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A shortened season means predictions for the 2020 campaign have a much higher margin for error. That spells trouble for oddsmakers, but it also opens up a window of opportunity for bettors.
After diving into the AL divisions Friday, we'll now take a look at the opening odds for the NL divisions ahead of this unprecedented season.
|New York Mets||+290|
If there's a case study that shows just how inaccurate a 60-game sample can be in baseball, the Nationals perfectly fit the bill. The eventual World Series champions were 27-33 after 60 contests last season, sitting fourth in the NL East.
The Braves, who were in first at that same point before winning the division, are solid value at 2-1 to repeat thanks to the most balanced roster in the NL East. There's a case to be made for every team in the division heading into the season, including the Marlins at 100-1 thanks to a sneaky good pitching staff and some shrewd additions to the lineup.
|St. Louis Cardinals||+240|
This is the most wide-open division in baseball, and it's priced as such. Every team but the Pirates could end the year on top and no one would bat an eye. There are question marks surrounding each club, but there's an element of safety to teams like the Cubs and Cardinals since you generally know what you're going to get from them.
That's not the case with the Reds, and it's what makes them so intriguing at +230. The rotation has the potential to be the division's best - headlined by Cy Young candidate Luis Castillo and the enigmatic Trevor Bauer - and the same can be said about a dangerous lineup that added a pair of excellent hitters in Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos, with both having had success in the NL Central.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-500|
|San Diego Padres||+750|
|San Francisco Giants||+7500|
Anyone laying -500 on the Dodgers to win the NL West in a 60-game season is welcome to start betting through me. Given the volatility and unpredictability that comes with such a short schedule, paying this sort of juice on anything is wildly irresponsible.
Anything can happen over a 60-game stretch. The sample size is too small. Instead, consider the Diamondbacks at a badly priced 6-1. Arizona added a centerpiece to its very deep rotation in Madison Bumgarner and brought in the dynamic Starling Marte to an already potent lineup. The Diamondbacks are poised to strike in the NL West this season.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.