Mar. 5, 2021
AL West Betting Odds & Forecast
2021 AL West Division Odds
The AL West should be a case of the haves and have nots this year, as the Mariners and Rangers are expected to be relative door mats if these division odds hold somewhat true to form. I'm not entirely sure I agree with Texas getting far less credit then Seattle this year, but outside of looking to back the Rangers in early head-to-head meetings, that opinion isn't going to matter much long term in the AL West.
The Angels are going to be that organization that can teeter on taking the next step, but they've also found plenty of creative ways to not give Mike Trout an opportunity at playing playoff baseball the past six seasons that you could start a pool on how it will happen to them in 2021. The pitching is still going to have questions to be answered but when you've got the money the Angels have in position players that's to be expected. For those that are high on the Angels, a piece of the +375 Division crown price makes sense, as Trout's only playoff appearance came with an AL West banner as well.
Oakland comes in as the defending champs, as they trust how they operate there and it's tough to argue against the results. Three straight playoff appearances haven't brought the desired postseason success, but they are also a hard organization to go against with all the past success they've had. Since moving to Oakland in 1968, the A's have won 17 Division titles and have had streaks of five straight, three straight, and two straight (twice) in that time. Identical 97-65 SU records weren't good enough to knock off the Astros in the trash can's heyday, so it's not like Oakland hasn't been building this for a while. Can't fault anyone for siding with them at +150.
Houston's the understandable favorite with how they look on paper, and should their pitching alone live up to past form, the Astros will win a lot of games. We will get to see just how important George Springer was at the top of their lineup though with Springer now in Toronto, and we still haven't seen this core deal with angry fans across the entire league. How a bettor believes Houston will respond to those changes will influence whether a play on them to win this division is made or not.
Despite having one of the best players in Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels aren't listed as the top betting choice to win the AL West. (AP)
2021 American League Pennant Odds
Hard not to look at this batch of futures odds for AL West teams and formulate some shaded opinions on other futures markets. For instance, if a bettor sides with the idea that Oakland being considered more likely to win the AL compared to Houston, with the respective playoff records side by side is correct, it makes any Oakland division winner prop or Playoffs: Yes prop option with the A's the better option.
The Angels are that wildcard team here in that their ceiling should be rolling into the playoffs and getting hot at the right time, so a long term investment in hoping the Angels figure it out this year isn't the worst option either.
2021 World Series Odds
Hard to think the Astros run away with this division even at their best, so even though they've been priced back in as the team with the best odds again, you can probably get a better price on them during the year. There is a strong case to be made for that being the situation with Oakland and LA as well, but again it comes down to the Angels having the highest odds and most realistic chance of getting hot when it matters. Even if they haven't done it before. Oakland's in a similar boat themselves and the Angels are nearly double the price.
2021 AL West Win Totals Odds
The last AL West champ that finished a non-shortened season with fewer than 88 wins were the 1987 Minnesota Twins if you can believe it or not. Seattle did it with 79 wins in the 144-game 1995 season, and obviously there was last year, but you get the division champ correct here and the 'over' is correlated.
And speaking of Seattle, they had better hope that their prospects are as ready as to be believed, because this is where the six game gap between the Mariners and Rangers doesn't feel all that warranted. A 69-win campaign makes plenty of sense for both of them, but I do believe you've got to trust the 'under' on Seattle more than the 'over' with Texas in that scenario.
AL West Playoff Props
Having Oakland with the best price makes sense with how it's gone in the previous markets, with the Astros World Series experience factored into those WS odds. Getting two teams to the postseason is no guarantee here though, and again, the perspective one takes on the Angels this year will bring plenty of potential scenarios to map out.
2021 AL West MVP Contenders
With how well the top half of this entire division is represented in these MVP odds, at least two of them making the postseason feels like it's priced like a certainty. Hard to beat the guy who's been at the top for a long time now in Mike Trout, but there hasn't been much team success behind those seasons. Trout would gladly take the team success this year at the cost of another MVP award, and the price is a little absurd. Trout and Bregman are #1 and #2 in the entire AL market at those odds.
But I also don't know how you can confidently argue the path for any of these other choices to get past Trout AND the rest of the big names scattered throughout the American League.
Oakland's success tends to come from a balanced approach, and any of the Angels options are hard to believe possible without Trout missing time. It's a grab bag of Astros as the other options and those choices are usually best left to personal preference.
2021 AL West Cy Young Contenders
With how many names there were at the top of the odds in the MVP section, and how there are 10 names ahead of the +2500 prices Gonzales and Luzardo have for the Cy Young, maybe the thought of expecting some 'overs' to connect early in the season in AL West division games has some validity.
It's going to take one hell of a season for Gonzales to win this award should the Mariners play out their projections, and when he's one of the best priced starters in this division, it's probably best to look at the names elsewhere in the AL.
2021 American League West Predictions
Best Bet/Value on AL West Division Winner
Best Bet: Oakland Athletics +150
Best Bet/Value on American League Pennant Winner
Best Value: L.A. Angels +2000
Best Bet/Value for World Series Winner
Best Value: L.A. Angels +4400
Best Bets/Value for AL West Win Totals
Best Over: Oakland 86.5
Best Under: Seattle 72.5
Best Bet/Value for Yes/No in the 2021 MLB Playoffs
Best Bet: Oakland -130
Best Bets/Value for Individual Awards
Best Bet MVP: Yordan Alvarez +3300 (Houston Astros)
Best Value Cy Young: Jesus Luzardo +2500 (Oakland Athletics)
American League West Betting History
Year - Winner (Last 10)
Odds Subject to Change - per BetMGM
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