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American League futures odds, picks: Mariners, Blue Jays offer value in MLB futures market

The defending American League champion Texas Rangers — who at +5000 odds last year were the biggest upset winners of the flag since Tampa Bay in 2008 (+15000) — will be facing plenty of stiff competition this season in their quest to again advance to Major League Baseball’s World Series.

Among their chief rivals will be West Division champion Houston, which has been in the past seven AL Championship Series, in addition to defending East champion Baltimore and Central winner Minnesota.

Let’s take a look at how the AL divisions shape up for 2024, with the teams listed in order of predicted finish.

AL East odds

Here are the latest odds to win the American League East from the best U.S. online sportsbooks: 


More: MLB Betting Sites & Apps | Latest MLB Betting Lines & Odds | What are futures odds?

AL East predicted finish

1. Toronto Blue Jays: To win AL East | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 89-73, third place in division

Right-hander Kevin Gausman, who led the league in strikeouts last season with 237, heads a strong Toronto pitching staff for a team that hopes to improve on its wild-card status of last year, a season that ended when swept in a two-game series by Minnesota.

Toronto’s staff ERA was the fourth-best in baseball at 3.78 and the lineup boasted four players with 20-plus homers, led by Vlad Guerrero’s 26. But the Jays are expecting lots more from him considering he hit 48 home runs two seasons ago. And the same goes for right fielder George Springer, who had 21 HRs in 2023 a year after having 25 in 100 fewer at-bats.

On a down note, Gausman might be starting the season on the injury list with a  shoulder issue and will yield the opening-day assignment to Jose Berrios (11-12, 3.65 ERA last year). Plus, the Jays will start the season without closer Jordan Romano (elbow, IL), who got saves in 36 of 40 opportunities last season.

2. Baltimore Orioles: To win AL East | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 101-61, first place in division

The Orioles have made remarkable progress over the past two years, jumping from a 59-103 mark in 2021 to 101-61 last season that earned them the East title and top seed in the playoffs despite having the league’s 29th-highest payroll. Now they’re 23rd.

This offseason, Baltimore made headlines when it it acquired RHP Corbin Burnes in free agency from Milwaukee, where he won the NL Cy Young award in 2021.

But that’s where the good news ends. Last year’s ace, Kyle Bradish (12-7, 2.83 ERA), will open the season on the IL with a UCL sprain and likely will miss a month or two of the early going.

And then there’s RHP Felix Bautista, last season’s terror out of the bullpen who averaged 16.2 strikeouts per nine innings in his 56 appearances. He’ll miss the entire season after Tommy John surgery. His replacement is Craig Kimbrel, king of pitch clock violators, who likely won’t come close to filling his shoes.

Also, this spring Baltimore had the best mark in the majors at 23-6. But that’s not an indicator of future success. St. Louis had the best mark at this stage last season and wound up last in the NL Central.

3. Tampa Bay Rays: To win AL East | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 99-63, second place in division

This year Tampa Bay has the offense to make a run at the division crown, with an AL-high six players who hit 20-plus homers last season, led by Isaac Paredes’ 31 and the 22 hit by AL batting champ Yandy Diaz. And all are back for 2024.

Too bad that’s not the case for the team’s pitching staff or Tampa Bay likely would be the favorite to win the division this season instead of being listed fourth. 

The Rays’ pitching staff has been depleted in part by the the offseason trade of standout Tyler Glasnow to the L.A. Dodgers and to a greater degree by elbow injuries to three key performers — Shane McClanahan, Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen — that will keep the out at least early in the season.

Those four combined for a 27-11 record last year.

4. New York Yankees: To win AL East | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 82-80, fourth place in division

After seeing their victory total shrink from an East-best 99 in 2022 to 82 last year, all  signs pointed toward a rejuvenated Yankees squad this season with the acquisition of slugger Juan Soto from San Diego in free agency.

Soto was brought in to boost a squad that already had outfielder Aaron Judge (an AL-record 62 homers in 2022) and unanimous AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole. 

But injury woes have hit the team hard — again. Judge missed a chunk of time this spring with an abdominal injury, but he’s back. But last year’s injury to his right big toe (torn ligament) cost him two months and contributed mightily to the Yanks’ plunge. He said that toe will require “constant maintenance.” 

On top of that, Cole could wind up on the 60-day injured list with an elbow issue. That leaves Nestor Cortes as the opening-day starter. But can he be counted to last all season? In 2023 he had only 12 starts because of a rotator cuff strain.

Despite all that, New York still has the division’s shortest odds.

5. Boston Red Sox: To win AL East | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 78-84, last place in division

This squad appears to be destined to finish in last place for the third straight year time in a division that advanced three team to the 2023 playoffs.

Boston has a relatively weak starting rotation, headed by opening-day starter Brayan Bellow, 24, who was 12-11, 4.24 last year. If he’s the best, the Sox are in trouble.

But as usual the team relies on offense and the team had a .258 batting average last year, sixth best in baseball, led by Rafael Devers with 33 homers and 100 RBIs. But there’s probably not enough around him to help Boston.

More MLB futures betting: American League MVP odds | National League MVP odds | AL Cy Young odds | NL Cy Young odds | MLB strikeout leader odds | Home run leader odds | AL Rookie of the Year odds

AL Central odds

Here are the latest odds to win the American League Central from the best baseball betting sites:


More: Best Sportsbook Promotions & Sports Betting Bonuses in the U.S.

AL Central predicted finish

1. Minnesota Twins: To win AL Central | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 87-75, first place in division

Minnesota, the only team in 2022 with a positive run differential not making the playoffs (+12), zoomed to plus-119 in 2023 in running away with the Central crown by 11 games.

Of course, it happened in a division against ghastly rivals who were a combined 106 games under .500.

Although Minnesota lost last year’s staff ace — Sonny Gray in free agency to St. Louis — it still has opening-day starter Pablo Lopez, who was tied for third in the majors with 234 strikeouts, and Joe Ryan, who hits 100 mph on the radar gun.

A key for the team’s success likely rides with the health of injury-prone offensive stars Byron Buxton, third baseman Royce Lewis and shortstop Carlos Correa. At the moment, they are ready to give it a shot.

2. Cleveland Guardians: To win AL Central | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 76-86, third place in division

The Guardians have one of the better pitching rotations in the AL and could surprise like they did at the end of the 2022 season when then pulled away from a division tie in early September with 24-6 surge and won the Central by 11 games.

Reliable staff anchor Shane Bieber will be making his fifth straight opening-day start for the club and he’ll be followed by two young pitchers who have fared well, Tanner Bibee (10-4, 2.38 ERA last year) and Triston McKenzie. The latter had a 2.90 ERA in 30 starts in 2022 but suffered UCL and muscle strains last season that held him to 16 innings.

On offense, the Guardians play small-ball, having the fewest homers in the league last season with 124. But then again, Cleveland had only three more in 2022 and rolled.

Perhaps if another slugger could match Jose Ramirez’s modest production of 24 homers he hit in 2023 the Guardians will have a chance to retake the division flag.

3. Detroit Tigers: To win AL Central | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 78-84, second place in division

The Tigers improved their run production by 104 last year after finishing 2022 with a league-low 557 and a league-worst .216 batting average. 

But, like the Guardians, there’s not enough bang in the bats. Spencer Torkelson had a team-high 31 homers and 94 RBIs, but no one else came close. Maybe the Tigers will go shopping at the trade deadline.

On the mound, lefty Tarik Skubal, 27, came on strong in September, going 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA his final five starts covering 30 innings. But last year’s staff ace, Eduardo Rodriguez (13-9, 3.30 ERA in 26 starts), is now with Arizona.

4. Kansas City Royals: To win AL Central | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 56-106, last place in division

If there were more players like Bobby Witt Jr. on the team, the Royals would be the squad to beat in this division.

Witt, a shortstop, hit 30 homers in 2023 and had 49 steals, the fourth-most in the majors. And outside of NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr., no other player was in the 30/40 club last season.

As for pitching, it will take a lot for KC to improve on its 5.17 ERA, third-worst in the league. 

5. Chicago White Sox: To win AL Central | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 61-101, fourth place in division

The White Sox can’t be taking this season too seriously considering two weeks ago they traded ace right-hander Dylan Cease to San Diego for three prospects and reliever with one career save. 

And at last year’s deadline they sent Luis Giolito to the Los Angeles Angels for more prospects. He was Chicago’s opening-day starter in 2020-22.

Also gone is former star shortstop Tim Anderson, but he’s had discipline trouble and hit only .245 last year after four straight at .300-plus. Probably no great loss there.

AL West odds

Here are the latest odds to win the American League West from the top U.S. sportsbook apps:


AL West predicted finish

1. Seattle Mariners: To win AL West | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 88-74, third  place in division

The Mariners’ rotation sizes up as one of the best in the AL, if not the best, led by Luis Castillo (14-9, 3.34 ERA), George Kirby (13-10, 3.35) and Logan Gilbert (13-7, 3.73). All had a WHIP of 1.10 or better.

The offense was spearheaded by fleet slugging center fielder Julio Rodriguez, who set a record last season with 17 hits in a four-game stretch. He totaled 32 HRs and stole 37 bases.

Last year Seattle could almost taste a playoff berth — as well as a division title — but they came up one victory short in their season-ending series against Texas in which the M’s took three of four.

This year should be different.

2. Texas Rangers: To win AL West | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 90-72, second place in division

Nathan Eovaldi was the surprise ace of the staff last season after Jacob deGrom went down with yet another early season-ending injury. The two-time Cy Young winner is expected to return some this season.

Eovaldi, 34, not only was 12-5 during the regular season (3.63 ERA) but a stupendous 5-0 in the postseason (2.90). But he also dealt with tightness in his side that caused him to miss almost seven weeks.

Still, it was the offense that carried this team, with right fielder Adolis Garcia leading the way with 39 homers and 107 RBis and helped immensely by star veteran infielders Corey Seager with 33 homers and Marcus Semien with 29 and a .327 BA, which was second-best in the AL.

But even with all that production last year, the team still won only 90 games. This year its win expectancy is 87.5 (Westgate SuperBook).

3. Houston Astros: To win AL West | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 90-72, first place in division

Despite winning the West for the third straight season in 2023, this wasn’t the Astros team we were used to seeing despite finishing sixth in batting average and seventh in homers.

The 90 victories were their fewest in a full season since 2016 and 16 shy of what they had in their title-winning season in 2022.

It seems the pitching staff didn’t have the same dominance — particularly star lefty Framber Valdez. Despite leading the NL with a 2.51 ERA at the All-Star break, he struggled in the second half with a 4.66 reading. And it got worse in the postseason, when he had three starts, three losses and a 9.00 ERA. 

4. Los Angeles Angels: To win AL West | To win AL pennant | To win World Series  

2023: 73-89, fourth place in division

The Halos probably aren’t going anywhere for the 10th straight season after allowing two-time AL MVP Shohei Ohtani to escape in free agency to the L.A. Dodgers.

Last season’s August nose dive, when they went 7-19 in a 26-game stretch to fall from 2.5 games off the wild-card pace to 12.5 back, resulted in team management essentially going into a “win later mode.”

The team’s win expectancy says it all. It’s at 71.5, down 11 from last year’s number.

5. Oakland A’s: To win AL West | To win AL pennant | To win World Series

2023: 50-112, last place in division

Last season the A’s loss total tied for 10th-most in a season in major-league history. 

And they were outscored by 339 runs, the worst discrepancy for any team since 1932.  

And one last note: Last year the team’s player payroll was listed at a league-low $51.23 million. Now it’s at $18.75M. Oddly, the last time it was even lower was in 1989 when the A’s won their most recent World Series.

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