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Nationals, Cubs Heavily Favored to Make NL Playoffs; Where’s the Value in Latest Postseason Odds?

Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty delivering a pitch
Pitcher Jack Flaherty has been a big part of the Cardinals success since the All Star break. Photo by Charles Edward Miller Photos [Flickr] [CC License].
  • Sportsbooks have updated its MLB playoff odds
  • In the NL, seven teams could still, realistically, wind up in or out of the postseason
  • The Nationals and Cardinals are big favorites to get in, while the Mets and Giants have the worst odds

With Labour Day over, we’ve entered the final weeks of the 2019 Major League Baseball season. The playoff races are entering their final act, and the latest MLB pLayoff odds show that almost half of the National League is still capable of getting in or missing out.

Odds to Make 2019 National League Playoffs

Team Odds to Make Playoffs Odds to Miss Playoffs
St. Louis Cardinals -300 +250
Washington Nationals -300 +250
Chicago Cubs -200 +170
Milwaukee Brewers +290 -350
Arizona Diamondbacks +400 -500
New York Mets +450 -600
San Francisco Giants +1000 -1500

*Odds as of 03/09/2019.

Cardinals Lead Their Division

The St. Louis Cardinals lead the NL Central by 3.0 games over the Cubs. On August 7th, the Cardinals were 3.5 games back but have gone 19-5 since then. They look to be getting hot at the right time and want to end a three-year playoff drought.


When St Louis lost closer Jordan Hicks for the season back in June, many wondered how the Cardinals’ pitching would fair. They led the majors with a team ERA of 3.28 in August and the bullpen’s 3.02 mark was also the league’s best.

Nationals Currently Lead Wild Card Standings

The Nationals are the top team in Wild Card with a 3.5-game lead on the Cubs. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and are in the midst of a series against the Mets. They play the Atlanta Braves twice, the Cardinals once, and the Phillies once before the end of the season.

The Nationals have a 6.5-game deficit to erase if they want to catch the Braves and capture the NL East crown.  With a key four-Game series set to start Thursday against Atlanta, Washington is still in control of its own destiny.

Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, and Max Scherzer are keeping Washington in the mix. Scherzer is 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA and has reached the 200 strikeout plateau for the eighth time in his career.

Cubs Fighting for Wild Card Spot and NL Central Crown

The Cub,s as we know, are currently 3.0 games back of the Cardinals. The two teams play each other in two more series, including the last three games of the season.

The Cubs have struggled recently, though, and they were swept in a key three-game set back on Aug 23-25 by the Nationals. They did sweep the Mets last week, but then lost two of three in a crucial series against the Brewers.

High-profile free agent Craig Kimbrel, who was left without a team to start the season, has had decent numbers, converting 13 of 15 save opportunities with the Cubs. His ERA is 5.68, though, and his WAR is -0.2. Suffice to say, those are not Kimbrel-like numbers. The former Boston/Atlanta closer has a career 2.04 ERA with a WAR of 19.9.

The Best Bet

Given their play heading into the end of the season, St Louis and Washington are deserving of their short playoff odds.

St Louis, in particular, is getting hot at the right time, and with two potential paths to the playoffs — division title and Wild Card — are still decent value at -300.

Pick: St Louis (-300)

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