The MLB regular season is back this week, so we decided to break every section of the American League from a betting perspective.
Can Upstart Blue Jays compete for the tough AL East division? Can a healthy Mike Trout stay on the field and help the Angels get into the post-season?
There are a lot of big questions to consider in AL, so I’ve mixed Fangraph’s winning predictions with the total odds of each team winning. I also tossed a World Series pick, so hopefully, it will help if you want to scatter a little in the futures market.
(Editor’s note: All betting lines are courtesy of Sports Interaction and present as of publication time.)
American League East: Division Winners (Regular Season)
New York +220
Tampa Bay +263
Toronto Blue Jays
Regular season wins: over 92.5 -122 Below 92.5 -105
Fangraph projection: 92 wins
The Blue Jays won 91 games last season and were eliminated from the playoffs in 2021 while playing home games at three different Ballpark. They bid farewell to AL Cy Young Award winners Robbie Ray and All-Star Marcus Semien. Toronto replaces free-agent pitcher Kevin Gaussman and Platinum Glove Award winner Matt Chapman in a trade with Oakland. If Vladimir Guerrero Jr. plays at an MVP level in 2022, the Blue Jays are a legitimate World Series threat.
Citizen of the United States
Regular season wins: over 91.5 -105 | Below 91.5 -120
Fangraph projection: 91 wins
The Bronx Bombers again in the World Series or 2022 bust. The Yankees 2015 AL MVP has added Josh Donaldson to a lineup that already includes power hitters Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo and Giancarlo Stanton. Staying healthy will require New York starters Luis Severino and Jameson Taylon and will contribute to maintaining momentum in the very tough AL East.
Tampa Bay Ray
Regular season wins: 89.5 -111 over Below 89.5 -111
Fangraph projection: 85 wins
The Ray and their shoe budget will again depend on their bullpen, which was the best in AL in 2021. Super Shortstop Possibilities Wonder Franco is looking for a breakout season after slashing a rock-solid .288 / .347 / .463 in the first 70 games at the Majors last season. The annoying ray is flying under the radar but the other section will not surprise anyone with the title.
Boston Red Sox
Regular season wins: over 85.5 -112 Below 85.5 -112
Fangraph projection: 87 wins
Red Sox have offered free agent Trevor Story a six-year, $ 140-million deal to bolster a crime that already includes all-stars Rafael Devers, Gender Bogarts and JD Martinez. Boston will hit in 2022 but will they be able to pitch? BoSox will not have Chris Cell and recovery project James Paxton to start the season and will need Nathan Evoldi and Nick Pivetta to hold the castle until reinforcements come.
Regular season wins: over 62.5 -109 | Below 62.5 -118
Fangraph projection: 65 wins
This should be another Lung season in Charm City. Orioles is in full rebuild and is set to become cheaper again in 2022. Cedric Mullins MLB had only 30-30 in 2021 and Rocky Ryan Mountcastle finished with 33 home runs, so in 2021 O had some positive aspects. Baltimore’s pitching staff was the worst in baseball last season, so I guess there’s only one way.
My Preferences: I mean, who doesn’t want Blue Jess AL East to win the World Series in the end? But we are here to focus on quality and I think the ray is in this section. In Franco Tamper could have an MVP candidate and a bullpen that could again be the best in the American League. I will take the ray at + 263 to win the division.
American League Central: Division Winners (Regular Season)
। Detroit +598
Kansas City +1438
Chicago White Sox
Regular season wins: over 91.5 -111 | Below 91.5 -111
Fangraph projection: 86 wins
The White Sox were bitten hard by an injury bug last season. Alloy Jimenez, Luis Roberts and Yasmani Grandal all missed a big chunk in 2021 and ChiSox still won 93 games. If their lineup can be healthy, this team should be in class. The rotation boasts rock-solid starters Lance Lin, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Ciz. “Northern Ciders” is a serious World Series competitor.
Regular season wins: over 81.5 -111 Below 81.5 -111
Fangraph projection: 82 wins
Jamjara is the best among the rest of the department. The baseball world has been shocked by the signing of a three-year deal worth 105 million with Minnesota superstar shortstop Carlos Correa. The Twinkies also acquired Gary Sanchez and Geo Ursella from the Yankees and traded for starter Sony Gray in a deal with the Reds. Minnesota could compete for wild cards in the American League.
Regular season wins: over 77.5 -111 | Below 77.5 -111
Fangraph projection: 76 wins
The Tigers are a young and exciting club that can make some noise at AL Central. Detroit has spent more than 220 million to add free agents Javier Beaz and Eduardo Rodriguez to a team that includes exciting prospects Spencer Turkelson and Riley Green. The Tigers had six games above the .500 mark after losing 22 of their first 30 games in 2021. A good start in 2022 and could fight Detroit.
Regular season wins: over 76.5 -112 Below 76.5 -112
Fangraph projection: 77 wins
Won’t they trade All-Star Jose Ramirez? This is the key story for parents in 2022. Cleveland is one of the youngest teams in baseball and will need boys like Bobby Bradley and James Korinchak to make an impact if they hope to compete for the wild card.
Kansas City Royals
Regular season wins: over 74.5 -111 Below 74.5 -111
Fangraph projection: 75 wins
The Royals are in a rematch but at least fans will see Bobby Witt Jr. as the No. 2 prospect in baseball will be on their opening day list. Witt Jr. is an early favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year. Kansas City also brought back the Cy Young Award winners and their 2002 first-round draft pick Zack Greinke and starting pitcher Mike Minor in an attempt to keep the 2022 honors.
My Preferences: I’ll ride here with chalk. The White Sox are not only the best team in this division, they are arguably the best team in the AL. If Chicago can stay healthy, I think they’ll run away with Central and I’ll drop the juice and take them to -217.
American League West: Division Winners (Regular Season)
Los Angeles +347
• Oakland +2390
Regular season wins: over 92.5 -110 | Below 92.5 -115
Fangraph projection: 89 wins
Houston lost to Korea, Greenke and Emmy Garcia but still has a rock-solid core. The Astros are legitimate contenders for a group that includes Alex Bragman, Jose Altuv, Kyle Tucker and Jordan Alvarez. The rotation also includes the possible return of Justin Verlander. Houston is looking for its fourth World Series appearance in the last six seasons.
Los Angeles Angeles
Regular season wins: over 83.5 -116 | Below 83.5 -104
Fangraph projection: 83 wins
The Angles is a club that has a ton of star power but has had very few results lately. Hallows features AL MVP Shohei Ohtani and All-Star Anthony Randon. Angels also needs Trott to play more than the 89 games he has played in the last two seasons. Former NY Mets pitcher Noah Cindergard should help strengthen a slim rotation in LA.
Regular season wins: over 83.5 -125 | Below 83.5 -111
Fangraph projection: 80 wins
The Mariners had a surprise in 2021 and they were in the play-off race until the last weekend of the season. Seattle made a big acquisition with AL Cy Young Award winner Ray and All-Star outfielder Jesse Pinker in the off-season. Tie France and outfielder Mitch Hanniger will have to build their Breakout 2021 campaign to keep the Mariners competitive.
Regular season wins: over 64.5 +100 Below 74.5 -132
Fangraph projection: 75 wins
The Rangers have been busy adding Semiens, Corey Cigar, John Gray and Cole Calhoun this off-season. Adolis Garcia is also an exciting strength bat, but their lineup is not deep after Garcia, Cigar and Semian. Pitching should again be a big issue for the Rangers in 2022 after posting the 4.80 Team Era in 2021.
Regular season wins: over 70.5 -111 | Below 70.5 -125
Fangraph projection: 70 wins
The A’s have completely disassociated this off-season and are ahead of Chapman, Matt Olson, Sterling Marte, Mark Canha, Josh Harrison and pitchers Chris Bassitt and Shawn Mania. It will be a season to keep an eye on the latest prospects that Billy Bean has come up with and whether they will make an impact on the big league clubs. It should be a painful season in Oakland.
My Preferences: Will the angels return to the post-trout season this year? I think so. Houston still looks good, but if Trout and Cindergard are healthy and play to their potential, I think Los Angeles can beat AL West. I’ll take Halos here to +347.
World Series winners (American League only)
Chicago White Sox +1128
New York Yankees +1135
Tampa Bay +1386
Los Angeles Angeles +2780
• Cleveland +6580
Kansas City +7910
• Oakland +9700
My Preferences: Tampa at +1386 is the standard pick for me here. The Blue Jays, White Sox, Astros and Yankees look better on paper, but we say that seemingly going to the baseball season every year. Rashmi won 100 games last season and still has enough depth to be a real threat in the American League. Plug your nose and take the tampa.