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.
In the Central Division, the Chicago Cubs were once again favorites to win the World Series after claiming their first championship in more than 100 years during the 2016 season. They 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 2017 National League? The Cubs will once again be the team to beat as the defending champions but keep a close watch on the Washing Nationals, who are primed to make a deep run in 2017.
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||139||78||61||656||580||0.561|
|2||New York Yankees||138||74||64||717||578||0.536|
|4||Tampa Bay Rays||141||70||71||613||613||0.496|
|5||Toronto Blue Jays||139||64||75||594||685||0.460|
|AL - Central|
|3||Kansas City Royals||137||68||69||590||671||0.496|
|5||Chicago White Sox||137||54||83||586||701||0.394|
|AL - West|
|2||Los Angeles Angels||140||72||68||626||616||0.514|
|NL - East|
|3||New York Mets||138||59||79||634||724||0.428|
|NL - Central|
|2||St. Louis Cardinals||138||71||67||660||596||0.514|
|NL - West|
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers||138||92||46||669||482||0.667|
|4||San Diego Padres||139||62||77||532||681||0.446|
|5||San Francisco Giants||141||54||87||552||693||0.383|
How To Make Money on The National League
The Chicago Cubs had to wait more than a century to snap a long-standing World Series drought. The wait between their next championship will likely be much shorter with the Cubs’ current roster.
Chicago boasts one of the best batting orders in Major League Baseball, led by third baseman Kris Bryant, who led the team with a .292 average, 39 home runs in 2016. Bryant also finished that season with a team-leading 176 hits.
The Cubs aren’t just about hitting, either. Jon Lester was spectacular in 2016, lead the team with 16 wins and 197 strikeouts. With a starting rotation that also features Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs are in great position to compete in the post-season for many years ahead.
However the defending champions will be in tough as several teams are now in the running for a World Series crown, including the Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper is a special player and he showed it in the early stages of 2017, hitting well over .300 and ranking among the leaders in National League home runs. It’s not often Harper gets to hit a ball as the Nationals’ superstar outfielder was tied for second in walks in 2016. Team that are willing to take the risk in pitching toe Harper will definitely have to pay the price.
You can never count out the San Francisco Giants, either. The AL West powerhouse club won three World Series crowns in five seasons and are more than capable of adding to that in the future.
Ready to put your money down on a National League team? Here are a few online sportsbooks to consider before placing your wagers.