After watching the rival Washington Nationals celebrate a championship in the 2019 World Series, the Atlanta Braves are more determined than ever to leverage their wealth of top talent and make good on their window for winning it all in 2020.
Until Nashville can persuade Major League Baseball to come to Tennessee, many in the Volunteer State will spend their time rooting for those Atlanta Braves. This year, with sports betting on the horizon, online sportsbooks like FanDuel (which is expected to be a major player in the state) can give those looking to place a wager a little bit extra to root for.
Tennessee sports betting could be live just ahead of the MLB postseason.
It should be no surprise that the Atlanta Braves are still on the upswing. After taking the NL East for the past two years, the Braves boast a powerhouse lineup including MVP candidates Ronald Acuña and Freddie Freeman, plus the addition of Marcell Ozuna. Furthermore, the Braves have a revamped bullpen after adding San Francisco Giants standout lefty Will Smith.
But for Braves fans, a successful regular season simply will not be enough to call 2020 a success.
The Braves have made the playoffs five times in the last decade but haven’t made it out of the Division Series in any of those years. In fact, the Braves haven’t been able to advance from the Division Series since 2001.
Race To The Top
According to FanDuel, the Braves are again the overall favorite in the NL East, being offered at +190. This is slightly better than the Nationals, who are trailing them at +260, and the New York Mets at +280. Signifying that it could be a tight race to the top, the Bryce Harper-led Philadelphia Phillies are offered at +320. The Miami Marlins, however, are not considered to be part of that race to the top, with bookmakers daring you to place a bet at +10000.
Despite their history of playoff disappointments, the Braves are only behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (+170) to win the National League outright. The Braves are being offered at +650, ahead of the Nationals (+280), the Mets (+1000), and the always dangerous St. Louis Cardinals (+1000). Again, indicating that the Braves face stiff competition this year, four of the top six teams favored to win the NL, in terms of odds, hail from the NL East.
Those same Dodgers are favored to win it all in 2020, being given +390 odds to win the World Series. They are currently equaled by the American League favorite, the New York Yankees, who at +390 are deemed just as likely to add to their championship total. Then right behind the Houston Astros, who sit at +700, are the Braves. The Braves are fourth on the board at +1400, which could provide some value provided they are able to solidify their rotation behind young arm Mike Soroka and recently acquired veteran Cole Hamels.
Two years ago, the Braves finished the season with 90 wins, and in 2019 they bumped that total up to 97. FanDuel feels like the win total for the 2020 Braves is more in line with 2018 and has set the line at 90.5 wins this season.
Bettors are going to pay a little juice on either side, but FanDuel is offering a slightly better price of -106 for those that take over 90.5. The under is offered at -116.
The Nationals won 93 last year, and in 2020 their line is set at 88.5. Those willing to take the over, in anticipation of another stellar season, will pay a little extra at -116. Bettors who believe that there may be a little bit of a “championship hangover” can take the under at -106.
It seems pretty straightforward. No matter how you look at it, the Atlanta Braves are poised to have yet another huge regular season. But facing powerhouse teams in their own division and with past habit of flailing in the postseason, the question yet again is whether they can do what is necessary to turn their abundance of talent into a title.