Mar. 8, 2021
AL East Betting Odds & Forecast
2021 AL East Division Odds
There are a few interesting things about the prices offered for the AL East division as a -200 price tag on the Yankees does make it feel somewhat like a foregone conclusion. But as you'll see with the win totals numbers for Toronto (86.5), Tampa Bay (85.5) and Boston (80.5), I'm not sure the price gap between the Red Sox and the Rays and Blue Jays makes the most sense.
However, I've been generally higher than market on Boston the past two seasons with an awful success rate, so it's hard to decide if there is even anything to do with these prices on the basis of that thought. The AL East should be the Yankees to lose, and even with these division futures prices, it may be best to wait regardless.
Unless New York comes out of the gate stinking up the joint and one of Tampa/Toronto starts on fire, chances are the prices on Tampa/Toronto will only grow in their offerings. The Yankees are likely to always be looming at the top of the division all year long, and whomever they are chasing in those scenarios won't have too many cents shaved off these current prices should that be the case in May/June/July etc.
And if the Yankees play front runners the entire way? Any beliefs in the Rays/Jays or even Red Sox will be getting a better payback during that same part of the season.
Still don't see the Yankees losing this division as they've even shown us in recent years that even getting decimated by injuries doesn't seem to slow them down all that much, and over the course of a full season, the talent they've got from top to bottom should pay off. That thought does make it tough to get involved in division prices for the AL East though.
2021 American League Pennant Odds
The Yankees are the overall favorites in the entire American League, so keep that in mind with any Yankees. The last few years we've had one World Series entrant be one of the heavier league favorites (Dodgers in their WS appearances, Houston in there as well) and the other league champion maybe coming from a little further back. The case for the Yankees is definitely there if bettors believe the NL will be the more wide open league in the end, and if the scenario where the Yankees are front runners for most of the year, the price on them won't be getting any cheaper.
Interesting to seemingly get another value on what “playoff experience” could mean with the Rays 25 cents cheaper to repeat as AL Champs over the young Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto's actually got better prices than Tampa in future markets on win totals and playoffs yes/no props, so suggesting that Toronto will figure it out enough to make the playoffs but maybe have a tougher time figuring out how to go on a run does make sense.
Still think that the same thinking applies with the Rays/Jays for the Pennant as it does for the Division, in that waiting until the middle of the year isn't going to hurt anything. Even with one of them sitting in top spot, it means there is quality chasing them elsewhere, and getting through playoff series against those teams still is incorporated.
Tough to advocate for any long shot option on the other two teams, although the Orioles are probably the best of the “worst” (teams expected to finish last in respective divisions), and a flyer on them to go from worst to first and run through the playoffs isn't the worst of the bad options out there.
Playing in front of 35% capacity is something Baltimore's had experience with for years should that be the case for MLB starting the season on time, and they play in a ballpark where if you get the timely “bloop and a blast” often, who knows how many large winning streaks a team can rattle off in a row. Most of that is out on Pipe Dream Island though.
D.J. LeMahieu and the Yankees seek only their second AL East title in the last nine seasons. (AP)
2021 World Series Odds
Again the price flip between Toronto and Tampa can be a talking point, because if the Jays quickly figure out how to win the postseason, they are the type of team built to have streaky success like that. Relative to the pressure Tampa would face in each passing round trying to repeat.
Waiting on both still might be the best option though, as thinking Tampa is built like the Dodgers to go the route of winning a title after recently losing one is tough, and if there are multiple playoff series for Toronto this year they'll be a likely underdog in at least one of them. Round by round might be the path to take with Toronto.
This is where it makes the most sense to get heavily involved with the Yankees for those that are so inclined. Any front running season from New York won't have a better price on the Yankees, and most seasons that aren't of that nature have them finding their way into the playoffs in some fashion.
This team has done it all but get to a World Series in recent seasons, and getting there this year when you've got a +550 ticket on the Yankees already in pocket would be a nice feeling.
2021 AL East Win Totals Odds
This is the spot where opinions on the Red Sox are going to show up on both sides, as it's not like they don't have some quality pieces still in their uniform. Devers, Bogaerts, Martinez, Renfroe, and Verdugo can produce with the bats just fine relative to the rest of the league, and how improved one believes the Blue Jays to be or how sustainable this version of the Rays is influences those decisions as well.
All three of the win totals in the 80's may be better to avoid in the long term though. Coming down to the final few games of the year for any 'overs' on Tampa Bay, Toronto, or Boston is a sweat that's easily avoidable if you just let those chips fall where they may.
Baltimore 'over' 64.5 is a curious case, because their .417 winning percentage projected out to a full 162-season would have landed them with 67.5 wins a year ago, and who's left to scoop up all those wins if Tampa's play from a year ago isn't sustained, Toronto's not as improved as believed, and Boston's slide is as expected?
The Yankees will get their fair share in that scenario, but so will the Orioles, and they can actually be worse than a year ago with a .401 winning percentage and still get to 65 wins. Intriguing to say the least.
2021 AL East Playoff Props
Not sure any team/price combo is worth serious thought outside of those who are overly high on the Red Sox and believe they'll have their act together from start to finish and cash a +275 “Yes” ticket.
You are likely only rooting for unforeseeable disaster for a Yankees “No” to cash, and with a wide range of results on the spectrum for Tampa and Toronto, the prices on them are going to be close to where they should be regardless of perspective, and not needed to be bothered with.
2021 AL East MVP Contenders
One of the three Red Sox players listed here would likely have to be close to a runaway winner should Boston's season be one well through their ceiling with playoffs and division titles accomplished. It's only logical then to add at least one of those names to your portfolio should Boston “yes” on playoffs, 'over' on season wins, or “yes” on Division/Pennant already be in your pocket.
For any of that to happen for the Red Sox they are going to have to ride tremendous play from one of those stars, and Devers being the cheapest one at +3000 is still a nice payday.
What George Springer brings to the Blue Jays is a huge question mark in Toronto this year, as they are hoping for huge things from the former World Series MVP. The last AL MVP to win the award in his first year with a new team just so happened to come with this Toronto organization when Josh Donaldson won it in 2015, and any year that has the Jays with a division crown and/or deep playoff run likely has Springer having a big role in that success.
But if the Yankees go on to win the AL East by 8+ games as the win totals and division odds suggest, personal preference on those names is probably the best place to start.
If the idea that the ball is going to be a little “deader” this year, I think that will hurt the pure power guys more, and emphasize doubles and keeping the lineup churning. Gleyber Torres would be my choice because of where he will sit in the lineup and the likelihood of others around him getting more respect.
But even with all the great names this division has, it all might be a fool's errand in the end. Only two of the last 12 AL MVP's have come from this division, with Donaldson's in 2015 being one, and Mookie Betts' win in 2018. The other two divisions in the American League are tied with five apiece in that same span.
2021 AL East Cy Young Contenders
Nearly all the ballparks in the AL East aren't the best for anyone's Cy Young prospects, but two of the last five winners have come from this division. Again it's Yankees heavy at the top and Kluber already owns two of these awards, while Gerrit Cole probably feels like he's deserved one by now.
Cole, Glasnow, and Ryu are three of the top five in prices overall as something to consider, and any Nate Pearson consideration in this conversation means that backing him for AL ROY at +1500 is probably the better route to go.
Guys can come out of nowhere to win this award though, as someone like Blake Snell did a few years back, although it's tough to see anyone in this division consistently shutdown the bats they are facing most often to beat out similar candidates in other divisions where the offenses aren't so lethal every night.
2021 American League East Predictions
Best Bet/Value on AL East Division Winner
Best Bet: New York Yankees (-200)
Best Bet/Value on American League Pennant Winner
Best Value: New York Yankees (+230)
Best Bet/Value for World Series Winner
Best Value: New York Yankees (+550)
Best Bets/Value for AL East Win Totals
Best Over: Baltimore (64.5)
Best Under: Boston (80.5)
Best Bet/Value for Yes/No in the 2021 MLB Playoffs
Best Bet: Boston - Yes (+275)
Best Bets/Value for Individual Awards
Best Bet MVP: Gleyber Torres, N.Y. Yankees (+2500)
Best Value Cy Young: Gerrit Cole, N.Y. Yankees (+3000)
American League East Betting History
Year - Winner (Last 10)
Odds Subject to Change - per BetMGM
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