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AL West Odds 2021: Astros Favored Down The Stretch

Yordan Alvarez (right) and Jose Altuve (left) embrace as their Astros are favored in the AL West Odds.

We are nearing the end of the MLB regular season as teams are jockeying for position and expanding rosters for the final push ahead of the postseason. When it comes to AL West odds, it is the division-leading Houston Astros who are the betting favorites. But are they overvalued? 

Online sportsbook Bovada has updated AL West odds with the Astros listed as -1500 favorites. They are followed by the Oakland Athletics at +800, the Seattle Mariners at +2500 and the Los Angeles Angels at +50000. The Texas Rangers have fallen out of contention and therefore are no longer on the oddsboard.

The Astros’ -1500 AL West odds mean that you would have to bet $1,500 to profit $100. Additionally, looking at 2021 AL West odds, our sports betting calculator tells us that Houston’s betting line represents an implied win probability of 93.75 percent.

AL West Odds 2021

Odds to Win the 2021 AL West 
TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
Houston Astros-1500+125
Oakland Athletics+800+160
Seattle Mariners+2500+2000
Los Angeles Angels+50000+375
Texas RangersN/A+7500

Odds as of September 1 at Bovada

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Houston Astros (-1500)

The 2017 World Series champions, and the third team in World Series odds this year, head into September with a five-game lead atop the AL West Division and just need to take care of business down the stretch to win their fourth division title in five years. 

I believe their hopes to win the AL West hinge on a two-week stretch in which Houston plays the Angels seven times, the Rangers four times and the Diamondbacks three. If the Astros play as they should in those series, then they should be in a good spot to win the division.

That said, any hiccups open the door for the A’s and the two collide for six games in the final week and a half of the season.

There’s not much to say about Houston’s success. The familiar names are impressive as always, with the likes of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa followed by young guns Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker. The rotation has been extremely stingy with all five starters having sub-4.00 ERAs.

Oakland Athletics (+800)

The A’s struggled in the back end of August, dropping 10 of 15 games, which has certainly impacted their odds to win the AL West and a playoff spot as well. That said, there is life for Oakland, which is one game back of the final wild-card spot and just five back of the Astros for back-to-back division titles.

Oakland has some winnable games down the stretch, notably a nine-game run against the Rangers, Royals and Angels that could certainly tighten the race that ends with six of its final nine games against Houston.

Scoring runs has been a difficult task for the A’s, who are one of just two teams to have a positive run differential while scoring fewer than 600 runs. This speaks to their remarkable pitching and defense. They have allowed the fewest runs in the AL and like the Astros, the Athletics’ five starters all have sub-4.00 ERAs.

Offensively, Matt Olson wields the big bat with 32 dingers, though he has just 84 RBIs and that is the big problem: not enough guys on base, as much of the lineup has a sub-.250 batting average. If they can create a little more offense in September, Oakland at +800 is not a bad play to win the AL West.

Seattle Mariners (+2500)

Despite a -57 run differential, the Mariners still have an outside shot at winning the AL West, heading into crunch time 7.5 games back of Houston. Seattle’s fate truly is in its own hands with four games against the Astros and seven against Oakland in the month of September.

The seven vs the A’s are noteworthy as the Mariners are 8-4 vs Oakland this season, a reason why they are just 2.5 games behind the Athletics. Like the A’s, the Mariners have struggled mightily to put runs on the board, scoring 557 runs, more than only four other AL teams. 

Seattle’s rotation lacks depth and outside of Chris Flexen’s 3.52 ERA, the other four starters are above the 4.00 mark. Offensively, Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager lead the charge and even though the latter leads the club with 31 home runs, his .215 batting average is abysmal and certainly hinders the offense. 

Quite simply, the Mariners need to go on a run and in doing so beat the teams above them. Ultimately, I feel they will come up short and will finish five to 10 games off the pace for the division title.

Los Angeles Angels (+50000)

Oh boy, the Los Angeles Angels with arguably the best two players in baseball right now in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout appear to be missing the playoffs yet again. The Halos enter September 12.5 games behind the Astros with a brutal month lying ahead. LA collides with San Diego, the White Sox, Oakland and Houston (twice).

Los Angeles has the firepower with Ohtani, the runaway favorite in AL MVP odds at -4000. As a batter, he is hitting .262 with an MLB-leading 42 home runs and 90 RBIs. As a pitcher, he is 8-1 with an impressive 3.00 ERA.

As for Trout, the three-time AL MVP has been shut down for the season, playing in just 36 games, so no blame rests on his shoulders. The pitching simply hasn’t been good enough, as the Angels have surrendered 671 runs, third-most in the AL. Dylan Bundy, who is tied with Ohtani for the most starts for LA at 19, has an atrocious 6.06 ERA and Andrew Heaney’s 18 starts haven’t been much better (5.27 ERA).

With Trout done for the season, all the Angels can hang their hat on is yet another MVP on their squad – but a failed attempt at the playoffs.