Odds to win the AL East: Blue Jays only trail Yankees
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays have the second-best odds to win the World Series. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays have the second-best odds to win the World Series. Photo by Chris O'Meara/AP.

The American League East was won by a healthy seven-game margin last season, but we could be looking at a closer race this year.

The latest: The New York Yankees are favoured to win the AL East for the third time in five seasons, while the Tampa Bay Rays could bounce back after an off-year in 2022. The Toronto Blue Jays are in the mix after some notable offseason tweaks.

Here are the latest AL East odds.

AL East odds

Check out the latest odds to win the AL East. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.

TeamOdds (Mar. 20)Odds (Mar. 18)
New York Yankees+100+100
Toronto Blue Jays+215+215
Tampa Bay Rays+325+325
Baltimore Orioles+2,100+2,100
Boston Red Sox+2,200+2,200

MLB odds as of 11:54 a.m. on 03/20/2023.

Best AL East odds

The favourite: Yankees (+100)

New York won this division by seven games a year ago, is bringing back basically the same team with a couple of bullpen arms leaving and Carlos Rodon joining the rotation.

This team looks modestly improved on paper, but it will have a hard time replicating some elements of its 2022 success. Aaron Judge is likely to take a step back after his historic 62 home-run campaign and age-related regression is a serious concern for this group.

Four of the team's nine projected starters — Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks (plus super-utility man DJ LaMahieu) — are 33 or older. Injuries have been an issue for New York in the past and they're likely to be again.

That said, a rotation headed by Gerrit Cole and Rodon that also includes Nestor Cortes Jr. and Luis Severino should be nothing short of outstanding — if it can stay healthy. Rodon is already dealing with a strained forearm that could keep him out until May. The bullpen looks solid despite the losses of Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and Miguel Castro.

New York should be able to keep runs off the board. Scoring them could be an issue at times.

Other AL East choices

Best value: Rays (+325)

The Blue Jays may be the second-best team in the division behind the Yankees, but the gap between Toronto and Tampa Bay is smaller than these odds suggest.

FanGraphs is projecting the Rays for a similar win total (86.7) than the Blue Jays (87.4) and giving the team a 23.1% chance of winning the division.

Tampa Bay also has a history of overperforming projects due to an ability to play matchups better than any other team in the league and squeeze the most out of its players with creative strategies.

In a season where MLB is undergoing several rule changes, it would surprise no one if Tampa Bay found a way to get ahead of the curve and find an edge.

Team to watch: Blue Jays (+215)

Toronto should challenge for the AL East division crown after remaking its roster in the offseason.

The additions of Daulton Varsho, Brandon Belt and Kevin Kiermaier give the Blue Jays some left/right balance in their lineup and turn outfield defence from a weakness to a strength.

There is some cost associated with these moves, though, as Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. leaving town are likely to weaken this team's offence — and put more pressure on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as the team's only elite power threat.

Swapping Ross Stripling for Chris Bassitt in the rotation should be more or less a wash and the bullpen has been bolstered by the additions of Erik Swan and Chad Green, though Green is coming off Tommy John surgery and won't be available for some time.

Toronto has a strong core of position players and the duo of Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah atop its rotation is among the best in the majors. The biggest question marks surrounding the team are Jose Berrios and Yusei Kikuchi's ability to rebound from career-worst seasons and whether the bullpen still lacks high-leverage arms.

The Blue Jays came seven games short of a division title in 2022, and they'll likely be closer this time around. They would still need a few things to break their way to win the AL East for the first time since 2015, though.

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