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American League East Futures for the 2024 Season: Updated Odds And Lines For The Top Teams

Publish Date: 05/24/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

The American League East is once again shaping up to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball. The Yankees and Orioles have come out of the gates hot to separate a bit from the pack, but the Tampa Bay Rays are hot on their tails with the others in the division showing some promise.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay's returning a bunch of key players from injury while Boston continues to shine on the hill. Are there any ways in for the teams on the chase?

Let's break down where each team is at and make some picks in this AL East Futures market breakdown.

New York Yankees Odds to Win (-215)

It's hard to say the Yankees aren't deserving of this number. Their rotation has managed to rank among the three best teams in MLB in terms of ERA, despite missing ace Gerrit Cole for the start of the season, and their bullpen sits second in ERA despite experiencing plenty of turnover and injuries.

The biggest thing here for New York, which had an offense solely powered by Aaron Judge for the past two seasons, is that they're second in the league in wRC+ in spite of what's been a slow start at the dish for Judge. Juan Soto has slotted in brilliantly, providing offense just about every night, and Giancarlo Stanton has managed to stay healthy to this point after shedding some weight in the offseason.

It feels like this offense has another gear with Gleyber Torres still slumping, third base in flux and Judge still trying to return to MVP form. The rotation will soon return Cole, and the bullpen should get some reinforcements in the next few months starting with Tommy Khanle. While their grip on the division is light at the moment, they should only get better and break away from the pack.

Baltimore Orioles Odds to Win (+230)

I totally get the excitement surrounding the young Orioles, who sit just outside the league's top five in wRC+ and have been excellent in all phases of the game whether that be on defense or on the hill. The issue here for me is that I still don't necessarily trust the sum of the parts to rise to the top of this division, particularly with how strong the Yankees' outlook is.

Colton Cowser has already begun to slow down at the plate, they have a Jackson Holliday-sized hole in the infield and while the rotation has been effective it's only going to hold on so long with some problematic fly ball pitchers like Dean Kremer and Kyle Bradish going regularly.

Grayson Rodriguez is set to return to the rotation and reestablish a formidable 1-2 punch with Corbin Burnes, but I just don't think this team is deep enough to sustain this winning percentage for 162 games. The wheels have already begun to fall off in the bullpen with Craig Kimbrel's recent demotion, and they can't really count on the likes of Danny Coulombe and Cionel Perez the same way they could in years' past. They should be playing in October, but this price on the division is a hard pass.

Boston Red Sox Odds to Win (+3000)

Here's the thing about the Red Sox: they're definitely bad, but they also might be quietly kinda good?

They can't field, and they really can't hit. Those are two very important components to a team. TheyΒ can pitch, however -- in fact they may be pitching better than any team in this division other than the Yankees. The field behind these arms has not helped this stable one bit, and even then we've seen arm after arm dominate thanks to the magic of pitching coach Andrew Bailey.

The thing is, we've seen plenty of teams with mediocre hitting find a way to make the playoffs behind their arms. The Red Sox are quickly becoming a pitching factory, and all they'll need it to be perfectly average at the dish to get into the conversation for the AL Wild Card. The division, however, seems like a pipe dream.

Tampa Bay Rays Odds to Win (+3500)

Finally, we've arrived at the fun part of this article.

The Rays are too long to win this division when you look at the state of this roster. They're in a crunch at the moment with too many secondary and tertiary options on offense hitting the ball too well. Amed Rosario has looked like one of the best signings of the offseason, and the team may have something in Jonny DeLuca, who they acquired in the Tyler Glasnow trade. With Brandon Lowe back soon, and the likes of Josh Lowe and Jonathan Aranda already returning from injury, this team is about to get even better at the dish.

Speaking of the Glasnow trade, Ryan Pepiot has been excellent in his own right and will soon be back from injury, as will Shane Baz. The team recently activated Taj Bradley and Pete Fairbanks, too.

I don't mean to just keep listing names, but I do want to get the point across here that the Rays have laid down an excellent base without their best players and are rapidly getting healthier. They'll soon rise up the standings and make this number look foolish.

Toronto Blue Jays Odds to Win (+4000)

This one's a little tricky. On paper, the Blue Jays should be World Series contenders with their personnel, but for a second straight year they've failed to do much of anything at the plate. Bo Bichette and George Springer have really struggled, and even Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. has been a bit worse than usual.

This team's gotten surprisingly great starts from Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Berrios, but if and when regression hits those two it's going to be ugly with the way the rest of the staff is going. This is a wait-and-see situation, but I don't know if there's much hope for Toronto at the moment. Perhaps a mid-season call-up of Orelvis Martinez can be the spark it needs.

Best AL East Futures bet

Make no mistake, I am not calling my shot here and saying the Rays will win this division. I am, however, here to say that they're the clear value on the board in the AL East.

This team has really hit, ranking 13th in wRC+, and now has a few big bats back in the lineup to create some tantalizing platoons and compelling roster battles. There is talent up and down this roster, and once Baz and Pepiot are reinstalled in the rotation I think Tampa Bay will be a huge player in the vision.

Take this number and watch it drop in the coming weeks. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to hedge on the Yankees, who I do think will win the division, down the road.

Best Bet: Tampa Bay Rays To Win The AL East (+3500)

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