The MLB regular season is just a week away. Cactus and Grapefruit league games will be winding down as teams get ready for real competition. Most rosters are generally set but there are a few positions and spots still up for grabs. Still, time to get those futures wagers in so let's go over the AL East and highlight the various team's odds.
The AL East looks to be very top heavy this year. Two teams from what may be baseball's best rivalry are expected to lead the division and compete for the crown. The Yankees and Red Sox are overwhelming favorites to come out on top.
New York Yankees -135 AL East, +285 AL Pennant, +575 World Series, Win Total O/U 94
They are the favorites to win the division and one look at their lineup makes it obvious why. They are young, stacked and looked prime to roll for years to come. The Yankees finished 91-71 last year winning one of the AL's wild-card spots. They came just short of a World Series appearance losing to eventual champion Houston Astros 4-3 after leading 3-2. It was so close to Yankee fans they could almost taste it.
So what did the Yankees do to improve? They were basically given Giancarlo Stanton and his projected 50 plus home runs to pair with Aaron Judge. These two may be the most feared pair in all of MLB with raw power to hit over 100 home runs. This Yankee lineup is young and fearsome and while maybe prone to striking out a ton they will score a lot of runs.
Boston Red Sox +140 AL East, +490 AL Pennant, +965 World Series, Win Total O/U 91.5
Not to be outdone by their bitter rivals the Red Sox made some major offseason moves as well. The Red Sox added JD Martinez in the offseason and will look for his slugging to bolster an offense that underachieved last season. Martinez's home run ability should help the Red Sox immensely as they finished last in homers in the AL last season.
The Red Sox pitching staff will be led by Cy Young candidate Chris Sale. Look for bounce-back seasons from both Rick Porcello and David Price to bolster the staff. Health will be a big key for these guys, especially Price.
Toronto Blue Jays +910 AL East, +2040 AL Pennant, +4200 World Series, Win Total O/U 81.5
Toronto had a major regression last season as they finished fourth in the East at 76-86. Injuries played a key role as their offense went from first in 2016 to one of the worst last season. This group will have to put up numbers early as they are not a young core. A slow start could lead to trade deadline sale.
The pitching staff will hope blister issues for Aaron Sanchez are a thing of the past as he was only able to make eight starts last year. If he can resemble the Sanchez that went 15-2 in 2016 they can have a solid 1-2 punch when paired with Marcus Stroman.
Baltimore Orioles +2800 AL East, +6500 AL Pennant, +12500 World Series, Win Total O/U 72.5
This team will have a decent offense that should have some pop led by superstar Manny Machado. Homers and strikeouts will come in bunches from Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo. If the Orioles struggle early, you have to imagine trade options start being considered with Machado as he will be a free agent after the season.
The Orioles lost a majority of their starting rotation from last year. While most teams would think that is a bad thing it is not really the case for the O's. Their starters were terrible last year and almost anything would be better than the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez. Recent addition Alex Cobb should also help.
The Rays finished last season at 80-82 despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. So obviously the answer was to ship off most of the offensive talent and leadership as well one of your better pitchers.
The Rays will rely on several prospects for 2018. This probably doesn't bode well for winning division games with the Yankees and Red Sox hanging around. Look for plenty of trade deadline hustle as Chris Archer will be a hot commodity if he becomes available.