American League Divisions Preview: Odds, Best Bets
The Boston Red Sox have won the American League East each of the previous three seasons, parlaying that into their ninth World Series title as well in 2018. However, it is the New York Yankees - not the Red Sox - who are listed as the favorites to win both the AL East title and AL pennant in 2019 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
New York is a slight +100 favorite (bet $100 to win $100) on the AL East division odds to take home its first division championship since 2012 over Boston at +125. The Yankees are also +275 to win the pennant compared to +300 for the Red Sox, who are still tied as the second choice in the league with the Houston Astros while the Cleveland Indians are fourth at +700.
Of those top contenders, the Astros have the easiest chance to capture their third consecutive division title though in the eyes of oddsmakers at -500 (bet $500 to win $100) on the AL West division odds followed by the Indians at -350 on the AL Central division odds. The problem is, those prices are very high to pay unless you feel those teams are a lock to win.
Instead, it would be wise to take a shot on Boston again as the best bet considering New York remains a team with continued high expectations and little to show for it over the past few seasons.
The Yankees did add another quality starting pitcher in James Paxton, but performing at a high level in the spotlight of the Big Apple is much different than out in the Pacific Northwest where he spent the previous six seasons with the Seattle Mariners. In the last six years, New York has finished second four times.
Other sleepers that may be worth a wager to win their divisions include the Los Angeles Angels at +800 in the AL West and the Chicago White Sox at +1400 in the AL Central. If Houston and/or Cleveland are going to falter in 2019, these seem like the most likely teams to take advantage of their demise. Chicago has a lot of young talent, and Los Angeles has a couple stars to rely on in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.