With MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred vowing that “baseball will be back” on what would’ve been Opening Day, now is a good time to look at how the market is projecting the upcoming baseball season on a division-by-division basis.
AL East Odds
Red Sox +1000
Blue Jays +6600
In a nutshell: Back-to-back 100-win seasons — coupled with hooking the biggest free agent of the offseason in Gerrit Cole — makes the Yankees the team to beat. But the Rays, who have quietly won 90 and 96 games the past two years and added a stout bat in first baseman Jose Martinez, shouldn’t be counted out. The Red Sox, who have lost MVP Mookie Betts (trade) and fireballer Chris Sale (Tommy John surgery), probably should.
AL Central Odds
White Sox +350
In a nutshell: The Twins are poised to bash their way to a second straight AL Central title, but it won’t be a cakewalk. The Indians still boast the core of a team that’s won three of the past four division crowns and went 93-69 last year while just missing out on a playoff berth. And the White Sox, already teeming with young talent, added some key glue guys like All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal and former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel.
AL West Odds
In a nutshell: The Angels made the biggest free agent splash other than the Yankees, landing slugger Anthony Rendon to create arguably the best 1-2 punch in baseball alongside Mike Trout. But all eyes will be on the Astros, who, despite being engulfed in scandal, still have a roster loaded with talent. And the A’s, similar to the Rays, represent one of the most perennially underrated teams.
NL East Odds
In a nutshell: The Mets suffered a major blow when it was announced that ace Noah Syndergaard was undergoing Tommy John surgery, but this division is nonetheless full of intrigue. The Braves are in search of their third straight title, but the defending champion Nats and revamped Phillies (hello, Didi Gregorius and Zack Wheeler) may have something to say about that.
NL Central Odds
In a nutshell: In what should be the tightest, wackiest and most fun division to follow this season, the only thing that appears certain is the Bucs won’t win it. But given that the campaign figures to be significantly truncated, even that declaration may be a stretch.
NL West Odds
In a nutshell: Two things worth remembering: 1) There’s no crying in baseball; and 2) The Dodgers always win the NL West. The former has been a truism since Jimmy Dugan famously uttered the words, and the latter since 2012 – the last time LA wasn’t crowned Best in the West.