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AL East Odds to Win: Yankees could smash their way to division title

The American League East is shaping up again to be the most competitive division in the AL. With two of baseball’s major markets competing for the top spot, it’s no wonder that teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will back up the Brinks truck and try to retool each offseason to own the AL East crown.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released AL East divisional odds for bettors to cash in on. Below is a team-by-team breakdown to see which club deserves your hard-earned dollars and which ones aren’t worth a pinch of pine tar.

New York Yankees -145

The Yankees finished two games back of Boston for the division lead with 91 wins last season.

After a few years of building up their farm system and developing within, the Yankees took a page out of the Evil Empire playbook and traded for reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Pairing Stanton with Aaron Judge has not only made New York the favorite to win the AL East but also one of the favorites to win the World Series.

The Yankees finished two games back of Boston for the division lead with 91 wins last season and made it all the way to the ALCS as a wild card.

New York didn’t really lose any of its key players and hired Aaron Boone to replace Joe Girardi as manager. On paper, this team is a juggernaut.

Boston Red Sox +145

Despite winning 93 games, the vibe of the 2017 Boston Red Sox was one of underachievement. Boston was searching to fill the David Ortiz-sized hole in its lineup but may have found the answer by signing power hitter J.D. Martinez to suit up at Fenway Park. Martinez clobbered 45 home runs last season and should stabilize the middle of the order for Boston. 

The Red Sox may not be done tinkering with their roster and could add more firepower to the lineup if they’re to compete with the Yankees. The Sox also need to perform better vs their divisional rival if they plan to claim another division title as they finished 8-11 SU in 19 games vs New York last season. With plenty of youth in the batting order along with Chris Sale and David Price at the top of their rotation, the Red Sox won’t be a pushover.

Toronto Blue Jays +850

The Jays were awful on the road last season at 34-47 SU.

The Blue Jays finished 76-86 last season after making the playoffs in back-to-back years. Toronto has had to play small ball with its acquisitions this offseason as the front office doesn’t have the green light to sign players to nine-figure contracts. The Jays were awful on the road last season at 34-47 SU and injuries to key players like Josh Donaldson and Aaron Sanchez along with the complete disappearing act of Jose Bautista left this team in a funk all year.

Toronto’s starting pitching will need to rebound if bettors want to invest in the +850 price tag. If the Jays can get off to a hot start and get a bounce-back effort from the starting rotation, ownership may deem the club a buyer in the trade market, which could push the Jays into further contention.

Tampa Bay Rays +3300

The Rays will be relying on up-and-coming prospects in 2018 and that may not be enough to get them to the top of the division. Tampa’s budget-minded ownership sold off most of the team’s offensive contributors last season and the Rays could be in line for their fifth consecutive losing season after finishing 80-82 in 2017.

Led by Chris Archer on the bump, the Rays should still be somewhat competitive as they try to outhustle the big-market teams with unheralded prospects on the mound and in the batter’s box. While that formula took them to a World Series in 2008, expecting that strategy to pay off immediately with the Yanks and Sox in their division would be a fool’s errand.

Baltimore Orioles +5000

The projected basement-dweller of the AL East is the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s finished at 75-87 last season and while there are some blue-chip players in their lineup (Machado, Jones, Schoop), that talent doesn’t seem to translate to the diamond.

The Orioles had a September to forget last season and finished 7-20 SU. Another reason for Baltimore’s downfall was its starting pitching, which ranked 14th among 15 AL teams in ERA, hits, runs and home runs allowed. Considering that ownership has kicked around the idea of dealing superstar Manny Machado, this team can’t be seriously considered as a contender in the AL East.

Odds to win the 2018 American League East
New York Yankees-145
Boston Red Sox+145
Toronto Blue Jays+850
Tampa Bay Rays+3300
Baltimore Orioles+5000

Odds as of March 7 at BetOnline