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Nationals Keep Climbing in NL Pennant Odds; Improve to +730 During 5-Game Win Streak

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Aug 27, 2019 · 10:39 AM PDT

Stephen Strasburg
Are the Nationals' poised to make a deep playoff run this October? Photo by Lorie Shaull (Flickr) [CC License]
  • The Nationals average NL pennant odds are down from +940 to +730
  • Washington has been the best team in baseball since late May
  • Is there value betting on the Nats to make the World Series?

The Washington Nationals are looking more and more like a team you don’t want to face in the playoffs. The NL Wild Card leaders have played incredible baseball since late May and online sportsbooks have definitely taken notice.

2019 National League Pennant Odds

Team 2019 NL Pennant Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers -120
Atlanta Braves +550
Washington Nationals +800
St. Louis Cardinals +800
Chicago Cubs +1200
Philadelphia Phillies +1600
Milwaukee Brewers +2000
New York Mets +2000

*Odds taken 08/27/19

The Nationals’ have the third shortest average NL Pennant odds, behind only the Dodgers and Braves, and have all the ingredients of a team that could pull off multiple upsets in this year’s postseason.

The Best Team in Baseball Since May

Washington has won five straight and is fresh off its first sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field in 14 years. They’ve won 12 of their last 14, outscoring their opponents by a whopping 63 runs over that stretch.

The Nats are 54-26 since May 24th, and if not for a disappointing first few weeks of the season, they’d be on pace to easily eclipse 100 wins. They have an incredibly balanced lineup that features nine players with double digit home runs, and no NL team is better at getting on base.

Washington leads the league in on base percentage and steals, and ranks second in team batting average. Anthony Redon is a legit MVP candidate and as dominant as their offense is, the starting rotation is just as impressive.

The Deepest Staff in the NL

Name me a better starting four than Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin and Sanchez. I’ll wait.

The Nats starting rotation is capable of shutting down any lineup in baseball, and there’s no other pitcher you’d rather have in a one game Wild Card playoff than Max Scherzer.

What makes Washington such a compelling pick to make a deep playoff run is that they’re perfectly equipped to transition seamlessly from the Wild Card game into the NLDS.

They likely won’t catch the Braves in the NL East, but if Scherzer dispatches the second Wild Card team, Washington can trot out Strasburg and Corbin in Games 1 and 2 against the Dodgers, before Mad Max is ready to roll again in Game 3.

That trio can cause nightmares for LA, and even if they do manage to produce offensively, the Nats are more than capable of matching the Dodgers potent offense.

Ride the Nationals’ Momentum

Washington’s stellar play is clearly not a fluke, and we should be thrilled to get them at nearly 50% longer odds than Atlanta to win the pennant. They’ve been baseball’s best team for over three months and they have the offense and pitching to upset any of the NL’s top teams.

If you want to pour a bit of cold water on them, they’re bullpen has performed below expectation as has been the case the past few seasons, but no team is without its warts.

I can overlook a shaky pen with that team’s starting rotation features three aces, and right now the Nationals look like the most dangerous team in the NL.

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