Breaking Down AL East Futures Odds
The AL East does not appear as the competitive powerhouse it was twenty games ago, but now that teams are hitting the sixty-game mark, it’s worth considering what the future standings of the AL East might look like. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is a division of four teams as the Orioles just received their 15th straight road loss and are officially 19 games back. Their futures bet is a bit too crazy at +30000. Five zeros. Not a typo.
Realistically, there are two competitors for first place, right now. The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the best teams in baseball and the Boston Red Sox are right on the bubble. The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have taken dips in performance and given themselves a long road to winning the AL East.
The Safe Bet: The Rays
Right now, at +135, the Rays are the safest bet to make. In fact, at +135, it is not a terrible bet at all. It is quite a good one. This is because the Rays are a complete team right now. They’re not full of studs and sluggers swinging for the fences. They are an effective team that gets on base well and runs the bases even better.
They work rallies together and score runs. It is fundamental baseball that wins games. Combine this with a pitching staff that puts together some of the most quality starts and holds opponents to one of the lowest batting averages against at .218, and you have a championship-caliber team. They were the first team to 40 wins and remain the most winning team in the MLB, right now. This is a World Series competing team right now, and as long as they stay healthy, the AL East is theirs to lose.
The Longshot Bet: The Red Sox
The Red Sox are battling for first place, but they have remained a solid second for the past few weeks after dropping out of first. They are a strong team, and +325 odds leave an attractive payout for anybody who knows how long a 162-game season is. Three games back this early on in the season is barely a lead.
The issue for the Red Sox is their pitching. They are hitting the ball just as good as anybody, but they have a mediocre ERA and a batting average against more fitting for the Twins than the Red Sox. They are due for a losing streak if their hitting lets up. The Red Sox are a worthwhile bet if you think their pitching will turn around eventually because right now, they don’t have the tools to win the AL East.
The Foolish Bet: The Yankees
The Yankees, magically, have +210 odds to win the AL East. This is better than the Red Sox and, quite frankly, absurd. The Yankees began the season a different team. Like the Blue Jays—who have +550 odds of winning the AL East—the Yankees are significantly less competitive than they were a few weeks ago.
Take the bet if you think the injuries the Yankees have run into are the true reason for their recent weak performances, but like the Blue Jays, this future bet isn’t worth your money.