NL division odds update: Favored Mets in trouble amid recent injuries

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / Getty

On Wednesday, we detailed the latest odds to win each American League division and the best bet for each. This time, we're breaking down the field in the National League, where the favorites aren't always the best value to close the deal.

Here are the odds and best value bet in each NL division:

NL East

TEAM ODDS
New York Mets -200
Atlanta Braves +240
Philadelphia Phillies +750
Miami Marlins +1800
Washington Nationals +40000

It's easy to get excited about the Mets, who enjoyed the hottest start in the NL and remain seven games clear of the Braves for first in this division. But the smarter money is on fading New York to sustain its success - especially after another major injury in the rotation.

Max Scherzer (oblique) likely won't be back on the diamond for another month or two after leaving in the middle of an at-bat last week. Breakout righty Tylor Megill (biceps) is on the IL after the worst start of his career. Jacob deGrom (shoulder) is yet to throw a pitch this season. Simply put, the Mets are running out of arms to carry them through the next month, and that's assuming they avoid further injury.

The Braves, meanwhile, are finally getting healthy and have proven capable of turning things around midseason (see: 2021), especially with talent up and down the roster. The Mets still deserve to be favored if only because of their current division lead, but the price doesn't justify a bet.

Best bet: Braves +240

NL Central

TEAM ODDS
Milwaukee Brewers -320
St. Louis Cardinals +200
Chicago Cubs +3000
Pittsburgh Pirates +15000
Cincinnati Reds +30000

This is effectively a two-team race between the Brewers and Cardinals, who are both comfortably ahead of the three teams with losing records in this division. But really, this is a one-team race.

Milwaukee has an 85.6% chance of winning the NL Central, according to Fangraphs, and it's not hard to see why. Corbin Burnes (2.18 ERA, 67-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio) is currently the favorite to win his second consecutive Cy Young Award as the anchor for the Brewers' filthy staff, which ranks second in the NL in ERA (3.28) and first in FIP (3.24) and K/9 (10.14).

The X-factor has been Milwaukee's lineup, which ranks fifth in xwOBA (.344) with five qualified batters owning an OPS of .720 or better. Given the particular hitting prowess of Christian Yelich (.726) and Rowdy Tellez (.833), this team is an easy bet to win the division, even at short odds.

Best bet: Brewers -320

NL West

TEAM ODDS
Los Angeles Dodgers -250
San Diego Padres +350
San Francisco Giants +450
Colorado Rockies +8000
Arizona Diamondbacks +30000

The Dodgers have won this division eight of the last nine years and won a team-record 106 games in the lone outlier in 2021. They enter Friday with the NL's best record (30-14) after winning nine of their last 11 games. A club this prolific hardly needs a sales pitch.

Consider, though, that the Padres are just two games back in the NL West with superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist) - who led the NL in fWAR (7.3) and home runs (42) despite playing just 130 games in 2021 - yet to make his season debut. Instead, this group has been carried by its strong staff, which features four starters with a sub-3.50 FIP and one of the best closers in the game in Taylor Rogers (0.47 ERA).

San Diego has held pace with Los Angeles despite posting below-average numbers at the plate. Imagine how good this team can be when Tatis returns. It's tough to fade the mighty Dodgers, but at this price, the Padres are well worth playing before the hype matches the production?

Best bet: Padres +350

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at cjackson.cowart@thescore.com.

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NL division odds update: Favored Mets in trouble amid recent injuries
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