In my previous installment with The Game Day, I focused on potential American League Pennant winners.
Today, we’ll dive into some odds and bets for one of the most competitive divisions in Major League Baseball, the American League East.
Without further ado, let’s examine the latest AL East odds and make our best bet and sleeper pick to win the division.
AL East Winner Odds 2023
MLB odds used for these best bets are from Wednesday, July 19, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Tampa Bay Rays (-180)
- Baltimore Orioles (+360)
- Toronto Blue Jays (+500)
- New York Yankees (+2000)
- Boston Red Sox (+4000)
Despite the competitiveness of the AL East, there’s a relatively large variance in the betting odds between the five ball clubs.
The Tampa Bay Rays (-180) currently own the shortest odds to hoist the division crown. Behind them are two of baseball’s hottest teams, the Baltimore Orioles (+360) and the Toronto Blue Jays (+500), who are within striking distance of the first-place Rays.
If you’re looking for a long-shot bet with plenty of underlying value, look no further than the Boston Red Sox, who round out our list at a whopping (+4000) price point.
AL East Winner Best Bet
Baltimore Orioles (+360)
Don’t look now, baseball fans, but the Baltimore Orioles sit one game back of Tampa Bay for first place in the division. Something that seemed outlandish a few weeks ago has become a reality.
- See where Baltimore sits in the latest American League Pennant odds.
The Orioles are on one heck of a run, having reeled off eight wins over their past 10 games. The bats have also come alive for the O’s, who rank sixth in wOBA (.324), sixth in exit velocity (89.5), fourth in xBA (.252), and sixth in xSLG (.420) across the American League.
This Orioles team is a major problem. Watch out for them down the stretch.
AL East Winner Sleeper Pick
Toronto Blue Jays (+500)
When placing a futures bet, you want to avoid tying up your money on a team with short odds.
Instead, a helpful strategy to employ is targeting a team that has underachieved thus far in the season despite a talented roster and pouncing on their long odds.
A great example is the Toronto Blue Jays.
After an inconsistent start to the 2023 campaign, the Blue Jays are peaking at the right time and find themselves 5.5 games back of the first-place Rays thanks to the stellar play of Bo Bichette, Whit Merrifield, and Kevin Gausman.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., fresh off winning the 2023 Home Run Derby, has also continued to swing the bat extremely well, ranking in the 96th percentile or higher in a wide range of advanced offensive metrics that include HardHit%, xwOBA, xSLG, average exit velocity, and max exit velocity.
The Jays will likely end up with a wild-card berth, but given their recent string of success combined with Tampa falling back down to earth, they’re certainly worth a sprinkle to win the AL East.