Odds to win the AL East: Orioles open largest lead of the year
The Baltimore Orioles are now very heavy favourites to win the AL East. Photo by Julio Cortez/AP.

The Baltimore Orioles continue to play solid baseball, and now they're huge favourites to maintain their lead in the AL East.

The latest: The Baltimore Orioles took over as the AL East favourite around the start of August, and they hold a three-game lead entering play on Aug. 26. Injuries and off-the-field issues are costing the Tampa Bay Rays big time right now, and the Toronto Blue Jays seem to be fading, too.

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 (Aug. 26)Odds (Aug. 15)Odds (preseason)
Baltimore Orioles-500-305+2,100
Tampa Bay Rays+300+225+300
Toronto Blue Jays+10,000+1,700+190
Boston Red Sox+50,000+20,000+2,200
New York Yankees+50,000+30,000+110

MLB odds as of 2:30 p.m. on 08/26/2023.

Best AL East odds

The favourites: Orioles (-500)

We've been singing the Orioles' praises long before they vaulted into pole position, as this team has hung around the top tier of AL clubs all season.

Well, they're no longer hanging around. Baltimore (80-48) has the league's best record ... who saw that coming?

The O's already have two series wins and a series split against Tampa with four games left against the Rays. Entering play on Aug. 26, Baltimore had a three-game lead in the division — with two games in hand.

One big concern for Baltimore right now is the health of closer Felix Bautista. He left a game on Aug. 25 with arm discomfort, and the team called up another pitcher (DL Hall) the following day. Bautista (33 saves, 1.48 ERA) is a difference-maker, so any absence would be notable.

Other AL East choices

Best value: Rays (+300)

It would be very Raysian to pull this off.

Staff ace Shane McClanahan will miss the rest of the regular season with forearm tightness, adding to an injury-riddled rotation that is down to four arms. McClanahan was an AL Cy Young contender, so his absence looms particularly large for the club.

But wait, there's more. All-star shortstop Wander Franco is currently on the restricted list as the league investigates an alleged inappropriate relationship between Franco and a minor. It's too early to know what will come of that, but for now, the Rays are missing their bWAR leader (5.4).

Still, the Rays are hanging around. Since Franco hit the restricted list on Aug. 14, the team has actually held firm in its deficit to the Orioles.

In Franco's place, 22-year-old shortstop Osleivis Basabe has come up to the bigs and posted a .308/.357/.462 slash line. Tampa has a knack for finding value on the margins, so if any team can overcome some substantial roster churn it might be this club.

Team to watch: Blue Jays (+10,000)

First and foremost, Toronto has to worry about its fellow wild-card contenders as it tries to get back into the postseason. Sitting 10.5 games out of first in the East means the Jays are still technically within striking distance, although the clock is ticking.

And one of the problems is that the Jays have been horrendous against their division mates.

Even with a sweep of the Red Sox this month, Toronto is just 12-25 against AL East foes this year. And sure, the division is a gauntlet, but that's no excuse for a team with World Series aspirations.

Also, the book is closed on the Jays' season series against the Orioles. Baltimore took that series comfortably, 10-3.

Toronto will need some serious help to claw back into the mix.

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