The National League is the oldest professional baseball league and has been called the Senior Circuit, as it came 15 years before the American League. That, however, was a long, long time ago, with the NL being founded in 1876. The current NL champions are the Mets, who won the title in 2015 only to go on and lose the World Series final to Kansas City 4-1. With 15 teams in the NL, the sides are divided into three divisions (East, West and Central) with the winners from each division heading to the postseason, as well as possible Wild Card entries.
Unlike the American League, there is no ‘designated hitter’ rule and the National League is seen as a more traditional league in general. Managers in the National League are consequently under greater pressure to make the correct offensive changes during pitching substitutions.
Interleague games have taken place during the regular season since 1997, the National League and American League both having 15 teams. With The San Francisco Giants the record holders of NL Pennants (with 23), the most successful World Series team from the National League are The Cardinals, with an incredible 11 victories. The Giants (8) and Dodgers (6) aren’t too far behind.
The East Division is comprised of the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, New York Mets and Washington Nationals, with 2016 seeing The New York Mets and The Washington Nationals rated as favorites to make the postseason.
In the Central Division, The Chicago Cubs are pre-season favorites, and will frequently battle the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and another very strong side in the St. Louis Cardinals for supremacy. In the West Division, The Arizona Diamondbacks are the newest franchise, entering the NL in 1998. They take on the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and the mighty San Francisco Giants in their fight to make the playoffs.
Who will win the 2016 National League? It’s anyone’s guess after the New York Mets stunning comeback year in 2015. Rule no-one out until they have no chance of taking the Pennant!
National League Betting Lines Today
Want to know what the latest moneyline is and who’s favorites to the National League? Keep an eye on all 15 teams game odds and evaluate where you can make the most money.
National League Standings Right Now
With just three of the 15 teams guaranteed to go through to the playoffs by winning their division, who will hold top spot at season’s end?
Teams such as the New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are fancied, but there is almost always a surprise package in the National League. Check out the current standings below.
|AL - East|
|1||Boston Red Sox||162||93||69||878||694||0.574|
|2||Toronto Blue Jays||163||90||73||764||668||0.552|
|4||New York Yankees||162||84||78||680||702||0.519|
|5||Tampa Bay Rays||162||68||94||672||713||0.420|
|AL - Central|
|3||Kansas City Royals||162||81||81||675||712||0.500|
|4||Chicago White Sox||162||78||84||686||715||0.481|
|AL - West|
|4||Los Angeles Angels||162||74||88||717||727||0.457|
|NL - East|
|1||New York Mets||163||87||76||671||620||0.534|
|NL - Central|
|2||St. Louis Cardinals||162||86||76||779||712||0.531|
|NL - West|
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers||162||91||71||725||638||0.562|
|2||San Francisco Giants||163||88||75||718||631||0.540|
|5||San Diego Padres||162||68||94||686||770||0.420|
How To Make Money on The National League
The oldest league in professional baseball may never have a more thrilling year than it enjoyed in 2015 thanks to the New York Mets rising like a phoenix from the ashes of a poor season to go all the way to the World Series, winning the National League Pennant 4-0 in the championship series on route.
With no Daniel Murphy, will the Mets struggle to retain the title they won in such fine style? The odds pre-season don’t look to reflect that, with both The Mets and The Nats +100 to take down the East Division.
The Chicago Cubs (-100)are hot favourites to win NL Central, with St. Louis, who are off to a decent start also fancied pre-season at +200. In the West Division, San Francisco are favourites, with the L.A. Dodgers fractionally behind.
We like The Dodgers to come on strong in the second half of the year and these would be our pick at +160 to make the playoffs via the West Division title, but when it comes to winning the National League trophy itself and going through to the World Series, we like the look of San Francisco.
The Giants won’t have the battle that the other top teams have to get into the postseason and can call on a lot of history when it comes to the crunch games.