Every team in the American League has played at least 30 games, marking nearly one-fifth of the season standings off the schedule while giving baseball fans a much better idea about potential postseason contenders.
Hot starts by teams like the Houston Astros and New York Yankees have elevated them into the American League pennant discussion. Conversely, teams which were expected to contend have fallen flat, including a pair of playoff participants from last year in the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers.
Online sportsbook Bovada continuously updates its betting odds for Major League Baseball’s pennant races, and as of today, the Cleveland Indians (+325) hold a familiar position atop the list. After representing the AL in last year’s World Series – and nearly knocking off the Chicago Cubs before relinquishing a 3-1 series lead – the Tribe lead the Central by just 0.5 games over the Minnesota Twins (+2200).
Cleveland’s 18-15 record isn’t all that impressive, but as the disparity in odds between them and Minnesota suggests, Bovada likes the Indians to return to their AL Champion form by season’s end.
Hot on their heels is a Houston Astros (+350) team that has taken the West, and the entire AL for that matter, by storm to start the season. Their record of 23-11 gives Houston a big six-game divisional lead over the Seattle Mariners (+1800), and the ‘Stros hold a 1.5-game lead over the entire AL. As usual, Houston is taking the term “home field advantage” to the extreme, compiling a 14-6 record at Minute Maid Park.
The next two teams atop Bovada’s pennant chase rankings are familiar foes, as the Boston Red Sox (+375) and New York Yankees (+475) have renewed their age-old battle for AL East supremacy.
Powered by the 13-home run barrage of second-year star Aaron Judge, the Bronx Bombers are living up to their name once again after a disappointing 2016 campaign.
Their 21-10 record is actually 4.5 games better than Boston’s at 18-16, but Bovada expects newly acquired ace Chris Sale to continue his early dominance for a possible Cy Young run. If the Red Sox get the same heavy strikeout totals and sub-2.00 ERA that Sale has posted thus far, the backward rankings of the Red Sox and Yankees would seem to make sense.
Interestingly enough, the Baltimore Orioles (+900) are even with the Yankees in the standings, and they have more wins at 22-11, but Bovada puts them third in the pennant race among AL East division opponents.
The Indians, Astros, and the East trifecta are the only teams Bovada tabs at better than 10 to 1 against. And considering that the next two teams on the list – the Detroit Tigers (+1800) and Seattle Mariners (+1800) – offer odds that are twice as high, the AL pennant race appears to be formed by just five teams.
As mentioned in the introduction, a pair of playoff teams from 2016 have failed to get out of the gate, as the Toronto Blue Jays (+2500) and Texas Rangers (+3300) have stumbled to records of 13-21 and 15-20, respectively.
2017 American League Pennant Odds
|Team||AL Pennant Odds on 5/11|
|Boston Red Sox||+375|
|New York Yankees||+475|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+4000|
|Kansas City Royals||+5000|
|Chicago White Sox||+10000|