The Wild Card round is done and dusted, with all four series ending in the minimum two games. That means we’re already on to the Divisional round, where some truly titanic matchups await as the top two seeds in both leagues enter the fray after some much-deserved time off. Before we get to that, though, it’s time to take a look at how the past couple days of playoff baseball have affected pennant odds over at DraftKings Sportsbook. Next up: the NL, where the Phillies took care of business while the Diamondbacks pulled a shocker in their Wild Card series.
National League pennant odds
Unsurprisingly, the two teams who we saw play this week — Philly and Arizona, each of whom advanced to the Division Series in convincing two-game sweeps — are the two big risers here. The D-backs remain clear long shots, the books clearly not overly convinced by a two-game sample size when a matchup against the powerhouse Dodgers looms in the NLDS. The Phillies, meanwhile, have gone from +600 to +340, with a tough matchup against the Braves up next but plenty of momentum — and a hellacious home-field environment — on their side.
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 still 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.
Welp, so much for Milwaukee, who we hyped in this space a few days ago only to fall flat against Arizona (Brandon Woodruff’s shoulder injury certainly didn’t help). I’m still not buying into Arizona over the long haul — they just don’t feel like they have enough depth, and beating L.A. and then Atlanta or Philly feels like a tall ask for a team with two reliable starters — which makes Philly the next obvious choice here. The Phils have likely the best bullpen left in the postseason, and Aaron Nola looked like his old self in dominating the Marlins in Game 2 on Wednesday night. Citizens Bank Park is a very tough place to play, and the Phillies have the horses in their pitching staff to hang around rather than getting buried by this Braves offense — the key to beating Atlanta, whose pitching staff has looked awfully rickety of late. The Braves are deserving favorites, but considering the odds, my money’s on Philly.
Pick: Phillies +340