The 2023 MLB playoffs begin with the Wild Card round on Tuesday, Oct. 3. After that, we’ll get into the Divisional Round on our way to the World Series. The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers have byes through the Wild Card round after snagging the top two seeds in the National League, so it’s no surprise they’re the two betting favorites to win the pennant. We go over the odds to win the NL Pennant on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some predictions.
National League pennant odds
The NL has felt like a two-team race just about all year long, and that’s reflected in these odds — with the Braves and Dodgers head and shoulders above the rest of the field. You can understand why, given that they boast the two best run differentials in baseball and were the class of the Majors for much of this season. Still, for as imposing as these lineups are, and for as much success as they’ve had, they’re certainly not perfect. Both of them have real rotation questions to answer, partly due to injury: Atlanta has Max Fried and Charlie Morton currently on the IL (though both are expected to return for the Division Series) and not a ton of reliable options beyond those two and Spencer Strider; the Dodgers, meanwhile, have lost Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin for the year and won’t be seeing Julio Urias any time soon after his disturbing domestic violence allegations.
This one is easy: If the NL is divided between two heavy favorites (Atlanta, L.A.) and two teams seemingly just happy to be here (Miami, Arizona), why not target the middle tier — teams that are dangerous but under-the-radar a bit? We saw last year what the Phillies can do when they get hot, and if Aaron Nola gets right, there’s no reason this team can’t capture a second straight pennant. Granted, that’s a big if, and after Nola and Zack Wheeler this team’s pitching staff gets awfully iffy awfully quick. This lineup on paper seems like it could make up for those flaws in a big way, but they’ve been a bit inconsistent all year long, and it remains to be seen whether they can turn it on now that the calendar has flipped to October.
If you don’t feel like riding the Philly roller coaster, why not my favorite dark horse: the Brewers. After all, does anyone want to face Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta in a short series, with Devin Williams slamming the door in the late innings? Whether Milwaukee’s lineup can score at all in the postseason is very much a question, but hey, that’s why they’re available at +750.
Pick: Brewers +750