With the 2021 MLB season a quarter of the way done, some futures bets are offering Washington Nationals backers big odds.
Of course, there’s a reason those wagers, which are sometimes called “outrights,” come with such big potential payouts. Quite frankly, the Nats have been a disappointment this year.
Entering Thursday, Washington had a meager 17-23 record. The club also was dead last in the NL East. They’re now sitting in the cellar looking up at four division rivals, including the first-place New York Mets.
However, if you think a postseason run is in the cards, sportsbooks in VA are offering some attractive odds.
And if you’re looking for a reason for optimism, there’s some good news.
Futures bets: Nats go from +650 to +1900 in NL East
Entering opening day, the Nationals were +650 to win the division. With those odds, a winning $10 bet would earn you a net profit of $65.
Now, though? Washington is much more of a long shot, with +2,000 odds at multiple Virginia sportsbooks, including William Hill and Unibet. That previous $65 payout has now swelled to $200.
And sure, you’d expect to get big odds if you’re betting on a last-place team. But keep this important fact in mind: The Nationals are only 4.5 games out of first place.
With well over 100 games remaining on the schedule, Washington has ample time to make up ground. In fact, one good week for the Nationals and one bad week for the Mets, and other NL East teams could have the team right back in the divisional title hunt.
Also, keep in mind that with a 17-23 record entering Friday, the Nationals are actually one game better than they were through 40 games in 2019. That’s the year, of course, that Washington won its first World Series title.
Additionally, Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg is slated to return from the disabled list on Friday. His return will give the starting rotation a boost as MLB hits the dog days of summer.
Washington’s World Series odds
If you’re optimistic about Washington’s chances to win the NL East, you might also be considering other futures bets on the Nationals.
In addition to MLB divisional betting, you can wager on the National League pennant winner. You can also bet on the eventual 2021 World Series champions.
Prior to the start of the season, Washington was approximately +2,500 to win the NL and +3,500 to win the World Series in the futures market.
Now, though? Expect an even bigger payout.
After all, Washington is now +4,100 to win the NL pennant at Unibet. And for a 2021 MLB Fall Classic title, the Nats are +6,700 at Unibet.
Obviously, the road to an NL East title is much more manageable than a pennant or World Series. However, even if the Nationals fail to win the division, your NL pennant and World Series bets aren’t necessarily dead.
In 2019, for example, Washington failed to win the division, but it made the most of its wild card berth. First, the Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild card game. Then they handled the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals before beating the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series.
Bettors like Dodgers and Padres
Earlier this month, BetMGM released some betting breakdowns for the 2021 World Series.
After more than a month into the season, MLB bettors had some clear favorites when it came to this year’s World Series winners.
These teams were bettors’ favorites:
- Los Angeles Dodgers (33.9% of all betting money/handle)
- San Diego Padres (12.6%)
- New York Yankees (8.3%)
- Los Angeles Angels (6.5%)
- New York Mets (5.7%)
Washington, meanwhile, was getting just 1.1% of the handle. That tied the Nats for the 15th lowest handle out of 30 MLB teams.