AL West Odds: Rangers, Mariners in Their Own Tier

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath
AL West Odds: Rangers, Mariners in Their Own Tier

The American League West is looking a bit closer right now than you might expect for the division that produced last season's World Series champs. But even in a tight race, two teams are rising above the rest of the pack through the early part of the 2024 season.

So, which AL West teams have the best odds to win the division this season? Let's take a look at the AL West odds market on FanDuel Sportsbook and find out.

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

AL West Odds

Texas Rangers21-16+115
Seattle Mariners20-16+145
Houston Astros12-23+340
Los Angeles Angels13-23+8000
Oakland Athletics17-20+12000

Texas Rangers (+115)

It's not especially surprising to see the reigning World Series champs carry the shortest odds to win their own division. The Texas Rangers are back on top of the AL West so far this year, with a 21-16 record heading into games on May 8. They're a half-game in front of the next team on this list.

Even with their offense cooling off compared to last year, the Rangers are still averaging a healthy 4.67 runs per contest -- the 10th-most in baseball. That's an encouraging sign for an offense that has been consistently starting a pair of high-profile rookies as they work through growing pains in the Majors. Both Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford entered the season as frontrunners to win the American League Rookie of the Year award and still have +340 and +2500 odds, respectively, to take home the honor despite slow starts to the season.

Likewise, they've mustered some solid offense despite All-Star Corey Seager working through a tough slump. Adolis Garcia, Marcus Semien, and compant are playing at a high enough level to offset Seager's, Langford's, and Carter's slow starts. If they start firing on all cylinders, we could see the Rangers' offense return to its 2023 heights again later this year.

The Rangers' run prevention is perfectly respectable, as well, allowing the 10th-fewest runs per game. They're a well-balanced team with plenty of upside as the season really gets rolling, so it makes sense that Texas is the frontrunner.

Seattle Mariners (+145)

The Seattle Mariners are a pretty unique team through the first month-and-change of the season. Despite being tied for the fourth-fewest runs scored per game (3.6), they've been able to jump out to a 20-16 record off the back of their elite pitching -- they've allowed the fewest runs per game this season, with just 3.3 runs allowed per game.

Four of the Mariners' top five starters rank among the 10 pitchers with the shortest odds to win the AL Cy Young award, with Logan Gilbert and Luis Castillo looking like legit contenders. That's how good the Mariners have been on the mound this year.

Logan Gilbert+10003rd
Luis Castillo+12004th
George Kirby+16007th
Bryce Miller+400010th

That said, a 0.3-run differential between their runs scored and runs allowed is a pretty thin margin, so the Mariners' season could really go in either direction as the summer approaches. If their struggling offense starts to click, the M's could become a legitimate contender. If Seattle's sterling pitching falls off, they could end up looking pretty rough by the season's end.

Considering that Julio Rodriguez, Jorge Polanco, and Mitch Garver are each currently posting OPS marks at least .150 points lower than their 2023 numbers, it feels like the Mariners are bound to bounce back on offense at some point. Those three are not alone on the team in that regard, either, so the Mariners' seem poised for a strong summer assuming their offense rebounds and the pitching continues to excel.

Houston Astros (+340)

Earlier this spring, I wrote about how the Houston Astros could have a tough time reaching their lofty preseason win total line of 93.5 wins, highlighting their thin group of aging pitchers and their lack of high-profile prospects to insulate that group. Since that writing, each of Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, and Justin Verlander have missed time with injuries.

Those injuries have been a major factor in the Astros pitching to a team-wide 4.92 ERA, the fourth-worst rate in baseball. It's put them on par with teams we expected to be terrible this year -- such as the Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, and Miami Marlins. Most noteworthy, however, is how Houston looks compared to the Oakland Athletics -- the 12-23 Astros are 4.0 games back of the A's in the AL West standings right now.

Verlander, Valdez, and Javier are all returning to health, but their absences have already done a good chunk of damage to the Astros' chances of winning the division. That their odds to win it have only dipped to +340 -- while the A's are still rocking +12000 odds despite their current standings lead -- is telling of the faith bettors have in the Astros' longstanding track record of success. Still, it's hard to like much of what we're seeing from Houston at the moment.

That said, the Astros have +1600 World Series odds, the seventh-shortest odds in that market. Those odds are just barely behind the Rangers' +1500 odds. The Astros' offense has still been scoring runs at a good clip, so if they can work through their pitching issues, this team can make some noise in October -- even if they don't win the AL West.

Oakland Athletics (+12000)

Speaking of the faith bettors have in specific franchises, you can tell how little respect the market has for the third-place A's based on Oakland's +12000 odds to win the AL West. For league-wide context, only the Rockies, White Sox, and Marlins have longer odds to win their divisions than the Athletics do.

While the A's don't look like a legit contender in their current configuration, they have been better than expected. The Athletics' offense is looking close to league average while their bullpen -- led by lights-out closer Mason Miller -- has the sixth-best ERA (3.26) in the Majors.

Even if the A's don't have what it takes to claim their first division title since 2013 (excluding the 2020 COVID-shortened season), they still look like a better long-shot bet to win the division than the 12-23 Los Angeles Angels at +8000 odds -- especially after Angels star Mike Trout (knee) hit the injured list earlier this month.

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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.