sold they can defend their NL crown without another bat in the lineup.
San Francisco has tumbled to the fourth choice at +550, having fallen out of favor in posting a 10-22 record since June 9. Can the Giants turn it around and take back command of the NL West? Right now, it would appear unlikely and San Fran probably is not as good as the team that started 42-21 nor as bad as the club we have seen the past five weeks. Seems like an unsafe wager with sports picks.
First Floor by the Pool
If any NL contender looked liked they needed this break it was Milwaukee (+610), who closed 2-11. All facets of pitching and hitting collapsed and this break certainly looks welcome. Probably best to pass on the Brewers at this time and see how they react at Washington and back home to Cincinnati starting Friday before making any decisions.
Atlanta (+700) finally started to play during their eight-game winning streak, but turned right around and lost four straight and five of eight. The offense is up to 3.8 RPG, yet this is still just 28th in the majors. Another difficult futures wager to make.
We’ll Leave the Light On for You
Cincinnati has gotten off the deck and is 14-6 since June 25, and propelled themselves into the NL Central race. The offense is percolating at 5.3 RPG in their last nine encounters and the Reds have plenty of starting pitching to keep this roll moving ahead if the offense continues to plate with great regularity. A long shot at +1600, but might be worth a peek.