There is a good possibility that three American League East teams will make the postseason in 2016, just like last year with the National League Central. Whether or not one of them wins the pennant remains to be seen, but all three are among the favorites to advance to the World Series at online sportsbook Bovada.
The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays have been in a virtual tie atop the division, although oddsmakers think the latter has the best chance of any AL East team to win the pennant at +425 betting odds (bet $100 to win $425). The Orioles and Boston Red Sox – who are 1.5 games behind them – are both listed at +700 to reach the World Series while the other two division leaders lead the pack as the top favorites.
The AL West-leading Texas Rangers are +275 to get back to the World Series for the third time in seven years. The Rangers lost to the San Francisco Giants 4-1 in the 2010 World Series and then fell 4-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals the following season. They are pinning their hopes on a makeshift rotation that has seen starters Yu Darvish and Colby Lewis each spend time on the disabled list. If Darvish and Lewis are healthy heading into the playoffs, they will form one of the best one-two punches of any AL team.
The AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians are battling the Detroit Tigers for the division crown but have cooled off since a strong run at the end of June and into July saw them win 14 in a row. The Indians are the +350 second choice to win the pennant with the Tigers sixth at +1100. Detroit has played very well in the second half and could also steal one of the Wild Card spots away from the AL East. The Houston Astros (+1400) and Seattle Mariners (+1800) are the only other teams with a shot at the Wild Card.
The defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox are both listed at +7500 after they were the early contenders to win the AL Central. The New York Yankees are +4000 and do not look to be much of a threat to any of the teams ahead of them in the AL East, especially following the MLB trade deadline. The Yankees dealt away relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman before the deadline and have since seen first baseman Mark Teixeira announce his retirement effective at the end of the season while Alex Rodriguez is set to be released by the team.
The Red Sox might be the most intriguing pick to win the pennant and return to the World Series for the second time in four years. Boston’s David Ortiz is playing his final season and has put together an outstanding campaign as he looks to win his fourth World Series title. Ortiz was named the 2013 World Series MVP and could end a Hall of Fame career with another championship if the team’s pitching comes together.