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Which NL Teams Can Defy Playoffs Odds in 2024?

Several few in the National League could be considered “gimme” bets to make the playoffs in 2024. The Los Angeles Dodgers (-2500) and Atlanta Braves (-1400) are among them. Instead of picking apart these and other top teams’ chances to make it to the postseason, I wanted to look at some NL teams whose MLB odds are less favorable but still worth an MLB pick.


Which NL Teams Can Defy Playoffs Odds in 2024?
Josh Harrison #6 of the Cincinnati Reds | Aaron Doster/Getty Images/AFP

Each time highlighted below missed the playoffs last season, but I see potential in them and their future betting odds for 2024.


Cincinnati Reds (+150) to Make the Playoffs

The Cincinnati Reds are poised to defy expectations and secure a playoff spot in 2024, thanks to their remarkable young talent and strategic off-season enhancements.

The Reds demonstrated considerable progress last season, finishing just two games shy of a wild-card spot with a commendable 56-47 record in their final 103 games. Given the competitive landscape of the NL, a similar performance could be enough for playoff qualification in 2024. While the team’s current World Series odds may not reflect their potential, the Reds’ trajectory mirrors that of the 2023 Orioles, who significantly leveraged young talent to exceed expectations.

Emerging stars like Andrew Abbott, Will Benson, TJ Friedl, Matt McLain and Spencer Steer combined for a near-14.5 WAR last season, laying a solid foundation for the team’s future success. Newcomers Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who are expected to take on full-time roles alongside Hunter Greene’s hopeful, consistent presence, will bolster this promising group.

Elly De La Cruz, in particular, stands out as a pivotal figure for the Reds. His immense potential and dynamic play could significantly influence Cincinnati’s playoff aspirations. A full-season breakout from De La Cruz could propel the Reds into postseason contention, highlighting the impact of their burgeoning young talent.

Despite their youthful core, the Reds also wisely invested in veterans during the off-season, raising the team’s overall stability. Additions like Jeimer Candelario, Nick Martinez and a healthy Frankie Montas are expected to provide veteran leadership and bolster the team’s performance.


Projection systems that help set Vegas betting odds may undervalue the Reds because they rely on less experienced players. However, suppose the young core develops as expected and the team capitalizes on its blend of emerging stars and seasoned veterans. In that case, Cincinnati is in a solid position to surprise many and clinch a playoff berth in 2024.



San Diego Padres (+150) to Make the Playoffs

The San Diego Padres face challenging odds for the 2024 playoffs after a lackluster 82-80 record last season. Their path to improvement has been complicated by significant roster changes, including the departures of key players like Blake Snell and Josh Hader through free agency and the trading away of stars Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the Yankees. These moves have understandably shifted expectations.

In contrast, their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, have bolstered their rosters with significant acquisitions. The Dodgers have added major talents, including Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, while the Diamondbacks made impressive signings, such as Eduardo Rodriguez and Eugenio Suárez, following their World Series run. Consequently, FanGraphs projects the Padres as the third-ranked team in the NL West, mirroring their finish last year.

However, the Padres have potential avenues for improvement. A resurgence from core players like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr, Xander Bogaerts, Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish could pivot the team’s fortunes. Michael King, who arrived from New York in the Soto trade, is also crucial. Primarily a reliever, King demonstrated starting capabilities with the Yankees last season and is expected to fill the void left by Snell. His adaptation to a starting role could significantly influence the Padres’ standings in the challenging NL playoff landscape.



Questions Of The Day

Who are some longshot candidates worth a wager to win the World Series?

The New York Yankees (+1600), Baltimore Orioles (+1600) and San Diego Padres (+2200) are all worth considering in the MLB betting futures market.

Which Favorites are risky bets to make the playoffs?

The Philadelphia Phillies are expected to make the postseason, but the Mets could rebound from their horrid season to play spoiler.

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