AL East Odds: Will the Orioles Go Back-to-Back in 2024?

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath
AL East Odds: Will the Orioles Go Back-to-Back in 2024?

The American League East is an incredibly formidable division once again in 2024. Three of the AL East's five squads have winning records, and the fifth-place Toronto Blue Jays would be competing for third place in a handful of other divisions.

Despite the fierce competition from within this division, two teams have already surged ahead to a division-best 23 wins -- the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. Can the Orioles claim the division for a second straight year, or will the Yankees end up back on top after a down 2023?

Let's take a look at the AL East odds on FanDuel Sportsbook to see how the market thinks this division will shake out.

All MLB odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

AL East Odds

New York Yankees23-13-130
Baltimore Orioles23-11+140
Tampa Bay Rays18-18+1700
Toronto Blue Jays16-19+1700
Boston Red Sox19-16+3000

New York Yankees (-130)

The Juan Soto trade is already paying serious dividends in 2024. The former Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres star is tearing it up in his new pinstripes, leading the American League in OBP (.421) and walks (26). His team-best eight homers don't hurt, either.

He's been a major reason for the Yankees' success so far this season, especially with Aaron Judge starting out a bit slowly -- relative to Judge's lofty standards, that is. Judge has notched seven home runs himself while tying Soto for the AL lead in walks but has a career-worst .789 OPS through the early part of the season. As the weather gets warmer, he could add even more oomph to a Yankees lineup that already ranks fourth-best in weighted runs created plus (wRC+).

The most surprising aspect of the Yankees' success this season has been their pitching -- the team as a whole is twirling to a 2.99 ERA, the third-best mark in baseball. They have done it without ace pitcher Gerrit Cole, who could return over the next couple of months after suffering an elbow injury in the spring.

The Yankees' -130 odds to win the AL East lead the pack as we prepare for the summer. They're currently neck-and-neck with the Baltimore Orioles at the top of the division in a race that could come down to the wire in September. The Yankees (+340) and the Orioles (+470) are also the two teams with the shortest odds to win the American League, so this will absolutely be a race to watch all year long.

Baltimore Orioles (+140)

The Orioles' +140 odds come in as the second-shortest to win the division. Given how closely they're sticking to the Yankees so far this season, those seem like decent odds to take as an arbitrage against New York.

The Orioles claimed the AL East in 2023, snapping an eight-year drought in the process. They're putting together a compelling case to go back-to-back this year, building around one of the youngest -- and best -- offenses in the league.

Even with top prospect Jackson Holliday appearing overwhelmed in his first MLB stint, the rest of the Orioles' lineup has been a force to be reckoned with. Baltimore sits second in wRC+, trailing only the white-hot Los Angeles Dodgers. Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson has taken another step in his development and has +370 odds to win the AL MVP while Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser are looking like budding stars, as well.

Offense led the O's to their 2023 division crown, and that same offense has only gotten better this year. After averaging the seventh-most runs per game a season ago (4.98), the O's are now posting 5.29 runs per game in 2024, the second-most.

Like the Yankees, the Orioles' offseason attempts to bring in reinforcements seem to be working out. Corbin Burnes has been dealing for Baltimore since joining the team via trade in the spring, helping lead them to a mark of 3.68 runs allowed per game -- the sixth-best rate in baseball. Burnes is listed at +330 odds to win the AL Cy Young, making him the favorite.

This is one of the most well-rounded teams in the game, let alone in the AL East.

Tampa Bay Rays (+1700)

The 18-18 Tampa Bay Rays are in fourth place in the division right now. Their .500 record would put them in third place in all but one other division. Like we've been saying, it's tough out there in the AL East.

To be honest, though, this Rays team isn't built like the playoff-caliber Tampa Bay teams we've seen in recent years. Their 5.00 runs allowed per game rank sixth-worst in baseball while they're scoring runs at the 11th-worst rate (4.11 per game).

Injuries have been a major issue for this team in recent seasons, and that's still the case here. All of Shane McClanahan, Jeffrey Springs, Drew Rasmussen, Taj Bradley, Shane Baz and Pete Fairbanks are on the IL, leaving the team pretty shorthanded on the mound.

While the Rays' starting pitchers is doing its best to hold on without several key starters, they're still posting a collective 4.22 ERA -- the 13th-worst mark. The same cannot be said for their bullpen, whose 4.89 ERA ranks fifth-worst.

Unfortunately, the Rays' offense just hasn't been able to make up for their struggles on the mound. Star outfielder Randy Arozarena has been in a serious funk and has a career-worst .533 OPS this year. Unless he and the rest of the team's hitters can turn things around quickly, the Rays are going to have a hard time competing against the heavyweights at the top of the division.

Toronto Blue Jays (+1700)

The Blue Jays are in a strikingly similar place to the Rays, so it's not very surprising to see their +1700 odds match the Rays' odds to win the AL East. Toronto's bullpen has been the actual worst unit in the league with a combined 5.31 ERA while their once-great offense is mustering up the seventh-fewest runs per game (3.66).

The Blue Jays need their stud hitters to start living up to expectations -- something we can hold out some optimism for as we enter the warmer months. The team's .266 BABIP ranks sixth-worst, so there's room for positive regression there. And if those outs start turning into hits at a closer-to-average rate, their offense can get back on track in a hurry.

That said, there are some real issues with this iteration of the Blue Jays' lineup. With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette playing well below their usual standards, the team is relying on career underwhelm-ers like Cavan Biggio, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Kevin Kiermaier as well as a 34-year-old George Springer and a 39-year-old Justin Turner for run support.

With their current 16-19 record, the Jays are still competing for potential playoff spot, but it would take a pretty massive turnaround for this squad to win the division.

Boston Red Sox (+3000)

The Boston Red Sox are in third place in the division right now with a 19-16 record. No one expected this team to have much of a shot to win the division entering the season, and it seems the market is still leaning on that preseason evaluation now -- Boston's +3000 odds to win the AL East are the longest of the group by a fair margin despite their surprising early-season success.

The biggest factor in Boston's success this season has been -- shockingly -- their pitching. The Red Sox have the lowest teamwide ERA in baseball right now at 2.63. The underlying metrics imply it's legit. Their 3.31 FIP is the best mark in the Majors, and their skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) of 3.50 ranks 6th-best.

An organizational effort to throw fewer fastballs seems to be working out in a big way, insulating their defense despite injuries to each of Lucas Giolito, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, and Nick Pivetta. It's helped pitchers such as Tanner Houck, Kutter Crawford and even Cooper Criswell look like borderline aces while twirling to sub-2.00 ERAs.

It is certainly fair to question just how long the Sox can keep this up -- especially with injuries mounting on the offensive side, as well. But for now, the team is doing an elite job of keeping their opponents off the scoreboard while scoring an above-average number of runs.

Despite Boston having the longest odds in this market, I think I like their chances of taking home a division title better than either of the Rays' or the Blue Jays' chances.

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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.