There’s a real battle going on in the National League West. At the All-Star break, just six games separate the top three teams in the division.
The race boils down to a couple of questions. Can the San Francisco Giants hold off both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres? Can the Padres find a way to get past both the Giants and the Dodgers, or will Los Angeles just turn it up down the stretch and clinch the division for the ninth straight season?
Los Angeles Dodgers
The reigning world champion Dodgers have won eight straight division titles and have reached the world series in 3 out of the last 4 seasons. After a torrid start and a major slump, they’re back to playing consistent baseball, heading into the break with a 56-35 record, second-best in the National League, and just two games behind the Giants.
Los Angeles started the season as heavy favorites to win the division and the world series, and at the midway point of the season, they’re still the top pick. Currently, at BetMGM Sportsbook the Dodgers are +375 favorites to win the 2021 World Series, and an incredible -250 to capture the National League West (they were as high as -750 to win the division in April).
San Diego Padres
Last month the San Diego Padres entered a game as the favorite vs the Dodgers, ending a 150 game streak dating back to 2019 where Los Angeles was favored to win. They didn’t disappoint and won the game handily 6-2 behind a stellar performance from ex-Dodger Yu Darvish. The win kicked off a series sweep and moved the Padres to 7-3 on the season vs. their Southern California rivals.
Unfortunately, as good as San Diego has been against Los Angeles, they have been somewhat mediocre against the rest of the league. Heading into the break, the Padres are just 7 games better than .500 vs teams that are not the Dodgers and are 6-games behind San Francisco in the division. They hold a 3.5-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds for the final Wild Card spot in the National League.
San Diego is currently +375 to win the National League West and +800 to win the World Series, behind the Dodgers, and the American League Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox.
San Francisco Giants
Rare it is that a division leader at the All-Star break isn’t favored to win the division, but that’s exactly where the San Francisco Giants find themselves.
With the best record in baseball, a 2-game lead over their traditional rival Dodgers, and a 6-game league over the Padres, the Giants still find themselves +400 underdogs in the division race, and +1600 long shots to win the World Series.
How is this possible?
Oddsmakers will note that San Francisco is just 3-6 against Los Angeles this season and has been feasting against both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies thus far this season. With a little more than half the season played out, the Giant’s schedule only gets tougher as they race towards October.
That all said, the Giants have led the best division in the majors since May 31. They’re a good baseball team, playing good baseball.
It’s an exciting point in the MLB season, and after legal changes, you are now able in many states to place bets on all the action. One company that is offering wagering opportunities in a growing number of states is BetMGM, a sportsbook that is offering a welcome bonus and risk-free bet of up to $600.