Breaking down National League division winners and World Series futures bets

Los Angeles Dodgers' Freddie Freeman bats during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Texas Rangers. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

The Major League Baseball season begins this week so we’ve decided to break down each division in the senior circuit from a betting perspective.

The National League boasts the defending World Series champions, the scariest lineup in all of baseball and a few interesting dark horses, so there’s lots to consider. I’ve included each team’s win total odds as well as win projections from FanGraphs, and some potential World Series picks. Hopefully this helps anyone who wants to dabble in the futures market. 

(Editor’s note: All betting lines are courtesy of Sports Interaction and are current as of the time of publication.)


• Atlanta +115

• New York +198

• Philadelphia +322

• Miami +1566

• Washington +4291

Atlanta Braves
Regular season wins: Over 90.5 -125 | Under 90.5 -105
FanGraphs projection: 93 wins

The defending World Series champions are the favourites to repeat as division champs. The 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman is gone but 2021 All-Star Matt Olson came to ATL via a trade with Oakland. Atlanta will get a massive shot in the arm when Ronald Acuña Jr. returns in May after suffering a torn right ACL last season.

New York Mets
Regular season wins: Over 90.5 -116 | Under 90.5 -104
FanGraphs projection: 89 wins

Mets owner Steven Cohen opened his wallet once again to bring in free agent pitcher Max Scherzer and pair him with Jacob deGrom for the best one-two punch in baseball. But with deGrom’s status now in question while dealing with a shoulder injury, the Metropolitans will need starters Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco to carry the mail until the two-time NL Cy Young winner returns.

Philadelphia Phillies
Regular season wins: Over 86.5 -111 | Under 86.5 -125
FanGraphs projection: 88 wins

The Phillies will once again rely on 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper to carry the load offensively. Harper hit 35 home runs last season and will be joined in the outfield by Nick Castellanos, who hit 34 bombs with the Reds last season, and Kyle Schwarber, who drilled 32 dingers in 2021 with Boston and Washington.

Miami Marlins
Regular season wins: Over 76.5 -112 | Under 76.5 -112
FanGraphs projection: 83 wins

The Marlins are a real trendy pick to do some damage in the NL East this season. Miami added Avisaíl García and Jorge Soler to their already young core. The Marlins also reeled in veterans Joey Wendle and Cole Sulser to add some much-needed depth.

Washington Nationals
Regular season wins: Over 71.5 -108 | Under 71.5 -114
FanGraphs projection: 73 wins

The 2019 World Series champion Nationals are fresh off a 97-loss season. Their offence will need arguably the best hitter in baseball, Juan Soto, to play at an MVP level to compete. They’ll also need a healthy Stephen Strasburg, who has tossed under 30 total innings since the start of the 2020 season.

My pick: I think there is some value here on the Phillies to win the division. Philly’s new outfield could combine for over 100 homers this season. The Braves and Mets have some injury issues to their stars, which could open the door for the Phillies. I’ll take them at +322 to grab the NL East crown.


• Milwaukee -185

• St Louis +223

• Chicago +1182

• Cincinnati +1384

• Pittsburgh +5890

Milwaukee Brewers
Regular season wins: Over 89.5 -111 | Under 89.5 -111
FanGraphs projection: 88 wins

The Brewers are the team to beat in what should be a weak NL Central. Milwaukee's strength is their starting pitching led by reigning NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes and two other All-Stars in Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta. They’ll need Christian Yelich to have a bounce-back year after slashing .248/.362/.373 in 2021.

St. Louis Cardinals
Regular season wins: Over 84.5 -118 | Under 84.5 -118
FanGraphs projection: 81 wins

The Cardinals will look to Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado to get out of the gate hot and will need 40-year-old Adam Wainwright to keep fighting off Father Time to solidify their rotation. St. Louis signed free-agent starter Steven Matz and brought back future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols to try to get to top spot in the division.

Chicago Cubs
Regular season wins: Over 74.5 -110 | Under 74.5 -120
FanGraphs projection: 75 wins

The Cubs will rely on a new core of Frank Schwindel, Willson Contreras and newcomer Seiya Suzuki in the middle of their lineup to keep the Cubbies competitive. The starting rotation of Kyle Hendricks, Marcus Stroman and Wade Miley should keep Chicago in the mix in the NL Central.

Cincinnati Reds
Regular season wins: Over 74.5 -110 | Under 74.5 -120
FanGraphs projection: 75 wins

The Reds will need Canadian Joey Votto to duplicate his 36-homer season and reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India to continue to be a spark plug from the leadoff spot to have any chance. On top of that, they’ll look to Luis Castillo to repeat his second half from last season. Castillo had a 2.73 ERA over his final 22 outings.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Regular season wins: Over 64.5 -116 | Under 64.5 -104
FanGraphs projection: 69 wins

The Pirates are in a rebuild and will be led by their youth movement of Bryan Reynolds, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Mitch Keller. The Bucs are not ready to contend, but at least Oneil Cruz could be serious contender for the NL Rookie of the Year.

My Pick: I can’t justify taking the Brewers at that price. I’ll instead put a little sprinkle on the Cardinals who finished last season on a tear. If their veterans can squeeze out another solid season, St. Louis at +223 to win the NL Central feels like really good value.


• Los Angeles -244

• San Diego +318

• San Francisco +506

• Colorado +10100

• Arizona +12600

Los Angeles Dodgers
Regular season wins: Over 98.5 -111 | Under 98.5 -111
FanGraphs projection: 94 wins

The Dodgers are the class of Major League Baseball heading into the 2022 season. The Dodgers added 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman to a lineup that already includes Mookie Betts and Trea Turner. If LA’s rotation — which features Walker Buehler, Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw — can stay healthy, the Dodgers should be the team to beat in the National League.

San Diego Padres
Regular season wins: Over 88.5 -104 | Under 88.5 -116
FanGraphs projection: 89 wins

The Padres are coming off a disappointing 2021 season where they finished below the .500 mark. San Diego will try to rebound without superstar Fernando Tatis Jr., who is out for several months because of a fractured wrist. Starting pitching should be the strength of the Friars in 2022, led by Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and the newly-acquired Sean Manaea.

San Francisco Giants
Regular season wins: Over 85.5 -111 | Under 85.5 -111
FanGraphs projection: 85 wins

The Giants will try to improve on their surprising 107-win season in 2021. San Fran will be in tough to repeat 2021 and will have to do it without 2012 NL MVP Buster Posey (retired) and the free agent departures of Kris Bryant (Rockies) and Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays). The Giants will need a lot from top-of-the-rotation starter Logan Webb.

Colorado Rockies
Regular season wins: Over 68.5 -118 | Under 68.5 -118
FanGraphs projection: 69 wins

The Rockies shocked the baseball world by signing Kris Bryant this off-season. Colorado also added José Iglesias, Alex Colomé, Chad Kuhl and traded for Toronto’s Randal Grichuk to try to bolster their chances in the tough NL West. Only the hapless Orioles are projected to win fewer games than the Rockies.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Regular season wins: Over 66.5 -110 | Under 66.5 -115
FanGraphs projection: 70 wins

The Diamondbacks will need their starting pitchers to stay healthy to be respectable in the NL West. Only Madison Bumgarner, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly made more than 15 starts last season for an Arizona team that used 16 starters total in 2021. The D-Backs also have to get more than 90 games from Ketel Marte.

My Pick: The Dodgers have arguably the scariest lineup in baseball and pair that with an exceptional starting rotation, this division is the Dodgers to lose. I lay the juice and take them to win the NL West at -244.


• Los Angeles Dodgers +461

• Atlanta +1165

• Milwaukee +1173

• New York Mets +1498

• San Diego +1621

• San Francisco +2161

• Philadelphia +2417

• St. Louis +2535

• Cincinnati +6650

• Miami +7530

• Chicago Cubs +9390

• Washington +11800

• Colorado +12300

• Arizona +22400

• Pittsburgh +29200

My Pick: The Dodgers are the class of baseball and I think there is value here at +461. If Los Angeles stays healthy, they should finish with the best record in baseball and home filed throughout the playoffs. I also like the Phillies at +2417 and the Cardinals at +2535 as dark horses in the National League. If both squads get contributions from their veterans, both teams could be right there in October.


Editor's Note: Gambling problems aren't only about losing money. They occur on a continuum, and can affect a person's whole life. To learn more about developing a healthy relationship to gambling, and to find resources for support, click here.


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