MLB Betting Preview: NL East Division Outright Odds, Division Odds, Season Win Totals

The National League East stands as the biggest barrier to the Los Angeles Dodgers bulldozing their way to the World Series in 2024. The division has the league’s only other team, the Braves, with the talent to match – or, at least, approach – the Dodgers’ depth of ability. The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, have been a bear to face in recent post-seasons while never quite winning their first World Series since 2008.

The Miami Marlins will be able to pitch as well as any team in the major leagues, perhaps, and if they get some better-than-expected production from their lineup, they won’t be an easy team to pile up wins against. The New York Mets hit reboot on their disastrous attempt to build a champion and they could be surprisingly competitive under new team executive David Stearns, who wasted little time revamping his roster.

The Washington Nationals remain also-rans, but they’re another step closer in a rebuild that seems to be moving along nicely. This is a good division with a chance to send multiple teams to the playoffs and, perhaps, add a little chaos to a league where the Dodgers are so clearly the favourite.

Atlanta Braves

World Series odds: +550
League odds: +250
Division odds: -280
Season win total: 101.5 (-105 over, -115 under)
To make playoffs: Yes (-1400), No (+750)
Record last season: 104-58 (Lost division series to Phillies)

Key departures: SS Vaughn Grissom, OF Eddie Rosario

Key additions: LHP Chris Sale, RHP Reynaldo Lopez

Season outlook: The Braves’ fifth-best player last year, catcher Sean Murphy, produced 3.9 bWAR, an MVP-caliber campaign in some years. League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. had an 8.2 WAR season at age at age 25. None of the other superstars on the roster – Matt Olson, Autin Riley or Ozzie Albies – has yet to turn 30. Their best pitcher, Spencer Strider, struck out a league-high 281 batters and piled up nearly 190 innings before reaching his 25th birthday. This is a team that isn’t just brimming with talent, it’s a team brimming with young talent on long-term contracts, meaning they could hold a lock on this division for a decade or so, all the Braves teams of the 1990s. The Braves had so much young talent they could take a chance by training promising young shortstop Vaughn Grissom to the Boston Red Sox in hopes that Chris Sale will be able to rediscover his once former ace form. Even if he doesn’t, however, this team will be fine. Sale is pencilled in as the fourth starter behind Strider, Max Fried and Charlie Morton. This team is an absolute juggernaut.

Best bet: Teams simply don’t value regular-season wins as they once did with so many playoff slots and byes available, meaning it seems a little dicey to take the over on that whopping win total. From this perspective, the talent gap between the Dodgers and Braves isn’t big, but the talent gap between the two and the rest of the league is massive. The American League doesn’t have any teams like these. May as well go for the money and take the Braves to win it all at a favourable +550.

Atlanta Braves to win the 2024 World Series


Philadelphia Phillies

World Series odds: +1100
League odds: +650
Division odds: +300
Season win total: 90.5 (-115 over, -105 under)
To make playoffs: Yes, (-240), No (+190)
Record last season: 90-72 (Lost NLCS to Arizona Diamondbacks)

Key departures: RHP Michael Lorenzen, 1B Rhys Hoskins, RHP Craig Kimbrel

Key additions: LHP Kolby Allard, RHP Spencer Turnbull, 2B Whit Merrifield

Season outlook: It’s hard to write about the Phillies without writing about their fans. The team with a reputation for some of the surliest fans in baseball felt some brotherly love last year. New shortstop Trea Turner was having a rough first season in Philly on Aug. 4, when the fans – whipped up by a local radio personality – gave him a lengthy standing ovation before his first at-bat. After that, he ripped off a 10-game hitting streak and got many of his numbers up to his career norms, smacking 35 doubles, 26 home runs and batting a respectable .266. Turner should be more comfortable in his second season. While he’s about to turn 33, J.T. Realmuto still might be the best catcher in baseball. Bryce Harper is quickly becoming one of the best first basemen in baseball and the team was wise to extend the anchor of its rotation, Aaron Nola, for seven more years (at $172 million) early in the off-season. While the roster is aging, it’s still a post-season-caliber group and could, once again, make some noise in October.

Best bet: A healthy Harper is a dangerous Harper. In the five seasons in which he has played at least 140 games, Harper has won MVP twice. It’s easy to forget he’s still only 31 since he debuted at age 19, but he still hits with metronomic consistency when he’s not bothered by something. The Phillies were wise to plant him at first base, even if it meant parting with popular young slugger Rhys Hoskins because it should help Harper avoid the injuries playing the outfield presents. At +1000, Harper seems like a good investment to win MVP while he’s still in his prime.

New York Mets

World Series odds: +5000
League odds: +2500
Division odds: +1000
Season win total: 82.5 (+100 over, -130 under)
To make playoffs: Yes (+170), No (-220)
Record last season: 75-87 (Missed playoffs)

Key departures: RHP Carlos Carrasco, LHP Trevor Gott, 2B Luis Guillorme, DH Daniel Vogelbach

Key additions:  RHP Sean Manaea, RHP Adrian Houser, OF Tyrone Taylor, RHP Luis Severino, OF Harrison Bader, IF Joey Wendle

Offseason outlook: While the ramp-up failed badly in 2023, the Mets were wise to pull the rip cord quickly and trade Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander for what they could get. And this Mets lineup could be as good as any team in the NL not called the Dodgers or Braves. Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso are a pretty tough group to get through and Harrison Bader should provide some pop at the end of the lineup while playing brilliant center-field defence. If Jose Quintana can continue to pitch as well as he has and newcomers Manaea, Houser and Severino stabilize the middle of it, this team certainly could make a run at getting back to the playoffs after just a one-year absence. They seem to be on the right track having landed analytics-heavy general manager David Stearns, long a hot name after all the good work he did in Milwaukee.

Best bet: Had he not missed a month late last season due to injury, Pete Alonso might have won the MLB home run crown. He finished just behind the leaders, Matt Olson and Kyle Schwarber. Alonso knows his job is to hit home runs and there haven’t been many sluggers more consistent at achieving that end in the last half-dozen years or so. Aaron Judge is injury-prone and Olson’s production seemed like a bit of a fluke last year, so taking Alonso at +800 here is a good play.

Bryce Harper (PHI) to win National League MVP


Miami Marlins

World Series odds: +5500
League odds: +2800
Division odds: +2500
Season win total: 78.5 (-105 over, -115 under)
To make playoffs: Yes (+240), No (-330)
Record last season:  84-78 (Lost wild-card round)

Key departures: OF Jorge Soler, 1B Yuli Gurriel, IF Joey Wendle, RHP David Robertson, RHP Johnny Cueto, C Jacob Stallings

Key additions: SS Tim Anderson, C Christian Bethancourt, UT Vidal Brujan, RHP Roddery Muñoz, RHP Calvin Faucher

Season outlook: This past off-season proved why it’s so hard to be a fan of the Marlins. Their ownership group took advantage of the momentum of being a surprise playoff team in 2023 by doing virtually nothing in the off-season. Going into February, the Marlins were the only team in MLB not to have signed an external free agent. They didn’t particularly try to replace the production they’re losing from Jorge Soler, who mashed 36 home runs and drove in 75 runs last season, for example. Tim Anderson certainly isn’t going to make up for those subtracted numbers. The Marlins seemed to pull the plug on any spending plans when Josh Bell elected to accept his $16.5 million player option. But it’s not hard to imagine a chance of scenery igniting Anderson’s talent in South Beach and a rotation led by young studs Jesús Luzardo and Eury Perez and anchored by the intimidating A.J. Puk means they may not have to score much to win a considerable number of games.

Best bet: Luzardo is coming into the heart of his prime and another step forward could put him in the Cy Young mix, where he’s being offered at tempting +2800 odds. Luzardo had a career year in just about every category in 2023, making 17 quality starts and posting an impressive 3.7 WAR. Pushed to the top of the rotation, the Marlins clearly are expecting him to replace the ace-level production they were getting from Sandy Alcantara and, if he can do that, this is a great price on a legitimate Cy Young longshot.

Washington Nationals

World Series odds: +12500
League odds: +6600
Division odds: +12500
Season win total: 66.5 (-110 over, -110 under)
To make playoffs: Yes (+1600), No (-6600)

Record last season: 71-91 (Missed playoffs)

Key departures: RHP Andrés Machado, 1B Dominic Smith

Key additions: RHP Dylan Florio, 1B/OF Joey Gallo, 3B Nick Senzel

Season outlook: While the Nationals again finished in last place, which they have done every season since winning the 2019 World Series, they made significant improvement in 2023. After losing an average of 102 games in 2021-22, they lost just 91 last season. With continued improvement from young shortstop C.J. Abrams, who posted an impressive 3.4 bWAR last. Year, and with help from some highly touted prospects such as Dylan Crews and James Wood by mid-season or so, it’s not hard to imagine this team returning to competitiveness, if not actual contention. Joey Gallo adds versatility and a patient, powerful bat that should help lengthen a lineup that tends to isolate its best hitter, Lane Thomas. There’s no denying their starting pitching was rather grim with Patrick Corbin posting a 5.20 ERA and youngster Mackenzie Gore struggling with his command and consistency, which might explain why the season win total has been set lower than last year’s total.

Best bet: Now, let’s imagine a worst-case scenario. Abrams regresses, Thomas either gets hurt or does the same, and the pitching is a hot mess. If they call up those two prospects, they do so only because they traded away any veteran bat that other teams wanted via trade. If those things happen, this team could contend for the worst record in MLB, which is why it’s worth considering taking +750 on them to have just that.