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AL East Odds 2021: Yankees head into season as favorites

Gerrit Cole's Yankees are favored in the AL East odds.

Well, 2020 was definitely an interesting year for Major League Baseball, with a shortened 60-game season, no fans in the stands and an expanded playoff format. In the end, the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.

In 2021, things appear to be inching back to normal with a full regular season and fans in some stands. Taking a look at the AL East odds 2021, the New York Yankees are once again the favorites.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released AL East odds with the Yankees favored at -170 followed by the Toronto Blue Jays at +325, Tampa Bay at +500, the Boston Red Sox at +1600 and the Baltimore Orioles at +10000 to round out the oddsboard.

The Yankees’ -170 AL East odds means that you would have to bet $170 to profit $100. Additionally, looking at the AL East odds, our sports betting calculator tells us that the Yankees’ betting line represents an implied win probability of 62.96 percent.

AL East Odds 2021

AL East Odds 2021
TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
New York Yankees-170-170
Toronto Blue Jays+325+325
Tampa Bay Rays+500+500
Boston Red Sox+1600+1600
Baltimore Orioles+10000+10000

Odds as of March 22 at Bovada

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New York Yankees -170

The Pinstripes signed 2019 AL ERA leader, strikeout leader and three-time all-star Gerrit Cole in 2020, and in 2021 they picked up two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to further strengthen the front end of their rotation. Heading into this season, Cole is the favorite to win the Cy Young, while Kluber sits tied for sixth.

But it’s not only the front end of the rotation that makes the Yankees the odds-on favorites in the AL East. They have three players in the top 10 in AL MVP odds: Aaron Judge (tied for third at +1200), DJ LeMahieu (tied for ninth at +2500) and Gleyber Torres (also +2500).

Of course, New York has been ravaged with injuries the last two seasons, leading to losses in the ALCS in 2019 and the ALDS in 2020. But I wouldn’t bet on the Yankees to win the AL East with odds of -170 even though they are likely the best team in the division. The odds are just too short and they have just one division win over the last eight seasons.

Toronto Blue Jays +325

After missing the playoffs for three straight seasons from 2017 to 2019, the Blue Jays benefited from the expanded playoffs in 2020, grabbing a wild-card berth, but ran into the Tampa Bay Rays and were sent packing after two games. However, with young prospects in Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ready to blossom into marquee players, Toronto swung big in the offseason to support those guys.

The Jays’ biggest signing was 2017 World Series MVP George Springer. The team wasn’t done there, though, also inking Marcus Semien, who finished third in AL MVP voting in 2019. The rotation is led by Hyun-Jin Ryu and filled with familiar names such as Robbie Ray and Steven Matz, who have big-league stuff but have struggled recently.

If the rotation does its job and this youth movement catches up to the all-star caliber of Springer and Semien, Toronto could easily win the AL East.

Tampa Bay Rays +500

Year in and year out, the Tampa Bay Rays are probably the most overlooked team not only in AL East odds but in the entire MLB. The Rays opened the 2020 season at +280 to win the AL East, which they did for the first time since 2010, and went on to lose to the Dodgers in the World Series. Yet, here they are, third on the oddsboard at +500.

Sure, looking at this batting lineup top to bottom, there aren’t a ton of household names, but that is what Tampa Bay has done forever. Kevin Cash is the reigning manager of the year, like Joe Maddon three times previously with this club, which gets the most out of its players and is a competitive team yearly.

It’ll be interesting to see how the veteran pitching staff plays out with Michael Wacha, Chris Archer and Rich Hill filling out the back end of the rotation and Tyler Glasnow now the clear ace after Blake Snell’s departure. The Rays are a scrappy bunch all around, and although they aren’t the sexiest team in the AL East, +500 is incredible value for a club coming off a World Series appearance.

Boston Red Sox +1600

The Red Sox went from winning the World Series in 2018 to being in the basement of the AL East in 2020. I guess that’s what happens when you trade away the 2018 AL MVP, Mookie Betts. 

Looking at Boston’s lineup, there’s definitely talent there, notably Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo, the centerpiece of the Betts trade. That said, it’s not as deep or as imposing as you see with other teams within the division.

The same can be said about the pitching rotation. Ace Eduardo Rodriguez has a career 4.03 ERA and missed the 2020 season after complications with the coronavirus. It’s a rotation that’s likely not going to win you a lot of games, though it may keep you close if the bats can get hot. The Red Sox are a popular team but don’t let that sway you into placing a futures bet on them.

Baltimore Orioles +10000

The MLB could have expanded the playoffs further in 2020 and the Orioles still wouldn’t have played October baseball. Though the O’s did finish one game above the Red Sox, this team is in the midst of a rebuild and not nearly ready to contend for a division title.

There is a lot of youth in this lineup with the majority of players aged 25 to 30, led by Ryan Mountcastle, who had a strong rookie campaign last year, batting .333 with five home runs in 35 games. The rest of the team just seems cobbled together to be somewhat competitive but I foresee another high draft pick for Baltimore in the 2022 draft.

What is a Futures Bet on AL East Odds?

When you decide to bet on the American League East odds for Major League Baseball, you’ll see an option to bet on which team will win the division. Since you’re betting on events that will happen in the near future, this is called a futures bet.

At your sportsbook, you would see AL East odds listed like this:

  • New York Yankees -270
  • Tampa Bay Rays +280
  • Boston Red Sox +1200
  • Toronto Blue Jays +2800
  • Baltimore Orioles +25000

Similar to a moneyline bet, the clear favorite is indicated by the minus odds symbol (-) and the rest of the teams listed are considered underdogs.

If you were to bet $100 on the Rays at the beginning of the season and they win the AL East Division, you’d get a payout of $380 – your original $100 is returned, along with your winnings of $280. On the other hand, the same bet amount on the Blue Jays would give you a payout of $2,900 – you get your $100 back, plus your profit of $2,800.

Our Odds Calculator can help you determine how much you’d pocket depending on the odds and the amount bet.