With the dust settled after the first half, it’s safe to say the American League East is the best division in baseball. All five teams are well over .500, and there is a realistic chance four of them punch their tickets to the postseason.
Below we will use DraftKings Sportsbook to provide current World Series odds.
Tampa Bay Rays -210
It’s the Tampa Bay Rays division to lose heading into the second half of the season. They lead the Baltimore Orioles by just two games but have a run differential of +149. Star position players Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco, and Yandy Diaz lead the charge. The three combined for 40 home runs in the first half while all posting an OPS between .797-.923. The Rays also do a fantastic job of getting their other position players in positions to succeed. Harold Ramirez has smacked nine bombs, Isaac Paredes is slugging .504, and Luke Raley has an OPS of .924. The health of star pitcher Shane McClanahan is worth monitoring as he is currently on the shelf with a back injury.
Baltimore Orioles +400
The Baltimore Orioles could make a push if the Tampa Bay rotation continues to lose players to injury. The Orioles are amidst a successful youth movement. Star catcher Adley Rutschman, Rookie of the Year candidate Gunnar Henderson, and top prospects Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg have turned the Baltimore lineup into one of the deepest in baseball. Baltimore also has an elite back-end of the rotation with Yennier Cano (1.48 ERA) and Felix Bautista (1.07 ERA).
Toronto Blue Jays +750
The Toronto Blue Jays sit seven games back of the Tampa Bay Rays heading into the second half. However, at 50-41, it isn’t because of a lack of talent. Offensively they are chock-full of heavy hitters like Bo Bichette, Vlad Guerrero Jr., and Matt Chapman. They also have George Springer and Whit Merrifield hitting for average. The pitching has done well, especially with the resurgence of Jose Berrios. Unfortunately, last year’s Cy Young candidate, Alek Manoah, has been brutal this season, resulting in his demotion. He did bounce back nicely in his return, firing six innings of one-run ball against Detroit.
New York Yankees +1000
The New York Yankees struggled to end the first half without the services of star outfielder Aaron Judge. The 2022 AL MVP is out with a toe injury, and there is no timetable for his return. He had a ludicrous 1.078 OPS before he went down. They have also suffered injuries in the rotation to Frankie Montas and Nestor Cortes. If they got healthy, they could work towards the AL East crown, but that’s a big if.
Boston Red Sox +4500
If there were any other division in the American League, the Boston Red Sox would have a chance. However, they are dead last in the AL East. The likelihood of them trading off assists, like starting pitcher James Paxton, is high.