When it comes to betting baseball in the National League, you have two teams living in the castle, two teams at the gates of hell and everyone else stuck in between. Seeing it is only early June, that does not mean all this could change and likely will, but it is still fascinating we have three very distinct groups.
For a while, it looked like Freddie Freeman was doomed to being an All-Star on a bad team for most of his career, similar to Sammy Sosa and Andre Dawson in Chicago. But the second half of last season, Atlanta started winning regularly and there was hope for the future. Turns out the future is now for the Braves.
With a dearth of contact hitters in baseball, Atlanta is one of only three teams to have two batters in the Top 20 in batting average (Freeman and Nick Markakis are in the Top 10). The Braves offense is very potent and ranks first or second in the NL in BA, total bases, OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS. Add in an above-average pitching staff that holds opponents to 4.0 runs a game and you can understand why the Bravos are the best bet in the senior circuit.
Milwaukee is the second-best wager in the NL thanks to pitching. That comes as a surprise because Jimmy Nelson has not thrown a pitch this season (though he was not expected to because of injury) and the Brewers are 2-6 in Zach Davies outings when he’s not been on the DL. The Brew Crew has gotten strong seasons from Chase Anderson (Brewers 7-4 record) and Jhoulys Chacin (10-3) and has been helped immensely by a lights-out bullpen.
What bettors have to be wary of Milwaukee going forward in the offense. Already nine times this year they have been shutout and on 11 other occasions scratched out two or less runs. Every baseball bettor has to question if the pitching will hold up over six months unless the hitting improves.