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Odds to Win the AL East: It’s The Yankees And Everyone Else

AL East Betting Odds February 12 2020

MLB spring training is just around the corner and while the offseason has been controversial, to say the least, one thing that’s clear is the New York Yankees seem destined to take another American League East Division crown.

The Yankees amped up their efforts in the arms race to nab ace pitcher Gerrit Cole with a record contract and are now sitting as -800 favorites to win their division in back-to-back years. The Bronx Bombers boast a feared batting order that crushes the ball and now with Cole, they should have the best pitching staff in the AL East.

Following the Yankees are the plucky Tampa Bay Rays (+600), the disgraceful Boston Red Sox (+1000), the putrid Toronto Blue Jays (+3500) and the obsolete Baltimore Orioles (+60000).

Disclaimer: I’m not a Yankees fan. I’m calling it as I see it and will offer some betting analysis on each team, how they could win the division and important things to know before betting this prop.

New York Yankees (-800)

Despite a full 162-game season still to play and two teams in the division that typically play them tough, the New York Yankees look like they have a cakewalk to the AL East title. The Yankees boast a batting order that has studs up and down the lineup that most teams would kill to have. Sluggers like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela are just some of the bats the Yanks can throw at opposing pitchers in their pursuit of a World Series title.

Then there’s the starting rotation that can now lean on Gerrit Cole to go with Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Domingo German and James Paxton while rolling out a bullpen that has Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman. Even on the days when the Yankees struggle to put runs on the board, now they don’t have to rely solely on outscoring opposing teams as they did in 2019 when they were second in the AL in run differential (+204).

At this point, it is reckless to throw big bucks on the Yankees to win the division at -800 odds with a full season still to play but attrition doesn’t seem to weigh this team down after missing 2,336 man-games to injury last season and still winning 103 games.

New York Yankees 2020 Futures Odds
AL East OddsWorld Series OddsWin Total

Odds as of February 12 at  Bovada

Tampa Bay Rays (+600)

The Tampa Bay Rays are the MLB equivalent of “The Little Engine That Could.” They spend nearly no money in free agency, pick up castoff utility players who overachieve and may be one of the best teams at employing the “opener” strategy with the bullpen going for a full game.

On paper, there isn’t a hitter that necessarily strikes fear into opposing pitchers but that batting order chips in across the board with five players hitting 20 or more home runs a year ago and the solid fielding defense keeps them in games. The Rays ranked 10th in errors while ranking fourth in putouts in 2019.

Then there’s the pitching staff that had a collective 3.65 ERA despite the regression of ace lefty Blake Snell after he won the Cy Young in 2018. Tampa Bay’s pitchers ranked in the top five in strikeouts, ERA, batting average and saves.  

The Rays do everything above-average, which means they’ll be in contention but it’s hard to endorse a Moneyball-style team to win the division crown when they share it with a Yankees squad that can just buy players to shore up any weaknesses.

Tampa Bay Rays 2020 Futures Odds
AL East OddsWorld Series OddsWin Total

Odds as of February 12 at  Bovada

Boston Red Sox (+1000)

If I had to pick any team to somehow upset the Yankees, it would be the Boston Red Sox, even though they engineered one of the most horrendous transactions I’ve ever seen. Trading away Mookie Betts is a reprehensible act by a team that essentially prints money and made record revenues over the last five seasons. The former MVP was shipped off to the Dodgers along with LHP David Price and now the Red Sox have to pick up the pieces. Luckily, they still have a wealth of talent.

Now, it’s time for the Red Sox to show that their cost-cutting didn’t completely neuter the franchise because, on paper, they still have three players who are game-changers. J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers each had over 30 home runs and 100 RBIs and Alex Verdugo, the main prospect from the Betts trade, has pop in his bat and is supposed to be the starting RF.

Where this gets tricky is the starting rotation and, really, the entire pitching staff. Chris Sale looked like a shell of himself in 2019 with the worst ERA of his career and Boston has to rely on the likes of Martin Perez and Nathan Eovaldi to fill the void. Not to mention the Red Sox bullpen led MLB with 31 blown saves last season. This would be the only team you could take seriously to contend with the Yankees but they’ve subtracted so much talent, it would take a miracle to usurp the Yanks.

Boston Red Sox 2020 Futures Odds
AL East OddsWorld Series OddsWin Total

Odds as of February 12 at  Bovada

Toronto Blue Jays (+3500)

You ever hear the expression “two years away from two years away”? Well, that fits the Toronto Blue Jays to a T. The young gun trio of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio should be a force for years to come but unfortunately the supporting cast may take a while to catch up. Sure, players like Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez may have some bright moments but they’re career .240 hitters despite combining for 61 home runs last season.

The pitching staff is what got the major overhaul with the Jays spending big bucks on Hyun-Jin Ryu and adding Tanner Roark and Chase Anderson but the reality is they’re simply overmatched compared to the three teams ahead of them on the oddsboard.

Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Futures Odds
AL East OddsWorld Series OddsWin Total

Odds as of February 12 at  Bovada

Baltimore Orioles (+60000)

I won’t spend too much time on the Orioles because one glance at the roster and it looks like management didn’t spend much time on it either. The Orioles have won just 102 games over the last two seasons while being a doormat for nearly every team in the AL.

There’s a reason why they have +60000 odds to win the division and are at the bottom of the league in projected win totals. FADE!

Baltimore Orioles 2020 Futures Odds
AL East OddsWorld Series OddsWin Total

Odds as of February 12 at  Bovada

Odds to win the 2020 American League East
New York Yankees-800
Tampa Bay Rays+600
Boston Red Sox+1000
Toronto Blue Jays+3500
Baltimore Orioles+60000

Odds as of February 12 at Bovada