Are you aware that every team currently in the National League has won the NL pennant but one? Any guesses to which team hasn’t? OK, it’s the Milwaukee Brewers but it’s a bit of a trick question as the Brewers have only been in the NL since 1998 – the Brew Crew won a couple of AL pennants. Let’s check the National League Pennant Winner Odds for this upcoming season.
National League Pennant Predictions & Odds
Any chance the Brewers win the pennant this year? They are +1800 Odds to Win the NL Pennant at Mybookie. Milwaukee does have arguably the best player in the National League in Christian Yelich. He was the 2018 NL MVP and might have won it again last year if he didn’t fracture his kneecap in September, which ended his season a few weeks early.
This offseason, the team signed him to a seven-year, $188.5 million contract extension. Yelich will keep the $12.5 million in 2020 and $14 million in 2020 from his old deal, while adding an additional seven years to take him through the 2028 campaign. The deal also includes a $20 million mutual option for the 2029 season with a $6.5 million buyout. The deal could total $228.5 million and will keep Yelich in Milwaukee through his age-36 season — age-37 if the option is exercised. It’s the largest deal in Brewers’ franchise history.
Yelich led the Major Leagues in slugging (.671) and OPS (1.100) and the National League in batting average (.329) and OBP (.429) when he went down on Sept. 10. He also ranked among the NL leaders in stolen bases (T3rd, 30), HR (4th, 44), total bases (T7th, 328) and extra-base hits (8th, 76). Yelich became the first player to win consecutive NL batting titles since the Rockies’ Larry Walker in 1998 (.363) and 1999 (.379). Yelich is the only Brewer to win a batting title.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are +100 favorites to win their third pennant in the past four years, and they should be favored with all their talent. L.A. traded for former AL MVP Mookie Betts and ex-AL Cy Young winner David Price from Boston this offseason.
Betts, who’s set to earn $27 million in 2020, his final year of salary arbitration, slashed .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs, 80 RBI, 16 stolen bases, and 135 runs scored in 150 games last season with Boston. As for Price, since his Major League debut with the Rays in 2008, Price’s .652 winning percentage ranks fifth in all of baseball, trailing just Clayton Kershaw (.695), Zack Grienke (.676), Stephen Strasburg (.659) and Max Scherzer (.656) in that time. The Tennessee native and 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner needs just 19 strikeouts to reach 2,000 in his career.
Our best value pick to win the pennant, though, is Cincinnati at +1100. With added offensive firepower between Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos, the team should be markedly improved at the dish in 2020. The Reds also signed outfielder Shogo Akiyama out of Japan, left-hander Wade Miley and acquired right-hander Justin Shafer in a trade with the Blue Jays.
The Reds have an unsung star in third baseman Eugenio Suárez, who last year ranked second in the Major Leagues with a career-high 49 homers, a record for a player from Venezuela and the National League record for HR in a season by a player at that position. The 49 dingers were the most by a third baseman since the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez in 2007 established the MLB single-season record by hitting 52 of his 54 HRs while playing third base.
Suárez fell short in his bid to become the sixth Reds batter to lead the National League in HR, the first since George Foster hit 40 in 1978. With a club record 52 HR in 1977, Foster remains the last Reds batter to lead the Major Leagues in homers. After the All-Star break Suárez led the Major Leagues with 29 homers, a club record for HR in the second half of a season (27, Ted Kluszewski, 1954), and led the National League in slugging percentage (.684).
The Reds also have a very good pitching staff. In Luis Castillo (32gs, 3.40era), Sonny Gray (31 gs, 2.87era) and Anthony DeSclafani (31gs, 3.89era), the Reds had 3 pitchers with 30 starts in a season for the first time since 2014. The Reds had 2 pitchers with at least 30 starts and ERAs at 3.40 or under for the first time since 2014 as well.
Castillo ranked among the National League leaders in opponents’ BA (.202, 3rd), wins (5th), ERA (12th), innings pitched (10th), strikeouts (9th), strikeouts per 9 innings (10.67, 6th) and starts (T8th). He was the first Reds pitcher with 15 wins in a season since Johnny Cueto (20-9) and Alfredo Simon (15-10) each did it in 2014. Castillo (226) and Gray (205) were the first Reds teammates to each record at least 200 strikeouts in the same season.
National League Pennant Predictions
Reds beat Dodgers in NLCS to Win the NL Pennant.