National League West Betting Preview

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Hard to believe, but this Wednesday, there are baseball games that will count in the standings. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play two games in Seoul, South Korea, a week before the rest of the league begins its 2024 season on Thursday, March 28.

Los Angeles Dodgers (-450)

There is no heavier favorite to win one of baseball’s six divisions this season than the -450 baseball online sportsbooks are paying for the Dodgers to win the National League West. 

They are the obvious pick, having won the division 10 of the last 11 years. They have the best player in baseball in free agent acquisition Shohei Ohtani, and they have the best “rookie” in baseball in fellow Japanese import Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Ohtani is paying +750 to win the National League MVP award, and Yamamoto is a +175 favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

“Rookie” is in quotes for Yamamoto, because he is not a young pitcher making the leap to the Major Leagues. He is seasoned by seven years of pitching in Japan and dominating Nippon Professional Baseball.

The lineup features three former league MVPs in Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, and Mookie Betts, and no one in the division is even close to being this good.

At some point, L.A.’s dominance of the West will come to an end. But there is no reason to think that this is that year.

Arizona Diamondbacks (+850)

The clock struck midnight on Cinderella last October in the World Series, as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ incredible run came to a close at the hands of the Texas Rangers. But this team is better than a year ago, more seasoned, and maybe, just maybe, the Diamondbacks can make another run.

Arizona online sportsbooks have them at +850 to win the West, and +1700 to win the National League. However, in terms of making the playoffs, they are a solid bet. Arizona is paying +110 on being at least a Wild Card team, and once they get into the postseason, we’ve seen that anything can happen.

Bringing in free agent starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez was the kind of splash move Arizona needed to make if they hope to compete with L.A. They have a strong rotation, a good young lineup, and the ability to win a lot of games this season.

San Diego Padres (+1100)

There are lots of very good pieces on the Padres this season. Manny Machado is a future Hall of Famer. If Fernando Tatis Jr. can stay healthy, he could be in Cooperstown one day, too. They’re also expecting big things from Xander Bogaerts in his second season in San Diego. He wasn’t bad in his first year. He just didn’t look like a $280 million man.

This is a team still smarting from last year’s big spending spree that yielded very few results. They are starting over at manager, with Bob Melvin leaving and Mike Shildt getting promoted from within. They also just traded for right-hander Dylan Cease, who is only two years removed from finishing second in the American League Cy Young voting.

If things go well, the ceiling for the Padres is high. But there is also a feeling around the organization that their window was 2022-2023, and a playoff appearance this year would be a big surprise.

San Francisco Giants (+1300)

The San Francisco Giants could win 90 games this season. It was just 2021 when they won 107 games. The problem is that in the four years before that incredible season, and in the two years since, they have finished with losing records. It’s entirely possible this team could lose 90 games.

After Yamamoto, the Giants do have the next best rookie in the National League in Korean import Jung Hoo Lee. Like Yamamoto, Lee is a rookie in name only. He won an MVP in the KBO, five Golden Glove Awards, and baseball online sportsbooks have him at +400 to win the National League Rookie of the Year.

If Lee is the real deal and Logan Webb can be Cy Young-worthy (he’s +950 to win the award), then the Giants may have something. If not, they’re no better than a third-place team.

Colorado Rockies (+20000)

There was a time that you could say of the Colorado Rockies, at least they’ve never lost 100 games. Now, in 2024, it would not be a surprise if they lost 100 for the second consecutive season.

Kris Bryant is the alleged star of this team, but he has yet to play as many as 80 games in a season after signing for seven years AND $182 million. There are some good young players in the lineup, like Nolan Jones, Brenton Doyle, and Ezequiel Tovar. But the pitching rotation is scary bad, and the bullpen is even worse.

Colorado online sportsbooks have the over/under on Rockies wins at 60.5, and even that feels generous.

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