2020 MLB Over/Under Win Total Picks, Futures Odds – NL West

Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers (photo credit: USA TODAY Sports)

Last updated: July 7, 2020

As baseball fans, we’re still waiting for the owners and the players to get on the same page and come to an agreement so they can start the 2020 MLB season. While we wait, we as sports bettors can at least start preparing ourselves for the season ahead. In this MLB betting preview, we’ll take a look at the win totals and futures odds for the teams in the NL West.

The Los Angeles Dodgers topped the division last season with a record of 106-56, which also turned out to be the second-best record in the MLB. The Dodgers were the only squad to come out of the NL West and make the playoffs, as the Arizona Diamondbacks finished second at 85-77 and didn’t make the postseason. LA’s time in the playoffs was short, though, as the team lost to the eventual World Series champs, the Washington Nationals, in the Division Series.

Coming into the new season, the Dodgers added a couple of nice pieces in Mookie Betts and David Price and are favorites to win the World Series, just ahead of the New York Yankees from the AL East. Let’s take a look at the NL West division.

*Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook as of July 7, 2020, and subject to change.

World Series odds for NL West teams

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to win their first World Series since 1988 and they’ll field what should be the most talented roster in Major League Baseball despite starting pitcher David Price opting out of the season.

LA adds Mookie Betts, who has five career three-homer games, as many as Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron, and Ken Griffey Jr. had combined. Last season, the Dodgers offense led the National League in runs (886), HR (279), OPS (.810), and seemingly every other category. Betts will fit in nicely with the likes of Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, and other sluggers. They’re so deep that Joc Pederson (36 HR) and A.J. Pollock (15 HR in just 86 games in 2019) will likely be the team’s designated hitters.

The rotation lost Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill but they still boast Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias. Buehler was fifth in FIP in the National League at 3.01, Kershaw is one of three former MVPs on the team (Bellinger and Betts are the others), and despite a declining K-rate still slots in as one of the best No. 2 starters in baseball, and Urias was the No. 1 prospect in baseball just four years ago.

In the bullpen, the Dodgers’ brass expects Kenley Jansen to return to his 2018 form. Maybe the short season helps Jansen rebound from a declining K/9, which was 11.4 and down from his career average of 13.3. Blake Treinen comes to the Dodgers after almost doubling his WHIP from .834 to 1.619 from 2018 to 2019, while the rest of the ‘pen is comprised of Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly, and Brusdar Graterol. Despite Price opting out, this should be the year the Dodgers win it all.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks bolstered their roster with big additions including Madison Bumgarner, who posted his best K/9 (8.8) and FIP (3.90) since 2016. Center fielder Starling Marte comes over from the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he hit 23 home runs and swiped 25 bases in 2019, and right fielder Kole Calhoun arrives in Arizona after blasting 33 home runs for the Los Angeles Angels last season.

Robbie Ray and Bumgarner make a solid one-two punch in the rotation for a group that was middle of the pack in most important statistical indicators last season. Middle-of-the-rotation starter Mike Leake opted out of the season because of COVID-19. Luke Weaver and Zac Gallen will take spots three and four and the team will rely on a host of young arms battling to make the roster. The D-Backs bullpen was 13th in NL in K% (22.8), ninth in FIP at 4.40. Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, and Yoan Lopez form the back end of the bullpen while newcomers Javy Guerra and Hector Rondon will be asked to eat innings.

Starling Marte and Ketel Marte (no relation) headline the Arizona offense. Ketel had 32 HR and a .592 SLG%. Starling will take over right field for Adam Jones, who will play in Japan. Eduardo Escobar (35 HR in 2019) and Christian Walker (29 HR) add power to a long lineup that looks to improve upon its 220 home runs hit last season, ninth out of 15 National League teams. Arizona is slightly above average everywhere on the diamond and is an intriguing pick to surpass their win total of 31.5.

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres overhauled their roster, including coaches. Jayce Tingler is the new manager, there’s new pitching and bench coaches, and the team also acquired outfielders Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham, starting pitcher Zach Davies, and reliever Emilio Pagan.

The Padres acquired Pham (21 HR/.818 OPS in ’19) in the deal that sent Hunter Renfroe to the Tampa Bay Rays. Pham will slot into a lineup that features emerging superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. (22HR /.969 OPS), Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, and the remainder of an offense that scored just 682 runs in 2019, which was 13th out of 15 NL squads. It’s time for Machado and Hosmer to step up.

The starting rotation features at least six legitimate MLB pitchers, with Chris Paddack (9.8 K/9), oft-injured Garrett Richards, Dinelson Lamet, and newcomer Davies.

Former Rays reliever Pagan (career 0.982 WHIP) joins closer Kirby Yates in a nasty back end of the bullpen and they brought back veteran right-handed reliever Craig Stammen. Matt Strahm is an example of good depth lower in the bullpen. This is a postseason-caliber team.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies biggest offseason splashes resulted in Nolan Arenado and general manager Jeff Brydich bickering over a contract and poor roster construction. Arenado is happy that Matt Kemp signed a minor league deal with the club. Colorado entered last season as a potential playoff team and finished 71-91.

The Rockies offense was mercurial, they finished eighth in NL home runs with 224 and struck out the third-most times in the National League at 1,503, but Colorado also posted the fourth-most runs in the NL with 835. The team is powered by Arenado (41 HR in 2019), Charlie Blackmon (32), and Trevor Story (35). Sam Hilliard gets a chance to start in the outfield with Ian Desmond sitting out with COVID-19 concerns. The team hit 132 home runs at home in 2019 and just 92 on the road. It’s a problem the Rockies just can’t solve.

The team also hasn’t solved how to construct a pitching staff that can improve from year to year. Colorado is coming off a season where the team ERA was 5.66. Jon Gray, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela had better eat innings because a stable of Rockies pitchers that haven’t panned out is going to be given opportunities to pitch.

In the bullpen, Wade Davis looks to bounce back from an astronomical 8.65 ERA and just 8.86 K/9. Overall, the 2019 bullpen was last in K/9 (8.36) and 29th in FIP (5.12). This team can’t pitch and they are a team to look at betting the under on wins.

San Francisco Giants

After a 77-85 finish in 2019, the 2020 offseason saw the San Francisco Giants bring in manager Gabe Kapler to take over for Bruce Bochy, who during his Giants tenure won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. San Francisco added starting pitchers Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly, along with infielder Wilmer Flores while saying goodbye to Giants legend Madison Bumgarner.

The top three pitchers in the starting rotation are now Jeff Samardzija (4.59 FIP in 2019), Johnny Cueto, and Gausman (3.98 FIP). Smyly slots in ahead of a stable of mediocrity in the rest of the rotation. In the bullpen, San Francisco lost Will Smith to the Atlanta Braves. The ‘pen lacks quality arms and depth and got worse after averaging only 8.7 K/9, 13th among NL bullpens in K/9.

Looking at the team’s position players, Evan Longoria’s worth comes from his defensive prowess (-0.6 offensive WAR/4.6 defensive WAR). Buster Posey has just 12 HR over the past two seasons. Maybe hPosey can still be a DH so that No. 1 prospect Joey Bart will take over behind the plate. Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski hit 21 home runs in 107 games in his rookie season. The Giants should sell off by August 31 to get younger assets and let their first big wave of prospects arrive.

2020 NL West picks and predictions:

Arizona Diamondbacks to win the World Series (+4300)
Arizona Diamondbacks over 21.5 wins

Let’s get crazy here. The Diamondbacks at +4300 to win the World Series is an insane number considering that the Arizona offense will get a major upgrade from the additions of power bats Starling Marte and Calhoun.

While the rotation boasts Ray and Bumgarner, two younger arms might push this team over the top. Weaver will look to build upon a stellar 2019 ( 3.07 Fip/ 9.7 K/9) and Gallen impressed with a 3.65 FIP between Miami and Arizona in his rookie year.

The D-Backs can be a wild card threat all season song, and while their roster isn’t as deep or talented as the Dodgers, they could match up well with LA in a short series because of the rotation and my expectation that the offense will improve in 2020.

Colorado Rockies under 27.5 wins

The Rockies are not going to be good. They should battle with the Giants to stay out of the division’s cellar. Colorado’s starting pitching was supposed to build upon a promising 2018, but last season’s results yielded another mediocre season from Gray (4.06 FIP), the staff ace. Antonio Senzatela added over two full runs to his ERA (6.71) and Kyle Freeland, Jeff Hoffman, and Chi Chi Gonzalez would fit better as long relievers.

The bullpen will improve if Davis gets back to form and the offense will score runs at home, but unless the pitching miraculously morphs into a top-half-of-the-NL unit, the Rockies will have an ugly 60 games.

Up Next