DC Lottery Sportsbook Has Nationals To Open 2020 Season Against Title Favorites

Written By Derek Helling on July 7, 2020 - Last Updated on September 30, 2020

On July 23, the favorites to win the 2020 World Series will begin their season at Nationals Park. It won’t be Washington, however, according to the latest Nationals odds.

The DC Lottery’s GambetDC has the team Washington is hosting that day, the New York Yankees, as its World Series favorite. Now that the revised MLB schedule is out, other lines at GambetDC have moved.

Nationals odds for Opening Day 2020

The headliner night game for MLB Opening Day 2020 is Nats vs. Yankees, set for 7:08 p.m. ET on July 23. Provided there are no further alterations to the schedule between now and then, that will be bettors’ first look at both the defending World Series champions and the odds-on favorite to claim that title next.

GambetDC has Washington a slight home underdog that night at -105 in its moneyline market. The line on New York winning the game rests at -154.

GambetDC has several spread and total markets. For example, betting under 5.5 or over 9.5 total runs in the game would pay out the same at +170.

The sportsbook also offers a contingent of prop wagers on the first inning and the first five innings. Among those are a three-way moneyline on which team will lead after the first inning. A wager on the Nationals to lead after one inning carries odds of +330.

At this point, handicapping the contest is a tricky business. Doing so asks bettors to gauge the readiness of key players on both teams, plus is wholly dependent on the health of the rosters.

Although neither team has named a starter for the game, the expectation is Gerrit Cole vs. Max Scherzer. Even if Cole and Scherzer make it to the mound that day, there’s uncertainty about how well they will perform given the extended layoff.

That applies to the batters they will face and the defenses behind them as well. Rust is a factor that will be hard to account for in every betting market, at least to start the season.

Another factor that might affect this game is that for the first time, Washington will be using a designated hitter in its home ballpark. There is little data on whether that will improve its run production or not.

Finally, the empty stadium effect is one that bettors should not ignore. Going into the first game of the season, however, it could be difficult to predict how it will affect the game’s outcome.

Those factors could also play a significant role in the long-term fate of Washington’s 2020 season. GambetDC isn’t expecting a repeat of 2019, although it does count on the Nationals being a postseason contender.

Washington World Series and other futures markets

After the schedule release, GambetDC has the Nats with the third-shortest odds among National League teams to win the 2020 World Series. Currently, the entire GambetDC field looks like this:

Red Sox+2600White Sox+2900Angels+2900
Blue Jays+6900Rockies+14900Pirates+24900

Similarly, the Nationals have the third-shortest odds to win the NL pennant for the second year in a row at +725. History is not on Washington’s side, though.

Although the Dodgers won back-to-back NL pennants in 2017 and 2018, they were the first NL team to do so in nearly a decade. Even more daunting for Washington is that no team has won consecutive World Series since the Yankees in 1998-2000.

Just as GambetDC gives the Atlanta Braves the edge over the Nats in terms of winning the World Series and the NL championship, the sportsbook favors Atlanta to win the NL East division crown. The Nationals sit +240 in that market.

That doesn’t mean the lottery’s sports betting site expects Washington to completely fall off, however. The line on a Nats win total for the regular season currently sits at 33.5, with the better action of -105 on the over.

It’s uncertain if 34 wins would be sufficient to snag a wild card spot should the Braves win the division. What is certain, however, is that GambetDC is high on young Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.

Nationals player prop bets for the 2020 MLB season

Soto is +950 to win the 2020 NL MVP award on the app right now. Only the following players have shorter odds:

  • Ronald Acuña Jr.
  • Cody Bellinger
  • Mookie Betts
  • Christian Yelich 

Soto’s teammates Adam Eaton, Victor Robles, Scherzer and Trea Turner also appear in the field for that market. The lines on those players are all over the map right now.

PlayerTo Win 2020 NL MVP
Max Scherzer+3900
Trea Turner+8900
Adam Eaton+14900
Victor Robles+14900

As anyone who is aware of Scherzer’s pedigree would expect, he is among the favorites to win the NL Cy Young award this year. Only Jacob deGrom has shorter odds than Scherzer’s +560.

Should bettors want to pass on Scherzer winning his third NL Cy Young award, his top two rotation-mates are other considerations. Stephen Strasburg is +1200 to take home the hardware while GambetDC slots Patrick Corbin +1850 in the same market.

Speaking of pitching markets, the sportsbook has Washington closer Sean Doolittle +2300 to lead all of baseball in saves. Scherzer is also +575 to lead baseball in strikeouts.

One of the best values in Nats player props might be Soto to lead all of MLB in runs scored. He’s currently +1500 in that market and last season, Soto ranked seventh in the NL in that category with an on-base percentage of .401.

The Nationals might need Soto to lead in that category to surpass expectations and collect a second World Series win. The chase for another championship begins against the Yankees on July 23.

Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

View all posts by Derek Helling