MLB Futures: Best Bet to Win NL Pennant (2021)

Jul 21, 2021 - 10:41 AM

Of course, it is no surprise the Los Angeles Dodgers are the heavy favorite to win the NL pennant this year.

On top of being the reigning World Series champions, they are also the flashiest team west of the Great Plains, with big bats to match their larger-than-life personalities.

But don’t put all your money down on the Southern California squad just yet.

At +175, according to DraftKings, this team still isn’t the one to put your money on.

Perhaps put your money on Los Angeles’ biggest rival? You know, the team who’s actually held the best record in the NL for a good stretch.

Compare odds from all major sportsbooks for NL Pennant Winners >>

Why Bet On The San Francisco Giants To Win The NL Pennant?

Whether you call it East Coast Bias or something else, the Giants haven’t always gotten their due this season. It took ESPN until almost the All-Star break to put them atop the weekly power rankings even though San Francisco had the best record in baseball for a stretch before that.

You’d think having the best record, plus hitting the most home runs in the NL, would account for something. Instead, it makes SF out to be almost a sleeper pick against teams like the Fernando Tatis Jr.-led Padres.

Still, this SF team of resurging veterans and emerging stars — you can argue Mike Yastrzemski has more than arrived — has a deeper bench than they get credit for in place of a single big-name player.

And to be fair, Buster Posey is as big of a name as they come.

San Francisco’s roster depth has given them a nice boost while some veterans have been sidelined. IL stints have negatively affected NL opponents like the Washington Nationals, while the Giants have had success with the like of LaMonte Wade Jr. filling in at first base for Brandon Belt or Curt Casali penciling in behind the dish while Posey was sidelined with a bruised thumb. Even Thairo Estrada has been solid both in the field and at the plate with Brandon Crawford and his bounce-back season temporarily sidelined.

San Francisco is getting healthier, too. Of course, having the big bats back in the lineup in the postseason will help drive in more runs. The Giants are already ranked third in the NL in that category.

Another reason San Francisco is a better pick than Los Angeles is the health of their pitching staff. Sure, the Dodgers are narrowly holding onto the lowest ERA in the NL. But keeping that up into the playoffs is highly debatable.

Clayton Kershaw is supposed to be off the injured list by then, but inflammation in his pitching elbow is definitely a cause for concern headed down the stretch. Julio Urias is already showing wear and tear from long outings. Plus, Trevor Bauer’s future is still unknown. That leaves LA with a depleted rotation and a worn-out bullpen.

A bullpen that didn’t fare well in a 7-2 loss to the Giants on July 19, I might add.

Pick: San Francisco Giants (+650)

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Chelena Goldman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Chelena, check out her archive and follow her @ChelenaGoldman.

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