Updated AL East Futures: August 8, 2013

Boston_Red_Sox

With four out of its five teams above .500 and very much alive in the American League pennant chase, the AL East has easily offered fans and bettors the most excitement of any division in baseball this season. It’s extremely likely that at least two of its members will be playoff bound and there’s a decent chance that the division may sneak a third team into the postseason as well. But who will win the East crown?

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays will probably jostle for the top spot for the duration of the season, but there’s an outside chance that the Baltimore Orioles or New York Yankees could make a late push for first place too. Fortunately, to help bettors make sense of the East, we’ve got the updated future odds to win the division, courtesy of Bovada. Check ’em out and our best value pick!

Tampa Bay Rays – Even

It seem somewhat surprising that the second-place Rays are getting the favorite nod in the East by odds makers, but considering the upward trajectory they have been on over the past two months, their place atop the odds lists is not a shock.

As mentioned earlier, the Rays and Red Sox will likely battle for the top spot down to the wire, but with David Price back healthy, the Rays now have one of the strongest pitching rotations to go along with a hard-hitting lineup that ranks ninth in the majors in runs scored. Even money is actually not bad for the Rays,  but is there better value elsewhere? Maybe…

Boston Red Sox +110

The Red Sox may have a middle-of-the-road pitching staff, but with the best offense in baseball, they seem like a great value pick here at +110. Boston has led the East almost the entire season and even though the Rays have been spectacular lately, it’s the Red Sox’s consistency that makes a wager in favor of them so appealing.

However, the biggest reason why the Red Sox are a good bet is that they have the best record of any East team against their own division. Boston is 28-20 against the East this season and that prowess against division foes will certainly come in handy down the stretch when they finish with 19 games against East teams in September.

Baltimore Orioles +700

With the Red Sox and Rays playing so well, the Orioles are often the forgotten team in the East, but they are only six games back of the division lead and with nearly two months of baseball remaining – much of which will be against divisional teams – a Baltimore comeback is certainly not out of the question.

The biggest concern with Baltimore is its pitching. The O’s are ranked 28th in the MLB in ERA and those numbers will likely prevent them from rallying back to win the division. Still, +700 gives bettors decent value, just in case the bats carry the Orioles to the top.

New York Yankees +3300

Let’s face it; this isn’t the Yankees’ year. Like the Orioles, the pitching has been poor, but more importantly, the Yanks have just been too banged up. The fact that they have managed to stay above .500 without Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez all season is impressive, but a miracle late-season run doesn’t appear to be in the cards for New York. Even though you’re getting +3300 here, I’d stay away from this one.

Toronto Blue Jays +10000

The Toronto Blue Jays have endured a pretty typical Blue Jays type of year, in that they have hovered slightly below .500 for the majority of the season and have never really had much hope for the postseason. However, 2013 has been particularly disappointing considering all the high-profile acquisitions they made this offseason. The Jays aren’t mathematically eliminated from contention, but there’s no way they are coming back.

Best Value: Boston Red Sox +110

All things considered, the Bo Sox are your best bet in the East. I’d feel confident that they can hang on to their lead against East teams down the stretch.

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