Dark Horse Teams That Could Win the National League in 2020

Mike Esposito
Dark horse teams that could win the National League in 2020, including the Chicago Cubs.
Dark horse teams that could win the National League in 2020, including the Chicago Cubs. / Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Heading into Spring Training, there's a general consensus that the 2020 National League Pennant is the Los Angeles Dodgers' to lose — especially since they landed Mookie Betts in a blockbuster trade. However, there are a couple of teams that could follow the 2019 Washington Nationals' underdog script and knock off the NL favorites in the 2020 postseason.

With that in mind, here are three dark horse teams, based on their odds to win the NL on FanDuel Sportsbook, that can win the 2020 National League Pennant.

3. San Diego Padres (+2400)

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks / Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

They may be one more year away to some pundits, but if everything falls the right way, the San Diego Padres could be a sneaky postseason pick in 2020. San Diego boast a young and talented lineup headlined by Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and new addition Tommy Pham. The starting staff outside of Chris Paddack could use some improvement, but the club should be competitive in every game it plays this season thanks to a strong bullpen that features 2019 MLB saves leader Kirby Yates (41 saves) and Drew Pomeranz (2 saves, 12 holds in 2019).

2. Cincinnati Reds (+1700)

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

No team had a more active offseason than the Cincinnati Reds, and when you look at this club on paper, it has all the makings of a postseason contender. Cincinnati now boasts a powerful lineup that features sluggers Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto. And while its lineup has the potential to be one of the best in the Bigs, Cincy's pitching is arguably an even bigger strength. Starters Luis Castillo (3.40 ERA, 226 strikeouts in 2019), Trevor Bauer (253 strikeouts) and Sonny Gray (2.87 ERA) will be tough to beat in a best-of-seven series, and a solid bullpen that features Raisel Iglesias (34 saves) will make it a challenge for opponents who find themselves trailing late in games.

1. Chicago Cubs (+1300)

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates / Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The NL Central is one of the toughest divisions to navigate, and the Chicago Cubs may face some growing pains under new manager David Ross. However, if the club can pull it all together, they should have a pretty good shot at topping the National League. The North Siders have a veteran playoff-tested roster, and they still boast one of the best lineups in the NL featuring Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and 2020 NL MVP candidate Javier Baez. Chicago's pitching staff isn't as dominant as it's been in past seasons, but Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish are capable of ace-caliber outings in any given start. And with Craig Kimbrel closing, a victory is all but guaranteed if the Cubs head into the ninth with a lead.

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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.