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AL East Odds 2021: Rays Favored In MLB’s Toughest Division

Randy Arozarena and the Tampa Bay Rays are favored in AL East odds betting.

Perhaps the headline triggered some fans of the NL West who are watching the battle taking place on the West Coast, but I stand by the AL East being the toughest MLB division. With the playoffs looming, the Tampa Bay Rays remain the favorites in AL East odds.

Online sportsbook Bovada has updated AL East odds with the Rays favored at -2000, followed by the New York Yankees at +900, the Boston Red Sox at +3000 and the Toronto Blue Jays at +10000. The Baltimore Orioles are out of the running to win the divisional title and therefore don’t have odds to win.

The Rays’ -2000 AL East odds mean that a $2,000 bet would get you a $100 profit if they win the division – not really worth it. Taking a further look at the AL East odds, our sports betting calculator tells us that the Rays’ betting line represents an implied win probability of 95.24 percent.

AL East Odds 2021

2021 AL East Odds
TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
Tampa Bay Rays-2000+500
New York Yankees+900-170
Boston Red Sox +3000+1600
Toronto Blue Jays+10000+325
Baltimore OriolesN/A+10000

Odds as of September 1 at Bovada

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Unfamiliar with betting on baseball? Be sure to check out our How to Bet on MLB betting guide. Also, keep an eye on our MLB odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.

Tampa Bay Rays -2000

Not only can you find the Tampa Bay Rays as the favorites to win the AL East, but they can be found second in World Series odds, exactly where they finished last year in losing in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Every year the Rays continue to exceed expectations with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, a testament to their tremendous trades, scouting and player development. To quantify the feat of winning the AL East, Tampa ranks 26th with an overall payroll of $70 million; the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays are in the top 11 in payroll, with the Yanks second on the list at $203 million.

The Rays have the third-best run differential in all of baseball and lead the majors with 710 runs scored. They carry an eight-game lead into September and are tied for the best record in the bigs at 84-48.

While it’s unlikely there will be any major award winners on the team outside of Randy Arozarena, who is favored in the AL Rookie of the Year odds, the club is very well-rounded top to bottom in the batting lineup while the rotation takes care of business on its end.

Tampa has a very manageable schedule down the stretch and should cruise to an AL East title.

New York Yankees +900

As mentioned, the Bronx Bombers have the second-biggest payroll in the majors; not winning the AL East is a disappointment and not making the playoffs would be catastrophic. The latter could be a reality with New York holding just a three-game lead in the wild-card race. 

It is completely appalling that this team isn’t a runaway favorite in the division and the American League as a whole. All that said, much of their disappointment has come from a subpar first half in which the club went 46-43. Since the all-star break, the Pinstripes have been one of the best teams in baseball with a 30-13 record – that’s more like it.

This team is potent, no doubt about it, with the likes of Gerrit Cole leading their pitching staff and the favorite in AL Cy Young odds. On the offensive side of the ball, you have the 1-2 punch of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Both are healthy and have an OPS above .850; the former has a .296 average to go along with his 29 homers.

There is an outside chance the Yanks could go on a tear with their somewhat easy schedule in September, but eight games is a large number to overcome. A wild-card spot appears to be the outcome.

Boston Red Sox +3000

A big move at the trade deadline is what some teams need to move from out of a playoff position to making the postseason. While you might think I’m talking about the acquisition of Kyle Schwarber, I’m looking at Boston’s ace, Chris Sale, coming back from injury. 

Pitching has been a bit of an issue for the Red Sox, who have allowed 620 runs, the second-most among MLB teams with a positive run differential. But the southpaw Sale returned to the club in mid-August and has been electric. The seven-time all-star is 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA in his three outings and threw an immaculate inning in his last appearance.

If Sale can settle down the rotation and allow the offense to go to work, the Red Sox are a threat. Offensively, they have four batters with more than 20 home runs, led by Rafael Devers’ 32 long balls and 97 RBIs. 

The Yankees hold one wild-card spot, the Red Sox the other. If things hold true, we could see a New York vs Boston wild-card game with a Gerrit Cole vs Chris Sale matchup – sign me up.

Toronto Blue Jays +10000

Evident in the AL East odds, it’s unlikely the Jays will contend for a division title this year, currently 14.5 games back of the Rays. At this point, a wild-card spot may be difficult as well as they sit 4.5 games back of Boston. Failing to make the playoffs would be a disappointment for this club with all-star MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is second in the MVP odds list, having a breakout campaign.

Additionally, the club went out and got 2017 World Series MVP George Springer in the offseason, a move that hasn’t panned out in the first year with Springer appearing in just 51 of the team’s 131 games.

Furthermore, Toronto traded away Austin Martin, the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft, to acquire the Minnesota Twins’ ace, Jose Berrios. On paper, this is a playoff team and with a +116 run differential, that is the best outside of the division leaders in the American League. What is really hurting the Jays is that they are 11-15 in one-run games. Had a few of those games gone the other way, they might be in a more comfortable spot for a wild-card position.

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.