The most compelling division is clearly, far and away, the American League East Division. The Baltimore Orioles are the only team basically eliminated at this point, as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays all have more than a puncher’s chance.
Based on the rest of the AL, it also looks like there is an excellent shot of both Wild Card teams coming from the AL East as well. There is a distinct advantage to winning the division, however, and all four teams should keep that in mind as the ultimate goal. Skipping over the one-game playoff is a massive, enormous boost for the team that takes down the division title.
We started with the Yankees as the clear favorite at -200, but now all five teams are at plus-money prices, so this will be an exciting race to the finish in the league’s top division. There are a lot of different thoughts and theories floating around about these four teams and you could make a case for any one of them to emerge victorious.
There will be ample opportunities to grab the team(s) of your choice at good prices here in this one, so don’t fire at the first thing you see unless you think it will be the best that you are going to see.
Odds To Win The AL East
|New York Yankees||-200||+150|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+350||+150|
|Boston Red Sox||+2000||+450|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+350||+550|
The Yankees and Rays are priced around the same, even though the Rays have been the better team this season. We’re still waiting for New York’s offense to show up, as the Yankees have been pathetic in the batter’s box in the Bronx and haven’t fared a heck of a lot better on the road.
Tampa Bay continues to get it done with savvy, guile, analytics, and a good helping of talent. The Rays and their chameleon ways between home and road games have been really smart about winning with offense on the road and pitching and defense at home. Their top-rated outfield has been a big boost on the pitching side.
Boston has gone all-in on preventing home runs and their pitching staff has been able to outperform its talent level to this point. As you can see, though, the oddsmakers and the betting markets feel like Boston is on the outside looking in at the division race.
Lastly, the Toronto Blue Jays remain a great offense with a pitcher staff that is suspect. All four teams have offensive upside and pitching staffs that seem like they can sustain the grind of 162, but the Yankees and Rays have the superior pitching, so they are the teams priced at +150.
At this point, only the Blue Jays at +550 are worthy of consideration. The prices are too low on the Yankees and the Rays right now, especially the Yankees, who are still getting a lot of preferential treatment in the markets.