If you picked the Texas Rangers to win the American League Pennant last November, you were part of a small group.
They pulled off the improbable after blowing a division lead in an incredibly competitive three-way race and knocked off the Astros in October to win not just the AL, but the World Series.
There should be an incredible amount of competition in the junior circuit again next year, so let’s take a look at the early American League Pennant odds and decide whether or not the Rangers can defend their title.
American League Pennant Betting Odds 2024
MLB betting odds used for these AL pennant best bets are current as of Friday, Nov. 17, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Texas Rangers (+450)
- Houston Astros (+450)
- Baltimore Orioles (+750)
- New York Yankees (+750)
- Toronto Blue Jays (+850)
- Tampa Bay Rays (+900)
- Seattle Mariners (+950)
- Boston Red Sox (+1200)
- Minnesota Twins (+1200)
- Detroit Tigers (+3000)
- Cleveland Guardians (+3000)
- Los Angeles Angels (+4000)
- Chicago White Sox (+5000)
- Kansas City Royals (+7500)
- Oakland Athletics (+10000)
It looks like the AL West will be a lively scrap once again, as the Rangers and Astros are listed as co-favorites to earn the pennant.
Still, the AL East will likely be even tougher, as the next four teams listed all hail from what has often been the league’s most competitive division.
American League Pennant Best Bet
Houston Astros (+450)
Unfortunately, we have to bet one of the co-favorites. The American League is owned by the Astros until further notice, and despite losing a game seven to the division-rival Rangers in this year’s ALCS, they were still only five wins away from another championship.
José Altuve continues to hold a high standard, but he might not be the face of the franchise anymore, at least from a performance perspective.
- Read more on Houston in our World Series betting odds.
When healthy, Houston’s best bat has to be the slugging lefty Yordan Alvarez, although Kyle Tucker was an All Star this season, as well. The pitching rotation is also experiencing a changing of the guard of sorts, as Justin Verlander is back, but Framber Valdez is coming off a second straight campaign in which he made an All-Star appearance and earned Cy Young votes.
The end of this era of Houston dominance is not done yet, and it should win the AL once more in 2024.
American League Pennant Betting Favorite
Texas Rangers (+450)
With the gap between the AL West powers and the rest of the league, this is going to have to be a one-team section. The Rangers were a surprise in 2023, but they weren’t a fluke.
The offense has every ability to stick around for a repeat of its outstanding campaign, with two-time World Series MVP Corey Seager as an outstanding centerpiece. They’ll expect a speedy and full recovery for postseason hero Adolis García, who missed the end of the World Series but was still a massive contributor.
The pitching rotation isn’t exactly deep, which is part of the reason Texas didn’t win more than 90 regular season games, but it might not matter.
It has enough quality arms to get through the postseason, as it operated with dual aces Nathan Eovaldi and Jordan Montgomery each shouldering a major workload, and we’ll see if Jacob DeGrom is able to recapture his Cy Young form as he plans to rejoin the rotation in August after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
American League Pennant Contenders
Baltimore Orioles (+750)
The Orioles aren’t my pick to win the American League – that would be the Astros – but dare I say Baltimore might be the best value on the board? It should be behind Houston and perhaps Texas, but the gap should be smaller, as it was the only AL team to win 100 or more games this season, kicking off its rebuild into a higher gear.
- Wager on the NL with our National League Pennant odds.
With rising star catcher Adley Rutschman and newly-minted AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson leading the way, Baltimore is built for the future. We’ll have to see how it approaches this offseason, but with a few positive moves, Baltimore should be able to rise to the top once more in a crowded American League East.
New York Yankees (+750)
This is absolutely terrible value. The Yankees didn’t make the postseason in 2023, and they barely escaped their first losing season since 1992, as they finished just 82-80. New York has little offensive ability beyond superstar outfielder Aaron Judge, and the rotation is also an enigma beyond first-time Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole.
Of course, this is the Yankees. They’re always going to have inflated odds due to the absolute masses of fans and bettors who will invest in them based on brand name alone.
Also in the vein of the franchise’s identity, they could be in the race for some of the biggest names this offseason, as Juan Soto could come over in a trade. The Yankees will also enter the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, and his countryman, starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to be a major target, as well.
If the Yankees make multiple massive moves, they could contend, and maybe that expectation is baked into these odds, but the roster as it exists right now is nowhere near ready to compete in a stacked division and league. A Cody Bellinger signing feels more realistic than anything else, but that would not likely be enough to put New York over the top.
American League Pennant Sleepers
Tampa Bay Rays (+900)
I’m not sure these odds quite qualify as “sleeper” range, but I definitely think Tampa is incredibly undervalued, compared to some of its division rivals. This team should not have the fourth-highest pennant odds in its own division.
It’s easy to forget how dominant it started the year, given the surge from the Orioles and of course Tampa’s early playoff exit, but this team did win 99 games and should be taken seriously.
Yandy Díaz became the first Ray to ever win the AL batting title, while Isaac Paredes also broke out with a strong season. Randy Arozarena is still an absolute force in Tampa’s lineup.
As for pitching, the Rays always do a great job. The rotation was a force by the end of the year with a healthy Tyler Glasnow bolstering a group headlined by Shane McClanahan and a breakout for Zach Eflin.
This team is well-rounded and ready to compete once more in 2024.
Minnesota Twins (+1200)
The Twins provide us with some good value due to the simple fact that their division is terrible. The Tigers might make a small surge this year, but the perennially-solid Guardians have fallen off tremendously, giving Minnesota a great opportunity to establish itself as the preeminent power in the Central.
Of course, the big story this season for Minnesota was that it won not just a playoff game for the first time in 18 tries, dating back to 2004, but an entire series as it knocked off the Blue Jays in the Wild Card round. Carlos Correa had a great postseason, as always, while starter Pablo López established himself as a folk hero, and Sonny Gray was the Cy Young runner-up.
This team is quietly talented and could make a similar push in 2024.
Previous American League Pennant Winners
2023: Texas Rangers
2022: Houston Astros
2021: Houston Astros
2020: Tampa Bay Rays
2019: Houston Astros
2018: Boston Red Sox
2017: Houston Astros
2016: Cleveland Indians
2015: Kansas City Royals
2014: Kansas City Royals