2023 AL East Division Betting Report: Yankees Hold Off Blue Jays, Others Have Too Many Questions

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Harrison Bader of the Yankees celebrates his home run with Aaron Judge during ALCS game on October 23, 2022. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

The best guess is that the AL East will be just fine with all five teams in this division, which is better with the rest of the divisions in the American League, which are now playing essentially the same schedule as everyone else.

The rivalries in the AL East will be as intense as ever, just not as often as in the past.

Here is a look at each team’s MLB futures betting odds and where they will finish based on our baseball predictions.

All MLB futures odds in this article are based on projections from BetOnline. (visit our BetOnline Review)

Key Takeaways

  • Will the Yankees win the AL East or could Toronto surprise?
  • Tampa Bay feels unsettled.
  • The Red Sox could go from bad to worse.

New York Yankees

  • Win AL East: (+105) 1st
  • Win AL: (+375) 2nd
  • Win World Series: (+700) 2nd
  • Season Win Total: Over/Under 94.5 Wins

Some feel the Yankees didn’t do enough in the off-season to close the gap on Houston in the American League and that Toronto, in particular, has drawn ever closer.

Others point to keeping Aaron Judge in the Big Apple and signing Carlos Rodon, which keeps the offense intact and improves the overall starting pitching.

In surveying the Bronx Bombers, they will still be among the best offenses in baseball, the starting staff should be better with a presumed full season from Luis Severino and Rodon hitting 30 starts to go along with Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes Jr.

Yankees Keys:

  • Bullpen Closer
  • Hitting for Contact
  • Fewer Gopher Balls Allowed

The bullpen has no shortage of talented and at least useful arms and there are enough moving parts on the roster to fill spots where holes might pop up.

The real concern is this. Are the Yankees built to win championships or are they a better full-season team where their weaknesses are exposed in the postseason?

The Pinstripes are an OVER play for season wins, but reaching the World Series is another matter.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Win AL East: (+220) 2nd
  • Win AL: (+800) 3rd
  • Win World Series: (+1400) 7th
  • Season Win Total: Over/Under 91.5 Wins

Toronto did a lot right in the off-season to bolster their chances of competing with the Yankees.

The Blue Jays added Chris Bassitt, which moves a declining Jose Berrios out of the Top 3 and that will be a help in various series all season.

The outfield defense should be improved with Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier, while Erik Swanson improves the overall bullpen. Brandon Belt is not the player he used to be, but as a DH, he knows what to do at the dish.

Blue Jays Need: Clubhouse Leadership

The Blue Jays have shown they can compete with the best, now it needs leadership from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Whit Merrifield, Bo Bichette, or Matt Chapman to help this team shorten team slumps and play better in the biggest games, both in the regular season and postseason.

The pieces are in place to make a serious run at the Yankees and maybe more, but does Toronto have the mental aspect to take the next step

The Win total is probably OVER, all other MLB bets look in season.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Win AL East: (+325) 3rd
  • Win AL: (+850) 4th
  • Win World Series: (+1600) 9th
  • Season Win Total: Over/Under 89 Wins

For the first time in several seasons, Tampa Bay did not exceed its projected win total of 89.5, reaching 86 in 2022. This had become no look wager, pick the Rays over win total and collect at the end of the season, simple.

However, last season’s 21st-ranked offense (it seemed even worse) was thoroughly shut down by Cleveland in the postseason (one run, 24 innings).

No question, injuries Brandon Lowe, Wander Franco, and Manuel Margot kept the Rays offense from reaching its likely full potential, still, there were so many strikeouts and weak contact, it was hard to watch.

If the offense only marginally improves, once again the pitching staff will have to foster the load. On a computer screen, that seems possible with Shane McClanahan, Tyler Glasnow, and Jeffrey Springs.

Why Tampa Bay overpaid for Zach Eflin is a mystery to be their 4th or 5th starter, but given the history of this franchise with pitching, they must have seen something they can correct.

As always, a fascinating team.

Just not sure if you pencil in Tampa Bay for an auto-bet anymore. Lean UNDER.

Boston Red Sox

  • Win AL East: (+4500) T-4th
  • Win AL: (+1800) 9th
  • Win World Series: (+4000) 20th
  • Season Win Total: Over/Under 78.5 Wins

If you are puzzled about what the Boston Red Sox are doing, you have company. Since winning the 2018 World Series, they’ve shown little interest at the given time to keep their best players, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. Both are wearing different uniforms in 2023.

They signed free agent Trevor Story and attempted to convert him into a second baseman which worked out like Maine lobster on a peanut butter sandwich.

Story is the Red Sox shortstop this season. Rafael Devers has turned into a great hitter, though more attention at 3B would help the defense. After that, where does the consistent offense come from even if former Dodger Justin Turner adds 30 dingers as the DH?

Boston Starting Pitching: A Dumpster Fire Waiting to Happen

Without writing 1,000 words on this, given the recent past and age of starting pitchers Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock, and James Paxton, name two hurlers you would count on to make 20 starts this season, let alone be effective?

Like last year, the bullpen will be good until July, and then the heavy workload wears down everyone. Kenley Jansen as closer?

Bet the UNDER for your MLB picks.

Baltimore Orioles

  • Win AL East: (+1600) T-4th
  • Win AL: (+2200) 11th
  • Win World Series: (+6000) 21st
  • Season Win Total: Over/Under 77.5 Wins

After five consecutive losing seasons, Baltimore seemed destined for another last year after a 24-35 start. Instead of folding as usual, the Orioles began playing winning baseball and on the Saturday before Labor Day, the O’s were 71-61 (47-26 stretch) and had a shot at the wild card. Though they slipped a bit late, it was the Birds first winning campaign since 2016.

Having brought up a group of young players that were deemed ready, Baltimore looks to follow that up with another winning season and see further growth without taking a step backward. That is not as simple as it sounds after making a head-scratching 31-game improvement.

Catcher Adley Rutschman is a stud, 1B Ryan Mountcastle is a key power source and 3B Gunnar Henderson at 21 is just scratching his potential. Outfielder Anthony Santander has power and hits mistakes, yet, he’s a DH waiting to happen with Kyle Stowers being an even worse fielder.

It seems how the starting pitcher performs will seal the Orioles’ fate.

Hurlers like Kyle Braddish and Dean Kremer overachieved and does Kyle Gibson have much left at 35 as a soft-tosser? It seems best to Pass on the O’s.

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.