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AL East divisional odds, season preview & betting predictions

MLB AL East betting

While the MLB owners and the Players Association are still locked in a stalemate, it looks like there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. It was reported this week that, for the first time in months of negotiations, the two parties are getting closer to reaching a deal.

A lockout would be good for no one involved. For a game that has been severely impacted by the COVID pandemic, with the MLB shortening the season to 60 games just two years ago, another abbreviated campaign would be detrimental to the sport’s health.

With all of that being said, the fact that there is some good news after months of bad news is noteworthy and hopefully a good sign for things to come.

While teams are certainly not at all set in stone just yet, the general roster has been built for most teams.

In this series, we’re going to break down the current futures odds for each team to win their division. Let’s start with what is historically one of the best divisions in all of baseball: the American League East.

AL East outright odds

  • New York Yankees +210
  • Tampa Bay Rays +210
  • Toronto Blue Jays +240
  • Boston Red Sox +500
  • Baltimore Orioles +15000

All odds courtesy of Bovada

New York Yankees

The Yankees have been a constant title threat for at least the last 20 years. The team with 27 rings is yet again a favorite to win the AL East and for good reason. The Yankees are explosive, they are all around a solid team but there is still one hole for them. Since Derek Jeter’s retirement, the Yankees have struggled to find continuity at the shortstop position and with Gleyber Torres moving back to second base after a failed short stop experiment, it is yet again a major hole for them on their depth chart. They had Didi Gregorious for a short period of time but he was replaced by Torres who has been underwhelming despite the excitement surrounding him when he was brought up.

The Yankees have been linked to multiple big-name short stops, such as former Los Angeles Dodger and new Texas Ranger Corey Seager and free agent Trevor Story, who looks to definitely be leaving the Rockies. For a team that is always looking to make a major splash in free agency, the Yankees look poised to make another move. While the AL East is competitive, the Yankees are no stranger to winning and should be moved to sole favorites when/if they acquire a big-name short stop.

With speculation around Aaron Judge’s future in the Bronx and the Giancarlo Stanton and Gerritt Cole experiments not turning out the way they had expected, the Yankees could be in for a rough ride in the coming years but it’s only right Brian Cashman takes one last shot at a title before being forced to make some tough decisions in the coming years.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays have been the anti-Yankees. They are the smartest most analytically driven team in the MLB and it has paid major dividends highlighted by a World Series appearance in the 2020 shortened season. Despite their low payroll year in and year out, the Rays have found a way to be a thorn in the powerhouse Yankee and Red Sox’s side as they are back-to-back division champs including 100 wins a season ago.

While the Rays have proven to be one of the most consistent winners in the entire MLB, it’s still hard to imagine them as winners. Looking at their depth chart, they have a lot of low-profile names who are either brand new to the league, or journeymen but no real star power other than Wander Franco who was called up last season. For as good as Franco showed that he was last year, we still haven’t seen him over a 162 game season, and the talent around him isn’t necessarily top notch. If you compare the Yankees and Rays rosters you might think that the Rays have no business being co-favorites with the Yankees, but that’s just not the case. Year after year, the Rays find a way to win despite having the lowest payroll in the league which is a major credit to Erik Neander and the Rays front office.

Toronto Blue Jays

The baby Jays arrived last season as they came a game away from clinching a playoff berth a season ago. Despite winning 91 games, the Blue Jays finished the year in 4th place narrowly missing the playoffs.

It wasn’t all bad for the Jays last season though, they bursted onto the scene in a major way. Vladimir Gurerro Jr. should’ve been the AL MVP if it not had been for Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. Guerrero in his sophomore season slashed .311/.401/.601 with 48 homeruns. Pairing Gurerro with Marcus Semien, Bo Bischette. Cavan Bigio and George Springer is the reason for hitting the 91 win mark last season.

For as good as the Blue Jays we’re last year, it’s not certain that they will be back to that form in this upcoming 2022 season. They lost All-Star second basemen Marcus Semien to the Oakland A’s and the reigning AL Cy Young award winner Robbie Ray to the Seattle Mariners. While losing these two will certainly hinder the Jays ability to compete in the AL East, they are still a very good team that might have a higher ceiling than they showed last year.

Boston Red Sox

Not too long ago, it was the Yankees, Red Sox and everyone else but that’s not the case anymore. Like the Rays, the Red Sox have built a solid analytical department all thanks to former Ray, Chaim Bloom. After taking over the reigns in Boston, Bloom was tasked to move one of the best players in the MLB, Mookie Betts. Boston couldn’t afford to pay Betts the money that he was worth all thanks to the previous regime. After moving Betts and David Price to the Dodgers in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong the Red Sox didn’t need to rebuild like so many of us thought.

After firing Alex Cora for his role in the Houston Astros cheating scandal, the Red Sox hired Ron Roenicke to replace him. Roenicke would go onto serve one season as the manager before he was let go in favor of Cora yet again. Despite the allegations against Cora, he has been a godsend for the Red Sox. He has completely rebuilt the team chemistry to perhaps an all-time high and managed to reach the playoffs in an extremely competitive AL East a season ago. The Bloom and Cora tandem has put the Red Sox in a Rays-like position but with a much bigger check book. The Red Sox at +500 are our favorite bet to win the AL East for everything mentioned above.

Baltimore Orioles

As with any team that is this drastic of an underdog, there isn’t much of a case to build for the Orioles to win the AL East. The division finished with four teams who won 90+ games a season ago, and the Orioles were not only at the bottom of that division, but they tied the Arizona Diamondbacks for the worst record in the entire MLB.

The Orioles have some good going for them, however. They have the number one rated prospect in all of baseball in Adley Rutschman and Cedric Mullins put up some very legit stats last year. Mullins could be a potentially be a trade deadline acquisition for a contending team come July, that could net the Orioles some serious prospects in return to build for the future.

As far as this year goes, the Orioles have virtually no shot at winning the AL East but there are teams that are worse-off for the future. This season should be about developing and acquiring young talent to the organization and if they do that, they should have a shot in a couple of years.

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