Injuries to Key Players Haven’t Slowed the Surge by NL West Leaders
When looking at the NL West quarterly report, the first thing that stands out is that four of the seven teams in the NL with winning records reside in this division. Last-place Colorado would be in second place in the NL East and third in the NL Central.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres have the second and third-best winning percentage in Major League Baseball while the San Francisco Giants led all of baseball with 107 wins during the 2021 regular season.
This is the only division where every team currently has a winning record at home.
The Dodgers are the heavy favorite to win the NL West Division title and at +425 are favored to bring home the World Series title. They were the third most bet on team with regard to regular-season wins in MLB. Their opening total was bet to the over by two games and closed at 98½.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Their preseason odds to win the division were -200 and that moved to -225 before opening day. The offseason injury to Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. likely resulted in even more money coming in on the Dodgers.
With the best record in the National League, they have come through for those bettors in the first 40 games. Their division odds have come down to -250 thanks to a strong early showing by San Diego.
With the lofty preseason predictions, they haven’t outperformed their expectations by very much. If you bet $100 on each Dodgers game, you’ve netted a total of $176 so far in the season when looking at the NL West quarterly report.
The Dodgers’ pitching depth will be tested while longtime ace Clayton Kershaw is sidelined with a back issue. Los Angeles has already been without Andrew Heaney since late April.
This could be the deepest roster in all of baseball. The rotation will continue to be led by Walker Buehler. Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin are a combined 9-0 while Julio Urias is coming off a 20-3 season so if there is a team that can handle the loss of a future Hall of Fame starting pitcher, this would be the team.
After a slow start, outfielder Mookie Betts is heating up with a .345 average, eight doubles and nine homers in May. He teams with Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman to lead the offense. If Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Max Muncy start producing, watch out.
San Diego Padres
Once the news hit that MVP candidate Fernando Tatis Jr. would miss significant time at the start of the season, it didn’t take long to realize that the betting markets did not like the Padres. Their regular-season win total dropped by a a game to 88½. They lost ground to the Dodges in division odds going from +250 to +275 in the preseason.
Proving this was not a one-player team, the Padres have been the most profitable on the Moneyline since the start of the season. The Padres would have returned $1059 for $100 bets on all their games this year. At +300, they will trail the Dodgers in the division odds.
Manny Machado is the MVP leader at this point of the season. He is a headliner in the NL West quarterly report while Eric Hosmer has also had a strong start with 24 RBIs in his first 40 games.
San Diego has been active in recent years adding to its pitching staff. The acquisition of Taylor Rogers (16 saves in 17 opportunities) and Joe Musgrove (5-0, 1.90 ERA) has been especially impactful. The patience with former No. 3 overall pick Mackenzie Gore is being rewarded as he is 3-1 with a 2.06 ERA.
The Padres are piling up the wins without Tatis and while key pitchers and hitters are underachieving – this is a team that could be frightening when everybody is healthy and producing.
Whether you are looking at the 88½ or 89½ projected win total, the Padres are on pace to obliterate that number at the current time.
San Francisco Giants
There was little movement in the preseason when it came to the Giants. They didn’t get much in the way of support from bettors as their regular-season win total stayed at 85½ and their division odds went from +450 to +500 according to the MLB betting trends.
The Giants are coming off a 107-win season which has resulted in them being priced too high by the betting markets. They have lost $100 betting a total of $284 for the season so far. Many of those losses likely came during a difficult May for San Francisco. The Giants are 9-12 with a 6.08 team ERA in the month of May so things might get worse before they get better.
Carlos Rodon has slowed down after a sizzling start to the season. He headlines the rotation along with Alex Wood and Alex Cobb. Wood joined the Giants a season ago while Rodon and Cobb are in their first seasons with the Giants. They have a combined 10-8 record and that’s not quite good enough. A team ERA of 4.46 has been a reason why San Francisco has struggled to keep pace with the Dodgers and Padres.
Joc Pederson already has 10 homers while Luis Gonzalez leads the Giants with a .338 average.
There are enough pieces for the Giants to make it back to the postseason, but it won’t be easy playing in a division with two of the top teams in baseball.
Oddsmakers were expecting another difficult season for the Rockies, but before long, the betting markets thought they were underpriced and bet their regular-season win total up a game to 69½. Their division odds even shrank, from 80-to-1 down to 66-to-1.
The odds to win the division have trended in the wrong direction and are now 100-to-1 even if Colorado is on pace for 77 wins.
As far as the Moneyline goes, they’ve been fairly accurately priced. A $100 bettor on the season would be down just $58 so far..
C.J. Cron, now playing for his fifth Major League team, has been a revelation. While batting fourth in the lineup, he is hitting .336 with nine home runs and 19 extra-base hits. Charlie Blackmon and Brendan Rodgers will need to pick things up to take some of the pressure off of Cron.
Other than reliever Tyler Kinley, pitching has been a problem. The 4.70 ERA by the starting pitchers is one of the worst marks in the majors. The bullpen has similar issues.
An expected win total of 66½ heading into the season spoke volumes about the low bar being set for the rebuilding Diamondbacks. Their division odds went from 100-to-1 to 120-to-1.
Things are starting to look up for Arizona with a 13-10 record in the month of May to move over the .500 mark. With the way things are going, there is a chance that the Diamondbacks might soon move ahead of the Giants in the division standings and that was not something too many people predicted coming into the season. That has translated into love from the betting markets. Arizona is now 150-to-1 in the odds to win the NL West.
Arizona is the third most profitable team when it comes to the Moneyline. They’ve earned $642 for $100 wagered on all their games this season, which trails only the Padres and Mets.
Arizona leads the majors with 36 home runs in May led by Christian Walker’s seven HRs in the month. Ketel Marte and Daulton Varsho are both piling up the hits in May.Follow us on Twitter