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Odds to Win the AL West: Astros Are All Alone at the Top

Houston Astros AL West Division Odds

With the 2019 MLB season almost here, oddsmakers are gearing up for what’s shaping up to be yet another exciting campaign on the diamond. When it comes to odds on which team will win the American League West Division, it’s clear who the front-runner is.

The Houston Astros are the heavy -600 favorites to win the division at BetOnline, with the Los Angeles Angels (+800), Oakland Athletics (+1000), Seattle Mariners (+3300) and Texas Rangers (+5000) rounding out the board.

The discrepancy between Houston and the other teams in the division is the largest across Major League Baseball, so it would be a major shock if any club except the Astros took home the banner when all is said and done.

Here’s a team-by-team breakdown of what baseball bettors can expect to see from all five AL West clubs this year.

Houston Astros -600

The Astros followed up their 2017 World Series title by improving their regular-season record by two wins (103-59) and sweeping the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS before bowing out to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. It was a frustrating way to exit the postseason for the ’Stros, but this team’s talent is off the charts across the board, and it wouldn’t shock anyone to see them playing in the 2019 edition of the Fall Classic.

Houston led the league with a +263 run differential which was buoyed by an extremely deep starting rotation. The Astros allowed only 3.30 runs per game last year, with their starters topping MLB in most major categories. Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are gone, yet the rotation is still good enough to propel this team to yet another high finish in the standings.

Los Angeles Angels +800

Widely considered the best player in baseball, Mike Trout’s time with the Los Angeles Angels has been filled with eye-popping individual stat lines and underwhelming performances from his supporting cast.

Los Angeles was ravaged by injuries in 2018 and finished the season with an 80-82 record as a result. Trout, a seven-time all-star, has yet to win a playoff game with the Angels, and a wild-card spot is likely the best-case scenario for this club. Whether they can get there or not depends on whether they can stay healthy – a seemingly huge task for the franchise.

Oakland Athletics +1000

After failing to win more than 75 games from 2015 to 2017, the young Athletics raised some eyebrows across MLB in 2018 by coming out of nowhere to win 97 games. Oakland fell short of making a postseason run thanks to a loss to the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card game, but the future is bright for Billy Beane’s squad.

With a projected season win total of just 83.5, oddsmakers are clearly expecting the A’s to come back down to earth this season. Injuries to starting pitchers Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton have left the rotation thin, while the departures of Jed Lowrie and Jeurys Familia in free agency hurt their depth. It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out in the Bay Area, but they should be competitive enough to stay afloat in the AL West.

Seattle Mariners +3300

The Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001, and the frustration among baseball fans in the Pacific Northwest is growing by the year. Unfortunately, 2019 is looking to be yet another down year for the M’s.

Seattle hasn’t truly embraced a rebuild despite continually missing out on the playoffs, but there could finally be one on the way. The front office sent James Paxton, Robinson Cano and Jean Segura out of town in the offseason, signaling a new direction for the team. When it comes to AL West futures, they’re an afterthought at this point.

Texas Rangers +5000

The Rangers are a proud franchise that’s fallen on hard times, and after making the postseason five times from 2010 to 2016, they’ve won a combined 145 games the last two years. Texas’ 95-loss campaign in 2018 was tough to stomach from start to finish, and another trip to the AL West cellar could be on the way this season.

Texas has done a good job of bringing some young guns through its farm system, as Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo are excellent building pieces. Unfortunately the roster has holes throughout it and there are no immediate fixes here.

My pick to win the AL West

Houston Astros -600

You’re certainly not going to find any value in backing the Astros at this number, but that’s the price you have to pay for a team that’s as talented as Houston. The Astros are head and shoulders above the rest of the AL West – a stark contrast from the extremely lean years they endured when leaving the NL Central in 2013 to join the division.

A third straight AL West banner is likely on the way in 2019 for the ’Stros, and some more important hardware could be coming along with it in the playoffs.

Odds to win the 2019 American League West
Houston Astros-600
Los Angeles Angels+800
Oakland Athletics+1000
Seattle Mariners+3300
Texas Rangers+5000

Odds as of March 26 at BetOnline