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Red Sox Favored, Yankees Might Offer Best Value As Sleeper Pick In AL East Futures

Posted by on 3/9/2015 8:32:43 PM

The Baltimore Orioles dominated the American League East with the second-best record in all of baseball and finished 12 games ahead of the New York Yankees for the No. 1 spot. The days of the Orioles being considered an afterthought in the AL East are a thing of the past but they aren’t expected to have nearly as easy of a team in their division either with as many as four teams that are expected to contend for top spot. Baltimore isn’t even favored to win the division heading in to this year but that could help their value for bettors that want to put a little money on them to repeat as AL East champions. Here is a quick look at what to expect in the AL East this season.

The Favorite

Boston Red Sox +200

The additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval provides instant credibility to the Red Sox order along with familiar names like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz while Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson are expected to hold it down in the starting rotation. The bookies have set Boston’s win total at 86.5 which would mean a 16-game improvement but that might be a lot to ask out of a team that doesn’t have any elite arms and could fall victim to the injury bug with Ramirez a perennial injury risk while both Pedroia and Ortiz are getting up there in years. The Red Sox might be the favorite but there could be better value elsewhere when betting on which team will win the AL East.

The Contenders

Toronto Blue Jays +250

The Blue Jays could very well be the most improved team in the AL East on paper heading in to this season with the additions of Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson and several young promising pitching prospects. The bullpen couldn’t be any worse than it was a year ago and if RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle can hold their own at the top of the starting rotation then Toronto will challenge for the AL East crown.

Baltimore Orioles +350

Baltimore won the division a year ago but lost both Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis from their lineup and won’t have Andrew Miller available out of the bullpen. That said, the Orioles still have enough power in their lineup with Adam Jones and Chris Davis. The rotation might need to be better than it was a year ago but as long as Baltimore’s arms step up they should be able to secure a fourth straight winning season and remain in contention for an AL East title.

Sleeper Pick

New York Yankees +400

The additions of Miller, David Carpenter and Justin Wilson to an already quality group led by Dellin Betances will give the Yankees the best bullpen in the division and if CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka can bounce back it could make them a sleeper pick to win the AL East. Fans in the Bronx aren’t expecting much out of Alex Rodriguez but if he gives them anything it makes a lineup that added Carlos Beltran while retaining Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner even better. The Yankees aren’t stacked like they were in their glory days but there is enough talent there to give them some value as a sleeper pick to win the AL East.

Dark Horse Sleeper Pick

Tampa Bay Rays +700

The days of a dominant rotation keeping the Rays in contention in to September are gone and there are more question marks than answers on a roster that is projected to land in the basement of the AL East. Evan Longoria and Asdrubal Cabrera might give fans a reason to watch in the early going but there are too many holes on this team to expect Tampa Bay to contend with the big boys in 2015.

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