Let’s be honest — nobody expected the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the National League Pennant in 2023. But that didn’t matter, as they went and did it anyway.
It only took 84 regular-season wins for them to get the chance, so it’s understandable why they were viewed as underdogs, but perhaps things will be a bit more predictable the next time around.
It’s never too early to look forward to more baseball, so let’s dig into the NL pennant odds and offer our best bets.
National League Pennant Betting Odds 2024
MLB betting odds used for these NL Pennant best bets are current as of Friday, Nov. 17, and from DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Atlanta Braves (+340)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (+400)
- Philadelphia Phillies (+500)
- San Diego Padres (+950)
- New York Mets (+1100)
- Chicago Cubs (+1500)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (+1600)
- San Francisco Giants (+1900)
- Louis Cardinals (+2000)
- Milwaukee Brewers (+2000)
- Cincinnati Reds (+2000)
- Miami Marlins (+2800)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+3000)
- Washington Nationals (+5000)
- Colorado Rockies (+10000)
Unsurprisingly, the absolutely loaded Braves team that won 104 games this regular season is seen as a favorite, with an outstanding Dodgers team right behind them. The Phillies won the NL in 2022 and came a win away from repeating the feat in 2023, so they’re rightfully viewed as favorites.
Then, things get weird — three teams that missed the playoffs ahead of the defending NL champs, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.
National League Pennant Best Bet
Los Angeles Dodgers (+400)
There’s obviously a lot of projection associated with making “best bets” picks this far in advance, and it’s not all about how games will play out. The offseason hasn’t even started in earnest, and projecting trades and free agency is a huge part of finding value in futures.
- Read more on LA in the our World Series odds.
With that in mind, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the best-positioned team to land two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. The reigning AL MVP has been linked to the Cubs and Braves, but the buzz is just that — noise. He wants to play for a contender, and he can do so without leaving the West Coast, or even his city.
Los Angeles would be stacked, with an incredible four MVPs on the roster, as Ohtani would be joining legendary lefty Clayton Kershaw, slugging first baseman Freddie Freeman, and the versatile Mookie Betts in LA.
National League Pennant Favorites
Atlanta Braves (+340)
There’s a reason this team is viewed as the favorite. Postseason ownership by the Phillies aside, they’re an absolute juggernaut, with newly-minted NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. leading the way, joined by major league home run leader Matt Olson and a phenomenal stable of arms.
But the Braves could get even better. As mentioned above, they’re a real candidate for Ohtani, and while they’re not my projection to land the unprecedented talent, it could certainly happen.
Jorge Soler, who won the 2021 World Series MVP with Atlanta, is also hitting free agency. Why wouldn’t he at least consider a return to the team with which he earned his greatest professional accomplishments?
Philadelphia Phillies (+500)
This team went through a ton of adversity in 2023, starting a tough stretch to open the year as superstar and de facto team captain Bryce Harper missed time and was slow to readjust after offseason Tommy John surgery. Still, they came a win away from repeating as National League champions and will be returning most of the major pieces from this year.
The value is a bit questionable, considering the fact that they’ll likely be relegated to a Wild Card spot, but that’s never mattered before for this group. They’re also odds-on favorites to land the new NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell, which of course would be an absolutely tremendous boost for a postseason rotation that definitely needs help.
National League Pennant Contenders
San Diego Padres (+950)
This is one of the worst values on the board. The Padres missed the playoffs last year, and while they were trending up to end the year, things are not going in a generally positive direction for the franchise.
They are set to lose the services of a true star in Snell, and possibly young star Juan Soto, as well.
- Check out the AL landscape with our American League Pennant odds.
Soto is in a contract year and will be looking for a mega-extension. In a cost-cutting effort, the Padres are expected to dump him for a massive prospect return.
That’s probably a good move in the long run, but it’s hard to see how it helps them contend this season. San Diego should be better than last year, but I’d still stay away from this wager. It’s going to be tough for it to get past any of the three teams above it in the odds.
New York Mets (+1100)
This is another slightly strange one, especially after owner Steve Cohen admitted that, after the failures of the 2023 season, the Mets are taking a longer view, and plan to focus on 2025 and ‘26 rather than pushing hard to win this season.
The Mets finished 12 games below .500 this season, 29 games out of the NL East lead, and nine away from a playoff spot- they’ll need some serious positive strides to even make it to October, let alone win the pennant.
Power-hitting first baseman Pete Alonso is hitting arbitration, and he could be a potential trade candidate as he still has high value while approaching the age of 30. And with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer gone after deadline trades, the rotation needs some serious reinforcements for this team to contend in the immediate term.
National League Pennant Sleepers
Chicago Cubs (+1500)
The Northsiders almost made a run this season. After falling as far as 10 games below .500, they surged back to finish with a winning record. They climbed as high as the NL’s fifth seed, before a string of disastrous late results dropped them just out of the playoff picture – one game behind the team that eventually won the pennant.
Chicago’s future is bright, with Cy Young contender Justin Steele headlining the next generation of Cubs baseball. Cody Bellinger might walk in free agency after a great season, but poaching Craig Counsell from the division-rival Brewers to manage the team is a huge deal, and Chicago is said to be all-in on the big bidding wars for stars like Ohtani and Soto.
Arizona Diamondbacks (+1600)
It feels strange to be discussing the reigning pennant winners as a “sleeper,” but that’s where we are right now. It’s not unjustified, as the Diamondbacks finished just a game ahead of the Cubs, and two ahead of the Padres and Reds, who few view as a contender.
But as we saw this year, manager Torey Lovullo knows how to pull the right strings at the right time, and there’s no shortage of clutch bats in the Arizona lineup.
Of course, all eyes will be on the sophomore season of All Star and reigning NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll. Still, he’s not alone, as he’s joined by hard-hitting infielder Ketel Marte and power bat Christian Walker.
The snakes are alive heading into 2023, and it will be fascinating to see where they end up in the pecking order of a potentially stacked NL West.
Past National League Pennant Winners
2023: Arizona Diamondbacks
2022: Philadelphia Phillies
2021: Atlanta Braves
2020: Los Angeles Dodgers
2019: Washington Nationals
2018: Los Angeles Dodgers
2017: Los Angeles Dodgers
2016: Chicago Cubs
2015: New York Mets
2014: San Francisco Giants