It wasn’t surprising to see the New York Yankees in the playoffs last year, but what was surprising is how they got there. Instead of spending the big bucks like years past, the Yanks used homegrown talent to make a run to the ALCS. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez took giants leaps forward, and Luis Severino proved to be a legitimate ace. On the other hand, they are heading into 2018 with a new manager with no coaching experience, and the Boston Red Sox are nipping at their heels for the AL East crown.
New York Yankees (-140)
The Yankees utilized youth to surprise people in 2017, but after a blockbuster trade that landed home run leader Giancarlo Stanton in pinstripes, New York looks to reclaim its spot atop the AL East. Stanton and Judge finished 1-2 in home runs last season. The only question mark for this team is whether or not Aaron Boone has what it takes to lead them to the promise land.
Boston Red Sox (+130)
Boston is not going to sit back and watch the Yankees take over the East. The Red Sox signed a big-time power hitter themselves in J.D. Martinez, who had one of the best second halves of baseball in league history with the Diamondbacks last season. With Chris Sale and David Price heading up the rotation, Craig Kimbrel locking down the ninth, and players like Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. handling the rest, Boston is very much in World Series contention.
Toronto Blue Jays (+1000)
The Blue Jays had high expectations the last few years, bolstering a powerful lineup of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Troy Tulowitzki. Losing a couple of those hitters, on top of a struggling rotation, will not bode well for this Canadian franchise. They certainly possess the talent to make a push for the playoffs, but the division crown may be a bit out of reach.
Tampa Bay Rays (+4000)
Tampa Bay surprised a lot of people a decade ago, when the Joe Maddon-led team overcame a low budget to advance all the way to the World Series, but now, the team is back in rebuilding mode. After losing longtime star Evan Longoria this offseason, it looks like the Rays could be sellers at this year’s trade deadline, and the first one to go will most likely be ace Chris Archer.
Baltimore Orioles (+5000)
The Orioles have fallen apart the last couple of years, and news of Manny Machado wanting out of town certainly doesn’t help the matter. Look for Baltimore to sell as well. Machado, Zach Britton, and even Chris Davis may be on their way out in 2018.
*Odds from Bovada as of 3/27/18