Betting Odds to win the National League East

Spring training has begun and that means the 2009 MLB betting season is right around the corner. As you would expect, it was a busy offseason in the NL East as teams were forced to make some major moves to compete with the World Champion Phillies. The betting odds have been released and here is a preview of how things may unfold in the East.
Atlanta Braves +450 (72-90)

Even with the offseason acquisition of strong-armed starter Derek Lowe, the Braves could have a hard time competing in the NL East this season. Jair Jurrjens made a tremendous impact last season but 2009 could be all about the play of Javier Vasquez, a trade that wasn’t the team’s first option but one that could certainly help. No sweat in losing young Brent Lillibridge as Chipper Jones could move over to short and the Braves remain solid with Brian McCann who can make some noise behind the plate. At the same time, this lineup just doesn’t have the consistency needed to keep up with the Mets and Phillies. At this point, Atlanta should just be happy they play in the same division as the Nationals.
Florida Marlins +600 (84-77)

The Marlins lost four good players in the off-season to sign a future infield starter in Emilio Bonifacio and get back a reliever on the rise with Leo Nunez. The trade between Marlins and Royals sent Mike Jacobs to Kansas City and Florida’s power hitting went along with him. Although the trade weakened the Marlins on offense, it helped the bullpen tremendously as Nunez was 4-1 last season with a 2.98 ERA. Florida put emphasis on relief pitching by offsetting the loss of Kevin Gregg with the addition of Scott Proctor. With Gregg gone as closer, Nunez, Burke Badenhop, Matt Lindstrom and Eulogio De La Cruz will all likely get a shot a filling the position. As far as batting goes, Hanley Ramirez will have to push his 33 homers up to around 40 this season if the Marlins want to compete in the East.


New York Mets +120 (89-73)

The Mets are looking to make an impact and ascend to the top of the NL East. The team got rid of some dead weight by shedding Endy Chavez and Mike Carp but their most strategic moves came on the defensive end. With the addition of Francisco Rodriguez and J.J.Putz, the Mets have what is easily one of the best bullpens in the league. These two will backup a rotation that is strong from the 1-4 spot. New York was able to re-sign Oliver Perez who makes a nice compliment to Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey who stepped up his game last season with a 3.72 ERA. Throw in Pedro Feliciano and Sean Green and you have a relief team that should be able to make some noise in the East. Let’s just hope the Mets don’t experience another post-season choke.
Philadelphia Phillies +150 (92-70)

The Phillies suffered a huge blow after losing lefty slugger Pat Burrell to the Tampa Bay Rays. Fortunately, they were able to soften the blow by adding both Raul Ibanez and Ronny Paulino to the roster. The World Series champs will pretty much bring back the same MLB lineup to the plate in 2009 with the exception of Ibanez. Aside from sluggers like Rollins and Howard, expect Jayson Werth to add some pop at bat as his 24 homers last season was quite impressive. We all know the Phillies can hit, but it is somewhat of a surprise that no serious moves were made to stretch a bullpen that isn’t all that deep. The offense looks good but a Phillies repeat will be very difficult.


Washington Nationals +4000 (59-102)

Washington fans will be happy to know that the Nationals made several significant moves during the offseason. Losing Emilio Bonifacio may hurt a few years down the line but the additions of Scott Olsen, Jose Castillo, Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn especially, should help the lowly Nats immediately. Willingham and Dunn can aid all-star Christian Guzman and add some power to what has been a lackluster lineup for years. Surprisingly, the Nationals didn’t address their issues at pitcher which is cause for concern. Although Scott Olsen and Daniel Cabrera show signs of promise at starting pitcher, not resigning Chad Cordero could hurt the Nats during the late innings.
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