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2017 NL Pennant Picks

The Chicago Cubs bullied their way to the NL Pennant in 2016 en route to their first World Series title (click here for 2017 World Series odds) in over a century and they’re favored to repeat as NL champions in 2017. However, with a handful of teams having realistic chances to pull off the pennant upset, let’s find out if the once lovable losers will fulfill oddsmakers belief that they are the clear-cut favorites.

2017 National League Pennant Odds & Picks

2017 NL Pennant Odds

Team

Opening odds

Updated odds

Chicago Cubs

3-2

7-4

Los Angeles Dodgers

5-1

7-2

Washington Nationals

5-1

5-1

New York Mets

6-1

6

San Francisco Giants

8-1

7

St. Louis Cardinals

10-1

15

Colorado Rockies

30-1

25

Pittsburgh Pirates

15-1

30

Miami Marlins

20-1

30

Philadelphia Phillies

50-1

50

Arizona Diamondbacks

50-1

50-1

Milwaukee Brewers

50-1

100

San Diego Padres

50-1

100

Atlanta Braves

50-1

100

Cincinnati Reds

50-1

100

The Odds-On Favorite To Win The 2017 NL Pennant: Chicago Cubs 7/4

The Cubs didn’t lose a whole lot from last season’s team and have arguably the most dangerous batting order, but a lot of their success in 2017 could depend on a starting rotation whose top four starters have all have pitched more than 400 innings, including the postseason over the last two years.

Jon Lester (457 innings), Jake Arrieta (468.1), Kyle Hendricks (404), and John Lackey (429) all have plenty of mileage on their arms and will need to stay as fresh as possible in preparation of the postseason.

The good news is that Chicago has arguably the best manager in all of baseball in Joe Maddon, leading me to believe he’ll find a way to mix in Chicago’s young hurlers over the seemingly endless regular season.

The Smart Bet To Win The 2017 NL Pennant: Washington Nationals 5/1

The Nats went 95-67 to win the NL East last season, but didn’t really challenge the Cubs for NL supremacy last season. Nevertheless, I like Washington as they get set for 2017 after adding center fielder Adam Eaton in a trade with the White Sox), catcher Derek Norris, via a trade with the Padres and first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind in free agency.

The Nationals have a solid batting order that will only improve as 24-year-old, 2016 NL Rookie-of-the-Year runner-up Trea Turner continues to improve on his jaw-dropping 2016 campaign that saw him hit .342 over 324 at-bats with 13 homers and 33 stolen bases.

If Stephen Strasburg can rebound from his torn elbow tendon to pitch like he did in getting off to a perfect 13-0 start last season, Washington could challenge anyone, even the Cubs.

The Value Bet To Win The 2017 NL Pennant: San Francisco Giants 7/1

The Giants went 87-75 last season to finish in second place in the NL West four games behind division-winning Los Angeles, but San Francisco has been a perennial World Series contender since the start of the decade and I suspect they’ll be right back in the mix again in 2017.

Frisco has a rock-solid starting rotation that includes the incomparable Madison Bumgarner, the gifted Johnny Cueto and steady veterans, Matt Moore and Jeff Samardzija.

If the Giants can get some improved production out of a batting order that ranked an underwhelming 19th in runs scored (4.4 per game) they could get back in the mix to win the NL Pennant. Of course, the Giants have plenty of question marks, starting with who their everyday left fielder and third baseman will be.

The Longshot Pick To Win The 2017 NL Pennant: St. Louis Cardinals 15/1

The Cardinals went 86-76 last season to finish in second place in the NL Central behind the Cubs, but I believe the Cards can get right back into pennant contention in 2017 for several reasons, starting with the fact that the franchise has operated with top notch management for decades now. Case in point…St. Louis has finished either first of second in the division for eight straight seasons.

More importantly, they added a fantastic player in outfielder Dexter Fowler while pilfering him from the Cubs. The speedy Fowler’s contributions are certainly needed for a team whose top stolen bases leader recorded just seven steals.

If St. Louis can get better pitching than they got a year ago from former staff ace Adam Wainwright (4.62 ERA) and fellow veterans Michael Wacha, Mike Leake and Lance Lynn, they could surprise and nab a wild card berth. If the Cards do reach the playoffs this season, they could definitely surprise as a longshot. 

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