The Yankees Are Primed to Win Back the AL East

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
The Yankees Are Primed to Win Back the AL East

Pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training and games kick off this week, meaning that the 2024 MLB season is almost here.

There are a lot of fun bets to consider ahead of Opening Day on March 28th but maybe none more intriguing than picking a division winner. While some divisions feel predictable ahead of the season's start, there's no telling what will happen over 162 games.

That's what brings us to a stacked American League East division that feels like a four-team race heading into the 2024 campaign. Every team (besides one) has made the moves to compete and makes betting on this division all the more exciting.

Let's dive into the AL East odds for the 2024 season, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Note: All advanced statistics are used from FanGraphs.

AL East Odds

AL East Odds
New York Yankees+130
Baltimore Orioles+220
Toronto Blue Jays+440
Tampa Bay Rays+650
Boston Red Sox+1400

New York Yankees (+130)

Another season, another chance for the New York Yankees to enter as the division favorites. Can they actually get it done this time around?

The Yankees have done everything in their power to improve the last two offseasons after an upsetting exit in 2022 from the postseason.

Last year was all about pitching, signing Carlos Rodon to a big deal. New York also made sure Aaron Judge was a Yankee (and their new captain) for life. However, that only resulted in a disappointing 82-80 record and completely missing the playoffs after their offense lacked any noise or excitement -- especially when Judge was out of the lineup.

New York finished with a .304 wOBA, ranking 24th in MLB. They scored just 673 runs despite hitting 219 home runs, proving their inability to make a big enough splash even with their usual power surge.

To improve their 2024 lineup, the Yankees went and acquired four-time Silver Slugger winner Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. While it isn't as major as the addition of Soto, they also added Alex Verdugo to give them a new-look outfield that should bolster their lineup.

Pitching-wise, they have reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole leading the way. If Rodon and Nestor Cortes can bounce back this year, their rotation should be where it was expected to be a season ago. They also signed Marcus Stroman to further bolster their pitching depth.

There's too much competition in this division to feel like the Yankees are a sure thing, but if they mesh, there's no denying that the talent they have coming into the new season should have them contending for the AL East crown. The +130 odds are good but could grow longer if the Yankees have a slow start in April.

Baltimore Orioles (+220)

Winning the division in 2023 wasn't enough for the Baltimore Orioles. They're ready to do a lot more in 2024.

Baltimore was ahead of schedule last year to a level no one could have expected. The Orioles had the second-best record in the majors at 101-61, showing that they're here to stay and only going to get better with their young core led by Adley Rutschman and reigning Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson.

Offensively, they did well across the board with 807 runs, .320 wOBA, 105 wRC+, and 183 home runs. There are levels to what they may be able to do this year with players improving, and they could be further helped by the expected addition of's No. 1 prospect, Jackson Holliday, potentially joining them as early as Opening Day.

Adding to the excitement, the Orioles finally went out and got themselves an ace. Baltimore made the move to trade for former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, adding the go-to starter that they were missing last season. His addition should only help an overall staff that held a 4.04 SIERA, the ninth-best in baseball.

If you believe in talent and potential reaching its next level, the Orioles are the team to bet on. They've already shown they can win this division with this roster, so there's no reason to doubt them as they enter 2024 as a team that made all the right moves to contend.

Toronto Blue Jays (+440)

It was an upsetting season for the Toronto Blue Jays -- that's the best way to describe their 2023. And the offseason arguably followed that.

Toronto enters with a very similar team to the one they had a year ago but has added a veteran presence to help their young team get back to the playoffs. The Blue Jays signed Justin Turner to a one-year deal, giving their once elite offense another bat to hopefully put them back to the level they expected last year.

The failure to get Shohei Ohtani will continue to sting, but not all hope is lost for Toronto.

A full return to near MVP form for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would be the biggest factor for them. While the three-time All-Star hit 26 home runs and knocked in 94 RBIs, everything else was down across the board, including a .788 OPS and career-low .264 average. He has to get back to where he was if the Blue Jays want to make noise and get their first AL East crown since 2015.

On the mound, the Blue Jays are coming in with the same big three leading them via Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, and Chris Bassitt. Their big pitching question mark will beAlek Manoah. Talk about a fall from grace, Manoah went from a third-place finish in the 2022 AL Cy Young voting to being sent to the minors in 2023 due to his continued struggles that featured a 5.65 SIERA.

There are a lot of "ifs" after a relatively quiet offseason, but the Blue Jays have enough talent to win this division -- things just need to go right unlike last year.

Tampa Bay Rays (+650)

Bad luck hit the Tampa Bay Rays last season in every way, and it shouldn't be much of a surprise that they're left on the outside looking in when it comes to the AL East odds.

For very different reasons, the Rays will be without Shane McClanahan and Wander Franco for the upcoming campaign.

McClanahan was undeniably the ace of Tampa and was a Cy Young contender before injuries took him down. He had Tommy John surgery and will miss all of 2024 as a result.

Franco, who was once their franchise player, is dealing with a legal investigation after being arrested earlier this year and has been away from the team since August. The Rays signed Amed Rosario to presumably help fill the void moving forward at shortstop as a result.

What is left of the Rays is a familiar lineup but a uncertain starting rotation filled with more question marks than answers. They traded Tyler Glasnow (and Manuel Margot) to the Los Angeles Dodgers, completely shifting their rotation all the more. They got back Ryan Pepiot, who will slot into the rotation and, knowing the Rays, could very well work out for them.

That being said, Zach Eflin and Aaron Civale will try and lead the way for a staff that was the best in baseball, as shown by their second-ranked SIERA (3.78) and first-ranked FIP (3.80).

There are just way too many questions surrounding this team to believe in them to take this division over the three ahead of them in the odds. It would surprise no one if they won the division because that's what manager Kevin Cash has created in Tampa Bay -- but it's all against them this year.

Boston Red Sox (+1400)

The Boston Red Sox are getting comfortable at the bottom of the AL East, and that won't be changing this season.

After chairman Tom Werner promised that the Red Sox would go "full throttle" to improve the roster, crickets could be heard around Boston and still are with Spring Training underway.

Let's start with their losses. They traded Chris Sale away to the Atlanta Braves, Alex Verdugo to the Yankees, John Schreiber to the Kansas City Royals, and watched both Justin Turner and James Paxton walk after keeping them rostered past the trade deadline last year. There's also rumors that they've been shopping Kenley Jansen.

Now the additions for Boston. The Red Sox traded for Vaughn Grissom in the Sale deal to be their everyday second baseman, added Tyler O'Neill to be in their outfield as an effective Verdugo replacement, and signed both Lucas Giolito and Liam Hendriks to essentially take the spots of players they moved on from.

It's just a lot of lateral -- if not negative -- movement rather than truly adding and going "full throttle."

That's the reason why this team sits with the worst odds (+1400) in the AL East, and unless they dramatically change their mind to sign a starter like Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell, they'll be looking at last for a third straight season.

Looking for more MLB betting opportunities? Check out all of the MLB odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

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.