We are less than a month away from the start of the MLB Pre-season, so lets see how the race in the National League East is shaping up. It is no shock to see the Phillies listed as the MLB odds favorites, but who could give them a chase?
I approached my editors at SBR and asked if I
could do a little shorter preview on the 2012 National League Eastern Division
race—you know something succinct like—“the Phillies might win the East”.
Much to my chagrin but not to my surprise,
they thought perhaps a few more words would be in order. With their wish as my
command, here’s a look at Philadelphia and the other contenders in the NL East.
Current Future MLB odds are included and last year’s record
is in parentheses.
No matter where you spend your wagering
dollars, you’re likely to see the Philadelphia Phillies favored to win the trifecta: the NL East,
the NL Pennant and the World Series.
Sportsbooks currently list Charley Manuel’s team at
9/2 to win it all and 17/10 to capture the NL flag.
Even with the loss of Roy Halladay and Brad
Lidge, this team still has enough star power to hold off the rest of the
division. Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are among the best 1-2 punch in the league
with Cole Hamels as a No.3 who would be an ace on practically every other staff
in baseball. The Phillies need to find someone to fill-in until Ryan Howard returns from injury meaning Chase
Utley and Hunter Pence need to bring even more to the table (or the plate in
note: Philadelphia was a +1273 on the moneyline last season including 932 on
If veterans like Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla and
Brian McCann can stay healthy, the Braves will be a factor in the race. They’ve
got one of the strongest young pitching staffs in MLB and its good enough to
keep Atlanta close to Philadelphia...
The Braves completely collapsed last season,
losing a 10 game lead in the Wild Card in the final month. Do not expect to see
that again this year.
Atlanta is lined at 15/1 to win the WS and
7/1 to grab the NL Pennant.
update; The Braves were in minus numbers on both the moneyline (-216) and run
Let’s see if a name change, a new stadium and
some splashy free-agents can change the fortunes of the Miami Marlins who have been
stuck in the middle of the division. The Fish haven’t been good enough to
challenge the Phillies and Braves but are at least, according to the MLB books, a
step ahead of the Nationals and Mets.
The Fish carry odds of 30/1 and 14/1 to win
the WS and National League titles respectively. Last year they were one of the least profitable teams in baseball last
year going -1345 overall.
Providing he’s healthy, the Nationals will
have Stephen Strasburg in a young and promising starting rotation. All-Star 3B
Ryan Zimmerman just signed a six-year, $100 million dollar extension, Jason
Werth hopefully will stop pressing and start producing and there’s the
anticipated debut of Bryce Harper. Good things are happening in D.C. but
they’re not quite playoff material--yet.
are looking good to for the Nats who are 30/1 to grab the whole enchilada in
2012 and 14/1 to capture the NL championship.
was sixth in baseball in 2011 with +1161 in ML earnings.
York Mets (77-85)
The Mets are struggling with their ownership,
sort of like the East Coast version of the Dodgers. They don’t have many above
average players left on the roster. Jason Bay, David Wright, and Ike Davis are
the best of the bunch but they always seem to be hurt. New York is in a tough
spot, and likely in store for another long season.
The Mets are well down the futures list;
100/1 to win the World Series and 40/1 to take the NL Pennant.
To be avoided: New York was -103 on the
moneyline. They made major bank on the road (+1763) only to give it all back at
home (-1766). They went a profitable 92-64 to the ‘over’ last season.