With the 2016 MLB postseason set to get underway I a mere matter of days, the big question in the National League is the same one that has been asked for the better part of the entire season. Can anyone slow derail a Chicago Cubs express train that is both, loaded with talent and apparently singularly focused on winning the first World Series title since 1906 when I rode the bus to school with some id named Honest Abe.
All jokes aside, the fun-filled analysis that you’re about to get on the betting odds to win the NL Pennant will give you a great idea of who, if anyone, can actually pull off the upset over Chicago.
In Depth Analysis On The MLB Early NL Championship Expert Predictions
Odds to Win 2016 NL Pennant
|Los Angeles Dodgers||4/1|
|New York Mets||10/1|
|San Francisco Giants||15/1|
The first thing you need to know about the Chicago Cubs is that they have scored the third most runs in the majors this season (767) while allowing the fewest (527). Chicago has a fantastic starting rotation headed up by now perennial all-star Jake Arietta, a stellar batting lineup with multiple young all-stars and a solid bullpen that knows how to close out desperate opponents.
Not only has Chicago outscored their opponents by 1.5 runs per game this year (4.9-3.4), but they also have arguably the best manager in the game today in Joe Maddon. Maybe it’s me, but it’s kind of hard to beat someone when you can’t score on them – or stop them from scoring. I’m just sayin’!
Los Angeles Dodgers
All I can say is that Clayton Kershaw is one bad mamma jamma. Still outside of Kershaw and the clearly gifted Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers just don’t scare me very much, although I think Chase Utley may come close, even at his advanced age. L.A. is ranked an uninspiring 22nd in team batting average (.251) and ranks 16th in team home runs.
More importantly, while the Dodgers are an impressive 53-28 at home, they’re also just 37-38 on the road, so I wouldn’t go around expecting them to win many road games this coming postseason. Not only that, but L.A. is 69-45 versus right-handed starters but just 21-21 versus southpaws starters, leading me to believe they’ll face their share of southpaw hurlers in the playoffs.
When you’ve got special arms like those in the nation’s capitol – and play in the awful NL East – you’re always going to have a shot to succeed. Having said that, you should also know that Washington’s stellar pitching has given up the second fewest runs (575) in the league this season (3.7 runs per game allowed) and remains ‘dangerous’ at the very least because of their pitching. Unfortunately, the Nats don’t hit the ball well enough to beat out Chicago to win the NL Pennant.
San Francisco Giants
A lot of people expected the San Francisco Giants to continue their trend of winning the World Series in every even year until Kingdom Come, but I just don’t have much faith in any team that has gone 25-41 since the all-star break. Right now, I say there’s absolutely no way the Giants win the NL Pennant, unless they suddenly find a way to come up with four duplicates of superstar southpaw starter Madison Bumgarner.
New York Mets
With a 3.58 ERA that ranks third in the majors, the Mets have gotten some mostly excellent pitching this season. Unfortunately, New York’s offense has struggled with a poor .246 batting average which is the fifth worse in all of baseball.
As much as I try to envision some NL ball getting really hot to beat out Chicago, I just don’t see it happening. The fact of the matter is that Chicago has been on a mission all season long and should win the NL Pennant over whichever opponents reaches the NL Championship Series.
The Cubbies are absolutely loaded with terrific young position players and outstanding pitching, both in the starting rotation and bullpen.