- Both the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals have seen their playoff odds fade over the last week
- St. Louis won the NL Central in 2019, while the Padres had a disappointing season after signing Manny Machado to a massive deal
- See the odds, analysis and whether either is worth betting on to make the playoffs in 2020 below
With spring training off and running, excitement is in the air for the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
While each of the 30 MLB clubs starts off the season with renewed hope and confident that this year could be their year, the early 2020 MLB playoff odds tell a slightly different story for some clubs.
2020 National League Playoff Odds
|Team||Odds to Make Playoffs||Odds to Miss Playoffs|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-5000||+2000|
|New York Mets||+125||-145|
|San Diego Padres||+245||-290|
|San Francisco Giants||+1000||-1500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+110||-130|
Odds taken on February 25
Counting the Cardinals Out?
The St. Louis Cardinals – a team that made it to the National League Championship Series in 2019 – have already started to see a downturn in their playoff odds for 2020.
Having opened with average odds of -110 on February, the Cards have seen their odds drop to +110 in the span of a week.
DeStroyed 💪 pic.twitter.com/0cNjQAFrbn
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) February 25, 2020
On the surface, this might seem a little harsh. After all, St. Louis has been to the playoffs in seven of their last 11 seasons and hasn’t finished lower than third in the NL Central since 2008 and won 100 games in 2019.
Competition Heating Up
However, the likes of the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are all capable of giving the Cardinals a tougher time in 2020, particularly after St. Louis watched star outfielder Marcell Ozuna leave for the Braves.
His 89 RBI in 2019 will be tough to replace, particularly for a team that isn’t as offensively gifted as some.
Jack Flaherty has been lights out in the second half 🙌
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) September 29, 2019
If the Cards are going to fight their way back to the postseason, it will likely be on the strength of their pitching. The likes of youngster Jack Flaherty more than pulled his weight in 2019, going 7-2 with a 0.91 earned-run average over the second half of last season. If the Cardinals are going to be playing meaningful games in October once again, they will need more of the same from Flaherty and the rest of their pitching staff.
Best bet: Make Playoffs at +110
Pitching Around the Padres
After nine straight losing seasons, culminating in a 70-92 season a year ago, question marks are understandably swirling around the San Diego Padres.
Even the $300-million contract handed to All-Star third baseman Manny Machado did little to alter the team’s fortunes, with the arrival of the former Baltimore Oriole and first baseman Eric Hosmer accounting for an improvement of just four wins from the 2018 campaign.
Manny Machado goes deep in his first AB of Spring Training pic.twitter.com/TxNxnUZSpj
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) February 24, 2020
But there are signs of optimism for 2020. The addition of left fielder Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham in center, to go along with the continued development of burgeoning star Fernando Tatis Jr. are all positive developments.
Machado’s batting average should start to inch back towards his .279 career average – way above last year’s .256 effort.
fWAR by second basemen in MLB since 2015:
— Friar Stats Daily (@FriarFaithful) February 25, 2020
Even the recent signing of second baseman Brian Dozier to a minor league deal (including an invite to spring training) should be viewed with some promise, with the former Nationals player bringing his recent championship experience with him.
In Tough Out West
Playing in the NL West will not make things any easier for the Padres, however.
Going up against the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers, who are -5000 favorites to make the postseason, will not be easy, and teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks also have their eyes on the playoffs too, going out and signing postseason ace Madison Bumgarner to help in that quest.
Though San Diego’s odds haven’t moved much, from +210 a week ago to +245 today, making the playoffs will be an uphill struggle for this young club, even one that has one of the top-rated farm systems in the majors.
Best bet: No -290
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