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A new favorite has emerged to sign Bryce Harper, per oddsmakers

A new favorite has emerged to sign Bryce Harper, per oddsmakers

In the most bizarre Major League Baseball free agency in recent memory, stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain without a team with less than two weeks until Spring Training starts.

Harper, who turned down a $300 million, 10-year contract from the Washington Nationals on the last day of the 2018 season, has given very few hints as to what cap he will be sporting on Opening Day. The 26-year old has met with over half a dozen teams during free agency, but his camp has yet to publicly announce his preferred destination. 

Last week, the San Francisco Giants were the latest team to meet with the six-time All-Star. Now, they are the betting favorites to sign him.

According to the latest odds that the BetOnline AG sports book released Monday, the Giants have 1/1 odds to sign Harper. 

Harper has history against the Giants, most notably during the 2014 NLDS against San Francisco. Although the Nationals fell to the Giants, Harper had the best postseason series of his young career, hitting .294 with three home runs in four games. 

The San Diego Padres, another team that has made a late play into the Harper sweepstakes, have the second-best odds at 5/2. The Philadelphia Phillies, who seemed to be the heavy favorites to land their NL East rival star just a couple weeks ago, now have just the third best odds at 4/1.

Chances are slim for Harper to return to the Nationals, as Washington currently has 10/1 odds to re-sign their superstar.

While Harper's final destination is still uncertain, Vegas may know something that the general public does not.

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Brewers’ unlikely run continues to shrink wild-card gap with Nationals

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Brewers’ unlikely run continues to shrink wild-card gap with Nationals

The Brewers. They are surging instead of sliding, partying in St. Louis over the weekend after winning two of three against the division-leading Cardinals thanks to a ninth-inning grand slam by Ryan Braun on Sunday.

They have won nine of 10 and six of seven since MVP candidate Christian Yelich broke his kneecap, ending his season. Things are tight because of their run. Just two weeks remain in the regular season.

So, here’s where things stand overall: 

  • Chicago is 1 ½ games behind the Nationals for the top wild-card spot.
  • Milwaukee is 2 ½ games behind the Nationals and just a game behind the Cubs. Those three teams mark a breaking point in the standings.
  • The Mets are four games behind the Cubs for the second wild-card spot and 5 ½ behind the Nationals.
  • Philadelphia is six games behind the Nationals and 4 ½ games behind Chicago after back-to-back losses to end the weekend.

 

Fivethirtyeight.com puts the Nationals chances of making the postseason at 93 percent.

 

Coming up Monday:

San Diego at Milwaukee, 7:40 p.m., Richards (5-4, 3.66 ERA) vs. Davies (9-7, 3.77)

Washington at St. Louis, 7:45 p.m., Strasburg (17-6, 3.49) vs. D. Hudson (15-7, 3.38)

Cincinnati at Chicago, 8:05 p.m., Gausman (3-8, 5.83) vs. Hamels (7-7, 3.89)

New York Mets at Colorado, Matz (10-8, 3,84) vs. Senzatela (9-10, 6.87)

 

Philadelphia is off.

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Davey Martinez hospitalized for precautionary reasons during Nationals’ Sunday win

Davey Martinez hospitalized for precautionary reasons during Nationals’ Sunday win

WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Davey Martinez left the dugout in the sixth inning on Sunday after not feeling well. 

Team physicians assessed him and decided the best course of action was for Martinez to go to a local hospital for further examination. Bench coach Chip Hale replaced Martinez for the remainder of the Nationals' 7-0 win against Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.

"So, just for precautionary reasons, they took him to the hospital to see what's going on, but we're expecting everything to be good," Hale said.

The team, set to fly to St. Louis on Sunday night, was informed postgame. 

"I don't know what's going on, so I can't really speak on that," Howie Kendrick said. "I knew, I think it was the fifth inning, maybe? And then Chip took over as manager. Then after that, all you can worry about is hopefully, he's doing great. I wish him the best. I love Davey. We talk pretty much every day. He's got a lot of insight and I've known him for years -- playing against him in the American League, too. He's done a great job this year. I wish him the best right now. Like I said, I don't know what's really going on, but hopefully it's nothing major."

Hale said Martinez, 54, in his second year as the team's manager, is expected to join the team in St. Louis.

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