MLB

AL East Odds: The Yankees Are in the Driver's Seat

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath
AL East Odds: The Yankees Are in the Driver's Seat

The AL East has been one of baseball's most competitive divisions this season, but even amidst fierce competition two frontrunners have emerged: the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles.

While the Yanks and O's have surged out ahead of the pack, there are still four months of ball left to play. Can any of the AL East's other teams battle back over the summer? Let's check out the MLB division winner betting odds market on FanDuel Sportsbook and see how things look heading into the hottest months of the year.

All MLB odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

AL East Odds

Team
Record
Odds
New York Yankees42-19-330
Baltimore Orioles38-20+260
Tampa Bay Rays29-31+6500
Toronto Blue Jays28-31+6500
Boston Red Sox30-30+10000

New York Yankees (-330)

The Yankees are tied with the Philadelphia Phillies for the best record in baseball, jumping out to an impressive 42-19 record on the year. They went on an absurd 21-7 run during the month of May after a decent start to the season and look like an absolute juggernaut heading into the heart of their 2024 campaign. They have the shortest odds to win the ALCS (+170) and trail only the Los Angeles Dodgers with their +500 World Series odds.

The combination of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto has been working out even better than Yankees fans could have hoped for. The duo rank first (3.9) and second (3.3) in offensive Wins Above Replacement (WAR) on offense this year and rank first (1.075) and second (1.031) in OPS, respectively. With Anthony Volpe taking a massive second-year leap and earning the team's leadoff hitter spot, it's hard to argue that any other lineup in baseball has a more intimidating 1-2-3 setup.

Given what we've already outlined, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Judge (+200) and Soto (+220) have the shortest and second-shortest AL MVP odds as of this writing.

The biggest concern the Yankees had entering the season was the state of their pitching depth after ace Gerrit Cole suffered a Spring Training elbow injury. Those concerns seem almost laughable now; the Yankees are allowing the fewest runs per game (3.15) and have the lowest combined ERA in baseball (2.78). The Phillies' 3.00 mark ranks second-best while the Dodgers' 3.22 ERA trails the Phillies' ERA by the same gap that separates them from the Yankees.

Their pitchers have kept it tight all season, but a breakout from current AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner Luis Gil (+125 odds) has done wonders to address any concerns we had about their crew entering the year.

All of their top-end talent is backed up by productive players that might otherwise look like other teams' third- or fourth-best players. Their star power and depth -- plus the eventual return of Cole -- have the Yankees set up for an incredibly successful season.

Baltimore Orioles (+260)

As good as the Yankees have been, though, it should be noted that the Orioles are hot on their heels. Baltimore's 38-20 record is just 2.5 games behind the Yankees, meaning they have a whole lot of season left to gain ground on the current AL East frontrunner.

Baltimore's young offense has taken a leap forward this year, scoring an impressive 5.07 runs per game (third-most in baseball). Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson has taken an exciting leap forward and trails only Judge and Soto in AL MVP odds at +550. Factoring in his outstanding play in Baltimore's infield, Henderson's 4.1 total WAR actually beat out both Yankees stars' marks for the best in Major League Baseball.

The offseason addition of Corbin Burnes -- whose +460 AL Cy Young odds rank second-shortest -- has helped them rattle off a team-wide 3.29 ERA to start the year, which ranks fourth-best in baseball. But Burnes hasn't been doing it all by himself as each of Grayson Rodriguez, Kyle Bradish, and Cole Irvin have been playing top-notch ball, as well.

With a farm system jam packed with exciting talent, the Orioles are built to sustain success throughout the grueling season. They trail only the Yankees in ALCS winner odds (+500) and are an interesting bet with their fifth-shortest odds to win the World Series (+1000).

The Rest of the Pack

While the Yankees and the Orioles are cruising out to substantial leads in the AL East, the rest of the division is still playing relatively competitive baseball. Between the 29-31 Tampa Bay Rays, the 28-31 Toronto Blue Jays, and the 30-30 Boston Red Sox, no one can truly be counted out of the AL East race just yet.

That said, the Rays' and Jays' +6500 odds -- as well as the Red Sox's +10000 odds -- illustrate just how much of a perceived and actual gap there is between these teams and the top of the division. The Red Sox have stayed competitive and are technically in third place as of this writing but are pretty banged up already this year. They've been getting career-best production from a number of their pitchers this year, so it's justifiable that bettors are skeptical of their success so far.

The Rays are pretty banged up, as well, and might just need to regroup for the 2025 season with injuries to each of Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs, Zach Eflin, Taylor Walls, Josh Lowe, and even top prospect Junior Caminero. That's in addition to sluggish starts from key hitters like Randy Arozarena, Yandy Diaz, Brandon Lowe, and starting pitcher Aaron Civale.

The Toronto Blue Jays are coming around a bit lately but have been having a brutal opening to the season. They've allowed the 11th-most runs per game (4.56) while scoring the 7th-fewest (3.95), which makes their near-.500 record all the more impressive. But like the Rays, this just doesn't seem to be their year -- star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been continuing a concerning dip in power this year while their once-enviable pitching depth -- with the fifth-oldest group in the league -- has been unfortunately looking their age.

Given the similarities between each of these teams, the stark difference between the Red Sox's +1000 odds to win the division and the +6500 odds of the Rays and Jays makes the Sox look like an interesting arbitrage bet against the field.

The Red Sox do have some things going for them that the Rays and Jays do not. Their 9th-ranked +0.4 average run differential per game is considerably greater than Toronto's -0.6 mark (22nd) and Tampa Bay's -0.9 mark (26th). Starting pitcher Tanner Houck's +1200 AL Cy Young odds are tied for third-shortest, and he has been the spearhead of Boston's teamwide 3.37 ERA (fifth-best).

Wilyer Abreu's +450 odds to win AL Rookie of the Year rank third-shortest and are the shortest of any batter in the American League while teammate Ceddanne Rafaela is still a name in the mix (though with much longer +6000 odds). Factor in a farm system that includes three players inside MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Prospects and the eventual return of star first baseman Triston Casas from the 60-day injured list, Boston could be a team whose best days are ahead of them.

The Sox are clear long shots as their +10000 odds convey, but they might be better suited to making an underdog run to the top of the division than either of the AL East's other two underdogs. If the above logic resonates with you, but the path to the top of the AL East seems too difficult, their +430 odds to make the playoffs might also be worth a look.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.