NL West odds check-in: Time to move in if you like the Dodgers, watch the Padres, and the Giants have value
Thu, Jun 23, 2022
MLB News (AP)
From 2013 through 2020, the National League West belonged to the Dodgers. Sure, there were scares -- they even had to play a Game 163 once -- but they took the crown every single time. It's easy to forget that last season the Giants actually won the division, despite the Dodgers winning 106 games. Right now, the Dodgers are again toward the top, but they are also involved in a tough fight to hold on.'
Heading into Thursday's action, the Dodgers hold a percentage-points lead on the Padres, but it's a virtual tie as they are both 17 games over .500. The Giants are only 4 1/2 games out.'
Can the Dodgers hold on? More importantly, for our purposes: Where's the betting value? Let's take a look at the current odds to win the NL West and break it down. Records are as of Thursday, June 23.
Odds to win NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers: -190
San Diego Padres: +220
San Francisco Giants: +700
Arizona Diamondbacks: +75000
Colorado Rockies: +75000
Rockies, Diamondbacks (nah)
I said this on the NL Central check nearly a month ago regarding three teams. We'll just use it again but apply it to these two: Save your money. There's no reason to discuss, because it's already over for these two. Clip and save this if you want, for purposes of possible future mockery, but it's a waste of effort.'
Dodgers (42-25; -190)
Clayton Kershaw has been banged up and is out for a long time. Andrew Heaney just returned from injury, but his history isn't encouraging. That leaves the rotation in the hands of Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson. Can the latter two keep up their amazing pace?'
The bullpen isn't deep and Craig Kimbrel's reliability moving forward is far from a sure thing.'
On the position-player side, is hurt, who in the world knows what is going on with Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger isn't a good hitter anymore and Father Time might have conquered Justin Turner.'
And yet, here they are. All the above issues for most teams would have their season teetering on the brink. Instead, they are in first place. Things will get better. They far and away have the most talent here.'
Verdict: This is the pick. Between all the injuries and their relatively poor play so far this month, the odds might never be better, either. Grab 'em if so inclined.'
Padres (44-27; +220)
They lost , Jr. -- who everyone expected to be their best player and contend for an MVP -- in the spring. Manny Machado took over and put the team on his back. He's the one in the MVP conversation. Jake Cronenworth and Jurickson Profar in particular deserve praise for picking up some of the slack as well. Just keep in mind, at some point the Padres are going to add one of the best players in baseball.'
The rotation depth has come through for the Padres in a big way. They've absorbed injuries and are in good shape to continue throwing well down the stretch. There's really no reason to worry about the bullpen, either, and it's possible A.J. Preller pulls off some magic at the trade deadline. '
Verdict: If you want to pick against the Dodgers, the Padres are the reasonable selection. There is reason to think they'll get better and they're tied right now. I just think the Dodgers are the better pick at present.'
Giants (38-30; +700)
After a 13-5 start, "here we go again" was my thought. They were repeating the 2021 vibes. When they fell to 30-26 earlier this month, it seemed like they just didn't have it this time around. They've now won eight of their last 12 -- including sweeping the Dodgers in three games -- and here they come again.'
I still don't think this group has "it" quite as much as last season and that mid-80s in wins is more likely than taking the division title, but a repeat isn't out of the question after they've hung around this long. If anything, we have to believe in the ability of Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler to squeeze every last bit of ability out of the roster and any acquisitions moving forward.'
Verdict: Pass, but I won't blame anyone for grabbing them at this number.'