MLB Picks for AL East: Futures Odds & Early Forecast

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 8:28 PM GMT

We’re going to be examining the American League East futures odds in this upcoming article. Find out who we like as our favorite, and also the chances of the other four teams in the division.

Odds to win the American League East
Boston Red Sox +190
Toronto Blue Jays +275
Baltimore +350
New York Yankees +450
Tampa Bay Rays +700

 

Always Balk at Betting on “The Chalk”
There’s nothing that I despite more pertaining to sports betting than siding with a prohibitive MLB odds favorite. Especially when we’re talking about a MLB futures wager before the season begins. Baseball encompasses the longest regular season schedule of all major sports with each team playing 162-games. There are numerous ebbs and flows, and unexpected miscellaneous factors which possibly can occur during the course of six month agenda. However, as in all sports betting scenarios, there are exceptions to every rule, and you must be willing on a few occasions to cast aside your personal preferences in order to attain positive results.

 

Fenway Favorite
Staying with the theme of prohibitive favorites, there’s not a whole lot of value in wagering on a team at +190 regarding MLB futures, and especially prior to the start of a season. Despite that being the case, I’ve analyzed the AL East on numerous occasions over the past couple of weeks, and each time my conclusions have led me to the Boston Red Sox being my choice. The projected top six hitters (Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Mike Napoli) in their batting order are downright scary if all are able to perform up to their past standards.

 

2015 Red Sox Starting Pitching Rotation has Potential
The starting pitching rotation is capable of being very good. A lot will hinge on Clay Buchholz in those regards. Hopefully for the Red Sox sake, Buchholz returns to the form he displayed in 2013 when Boston won the World Series. During that banner year, Buchholz was 12-1 with a superb 1.74 ERA. Veteran hurlers Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Justin Masterson are all very capable of putting together solid years. The youngster Joe Kelly acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at last season’s trade deadline may end up being the best of the bunch when it’s all said and done. The back end of the Boston bullpen will be very relaible with closer Koji Uehara and setup man Junichi Tazawa.

 

North of the Border for Second Choice
If you put the proverbial gun to my head, and asked me what team is the most capable of finishing ahead of Boston in the AL East, my choice would be the Toronto Blue Jays (+275). Similar to Boston, the Blue Jays projected top five hitters (Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson) in the batting order can certainly keep opposing pitching staffs up at night. Unfortunately one of their offseason acquisitions Michael Saunders sustained a broken foot in a freak accident at home last week, and will start the year on the disabled list. The Blue Jays were counting on Saunders to infuse left-handed power into the lineup. He very well may end up doing so, but the Blue Jays will have to wait patiently for him to fully recover. My main concern pertaining to Toronto’s chances is their pitching staff, and I believe that will ultimately be their Achilles heel.

 

Baltimore waiting in the Wings
If both the Red Sox and Blue Jays stub their toes, the defending AL East champions Baltimore Orioles are certainly capable of taking advantage. This projected batting order possesses plenty of power, and with no pun intended will be a hit or miss escapade on most nights. I’m not sold on their starting pitching rotation whatsoever. I do believe the Orioles have potentially the best bullpen in the division.

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Steer Clear of Yankees and Rays
Once the hype of Alex Rodriguez returning to the Yankees (+450) this season subsides, cruel reality will set in for the overvalued Bronx Bombers and their avid fans. This is an aging projected batting order filled with hitters that will have seen their better days. The top three in the starting pitching rotation of C.C. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, and Michael Pineda have the makings of a formidable trio. However, each of those hurlers is coming off some sort of season ending injury in 2014. This is the weakest looking Yankees bullpen in possibly the last twenty seasons.

The Tampa Bay Rays (+700) have a less than imposing projected 2015 batting order with the exception of Evan Longoria. It would be difficult to envision Longoria having a big year with a lack of protection surrounding him in the lineup. I do like the young arms in the starting rotation, and the Rays bullpen will be solid. The burden of the pitching staff having to overcome a lack of run support will undoubtedly take a toll.