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American League West 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 West has turned into one of the most interesting races in baseball. The Seattle Mariners have grabbed the lead through the first month and change of the season with the Texas Rangers and sluggish Houston Astros close behind.

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Do we really trust Seattle to remain in front here, or are there too many concerns over this team's makeup to project it to come out on top over two solid offenses?

Let's run through the current outlook for all of these teams in our AL West Futures market breakdown.

Seattle Mariners Odds to Win (+110)

I just can't believe it. Any of it. I have no idea how the Mariners have managed to rise to the top of the AL West, and I also have no idea why oddsmakers are so trusting. I could write thousands of words on why I hate this organization so very much, but I'll sum it up rather concisely here.

Yes, the Mariners probably have the best rotation in baseball. They've probably got three aces on their staff and a budding star in Bryan Woo. They continue to churn out excellent high-leverage arms in the bullpen. It all has gone exactly according to plan for Seattle, who plays in one of the hardest park to homer in and possesses a plethora of fly ball pitchers.

What I always find myself asking is why, when the Mariners have the formula down pat with their park when it comes to pitching, do they continue to make the same mistakes offensively? Seattle once again sits atop the league in strikeouts per plate appearance, going for a power-over-everything approach with plenty of fly balls. That may work if you play in Baltimore, New York or Boston -- it does not work when you play half of your games at one of the unfriendliest parks to power hitters.

In short, no -- I don't think this team will keep doing this. While you can win in this league with pitching, and pitching only, I think this offensive approach is not sustainable, and it's hampered them for many years. I will not be betting on the Mariners to win the division for yet another season, and certainly not at the present number.

Texas Rangers Odds to Win (+200)

On the other side of the coin, the Rangers have really cut down on strikeouts and their fly ball-heavy approachΒ does, actually, work in their home park. This offense had a slow start, but has crept back inside the top 10 in wRC+ and is poised to make a strong charge at Seattle in the next month or so.

Even without Josh Jung in the fold, the Rangers have gotten some excellent starts out of Josh Smith, Jonah Heim and impossibly out of Travis Jankowski. They're now returning slugger Evan Carter from injury, too, which should really attach a jetpack to this squad.

Pitching has been something of an adventure for this Rangers team, but there are some key names on the injured list and some potential trade targets emerging for an organization filled with young talent. The outlook is very bright.

Houston Astros Odds to Win (+240)

This team is picking things up at the plate after jettisoning Jose Abreu off the roster, but I'm still very skeptical at this point.

There really is some good young talent here, but Alex Bregman has slowed down significantly since turning 30, Jose Altuve is beginning to regress and Yordan Alvarez hasn't exactly been Yordan Alvarez. I do think with the Mariners potentially ready to flop, that the Astros certainly have a way in here, but the pitching staff is more of a liability than it's ever been.

Hunter Brown's third season in the bigs has not gone according to plan, and while he's been better in May there are plenty of concerning underlying metrics. Justin Verlander hasn't quite been so sharp, either, and Spencer Arighetti has a lot of improving to do before he's a reliable starter at this level. Unlike some other teams in the AL, though, I'm not exactly sure a returning roster mainstay is going to help matters considering Jose Urquidy is bad at pitching.

I'm not 100% sure this offense will stick with a graying core and a slumping Alvarez (for his standards, anyway) which should really cast a bright light on the issues this team has pitching.

Los Angeles Angels Odds to Win (+9000)

I'm not proud of it, but I've watched aΒ ton of Angels baseball this season. It seems they've been able to get some excellent production out of a cast of misfit toys in the wake of a ton of injuries, and there may be something here with this offense once Mike Trout is ready to return.

The big issue, though, is going to be pitching. They've struggled to develop arms for many years and there's nobody to carry the load anywhere on this roster. The hitting is going to get hot at times, which is why I think this is a rather silly number, but a close fight for the wild-card is the best case scenario.

Oakland A's Odds to Win (+15000)

Sorry, there's not a storybook run coming for the A's in some sort of Moneyball scenario. This team can't hit, and the nicest thing I can say about them is that they've figured out how to turn Paul Blackburn into a solid starter while developing two more flamethrowers in the back end of the bullpen.

The sad part with the A's, as we know all too well, is that these success stories are just trade fodder and nothing more. Oakland will continue to develop and flip players for future assets, making a playoff berth all but impossible.

Best AL West Futures bet

The Rangers are once again the best team in this division, given the fact that they can actually hit and back that with competent pitching. The Mariners may be very difficult to score runs on all season long, but the lack of any sort of offense is ultimately going to hurt them. Considering they're set for many more games in arduous hitting parks, mainly the one they call home, I don't see things going any differently than they did last season, when they missed out on October.

With some names returning to the lineup for Texas joining a group of success stories, I think the division should belong to the Rangers.

Best Bet: Texas Rangers To Win The AL West (+200)

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