NL East Baseball Betting

Not surprisingly, the two teams in the National League East Division that were better than expected, the Phillies and Marlins, also surged at the baseball betting windows last year. But will higher expectations in 2009 take away that crutch from baseball betting fans?

Certainly, World Series champion Philadelphia, which wound up +11.9 betting units for the entire season, won't be taken lightly this year. Florida, which had an opening day team salary of just $22 million but finished +19.6 in betting units, seems to never cease to amaze, finding ways to surprise doubters and delight bettors year after year.

The Mets and Braves chewed up a lot of wagering cash with disappointing years but the Nationals, even though they were terrible, proved to be a reliable "bet against" in 2008, a trend some gamblers will be counting on continuing this season.

Let's see if we can't use last year's betting numbers to uncover some wagering angles for the upcoming season.


NEW YORK METS (2008 Finish: 88-74)

Future Book Odds for 2009:

World Series: 17/2, Pennant: 4/1, Division: 7/5

By the Numbers:

Favorite: 70-61, Underdog: 19-12

Home: 48-33, Away: 41-40

Day: 27-24, Night: 62-49

Vs. Left: 34-21, Vs. Right: 55-52

One-Run Games: 16-19


Sportsbook Buster: The Mets were a superior bet as an underdog, posting a return on investment (ROI) of +33.7 percent for those 31 games last season.

Sports Betting Angle: New York posted an ROI of +10.2 percent as a favorite of -200 (bet $200 to win $100) or more last year.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (2008 Finish: 103-73, Won World Series)

Future Book Odds for 2009:

World Series: 10/1, Pennant: 5/1, Division: 9/5


By the Numbers:

Favorite: 73-51, Underdog: 30-22

Home: 55-33, Away: 48-40

Day: 27-24, Night: 76-49

Vs. Left: 35-22, Vs. Right: 68-51

One-Run Games: 31-23


Sportsbook Buster: The Phillies had an ROI of +25.6 percent in their 52 games as an underdog last year.

Sports Betting Angle: Philadelphia boasted an ROI of +22.9 percent versus teams from the National League West Division last season.

ATLANTA BRAVES (2008 Finish: 72-90)

Future Book Odds for 2009:

World Series: 35/1, Pennant: 18/1, Division: 4/1


By the Numbers:

Favorite: 43-46, Underdog: 29-44

Home: 43-38, Away: 29-52

Day: 23-29, Night: 49-61

Vs. Left: 20-33, Vs. Right: 52-57

One-Run Games: 11-30

Sportsbook Buster: The Braves had an ROI of -21.6 percent on the road last year.

Sports Betting Angle: Atlanta had its difficulties with left-handed starting pitching, posting an ROI of -26.5 percent against southpaws last season.

FLORIDA MARLINS (2008 Finish: 84-77)

Future Book Odds for 2009:

World Series: 40/1, Pennant: 20/1, Division: 9/1


By the Numbers:

Favorite: 32-19, Underdog: 52-58

Home: 45-36, Away: 39-41

Day: 24-19, Night: 60-58

Vs. Left: 23-21, Vs. Right: 61-56

One-Run Games: 24-19


Sportsbook Buster: The Marlins had an impressive ROI of +21.7 percent playing its rivals within the division last year.

Sports Betting Angle: Florida's overall ROI in 161 games last season was a solid +11.2 percent.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS (2008 Finish: 59-102)

Future Book Odds for 2009:

World Series: 100/1, Pennant: 60/1, Division: 25/1


By the Numbers:

Favorite: 7-17, Underdog: 52-85

Home: 34-46, Away: 25-56

Day: 19-28, Night: 40-74

Vs. Left: 22-37, Vs. Right: 37-65

One-Run Games: 20-29

Sportsbook Buster: With an overall ROI of -14.8 percent, the Nationals were a solid "bet against" last year.

Sports Betting Angle: Washington had an ROI of -47.5 percent as a favorite in 24 games last season.

ON THE FIELD: The Mets hope that a new and improved bullpen, led by record closer Francisco Rodriguez (Angels) and J.J. Putz (Mariners), won't crumble in September, as has happened the last two years. There's no reason why the Phillies, with good pitching and run production won't repeat. The Marlins have been overachievers so often that it's become expected of them. The Nationals had the worst record in Major League Baseball last year and don't figure to be much better this season.

Next: NL Central Baseball Betting