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AL Odds & Predictions 2023 | American League Pennant & Division Winner Futures Bets

Posted: Sep 12, 2022Last updated: Sep 12, 2022

For the AL Pennant, figuring out the best bets is trickier than figuring out the best divisional bets. Even though to some degree, the best divisional bets are correlated with the best pennant bets, the pennant race is a whole different animal.

Most of the American League is set in stone with one month in the regular season. The New York Yankees and Houston Astros are a near lock to win their divisions, and the winner of the AL Central is likely to be an underdog during the playoffs.

To win the AL Pennant, teams must make the playoffs and win either two or three rounds. This year, the playoffs format is different as six teams will make it in the American League, as opposed to the old format where only five AL teams made the playoffs.

The two division winners with the best record get a first-round bye, but the remaining 3-6 seeds must win a three-game playoff series to advance to the American League Divisional Series. In the three-game playoff series, the lower-seeded team hosts all three games at home.

This new format benefits higher seeded teams more than the previous format. That is because there are more teams in the playoffs, and if a non-divisional winner makes the playoffs with a good record, then they can host all three games at home.

Once the first round of the playoffs is over, it goes back to the old playoff format where the ALDS is two best-of-five games series, and the ALCS is a best-of-seven games series.

Read below to find out about my favorite AL Pennant and Division bets.

AL Pennant Winner Odds

American League Pennant winner MLB odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook (unless otherwise specified) and are current as of Sept. 8.

  • Houston Astros (+155)
  • New York Yankees (+200)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (+750)
  • Seattle Mariners (+850)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (+1200)
  • Cleveland Guardians (+2500)
  • Chicago White Sox (+3500)
  • Minnesota Twins (+3500)
  • Baltimore Orioles (+5000)
  • Boston Red Sox (+25000)
  • Los Angeles Angels (+250000)
  • Texas Rangers (+250000)
  • Kansas City Royals (+250000)
  • Detroit Tigers (+250000)

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AL Pennant Winner Simulation

TeamPennant %Pennant Odds
Houston Astros33.90%195
New York Yankees33.80%196
Tampa Bay Rays12.30%715
Toronto Blue Jays10.20%882
Seattle Mariners5.20%1831
Cleveland Guardians2.00%4961
Minnesota Twins1.70%5824
Baltimore Orioles0.80%11919
Field0.10%100000

AL Pennant Winner Prediction 2023

New York Yankees (+200) at Caesars

The Yankees and Astros win the American League Pennant in 68.3% of my simulations. In a possible ALCS, who would win, the Bronx Bombers or the Astronauts?

I have been going back and forth all season, but I give the edge to the Yankees. The issue now is that after a slump, the Yankees are unlikely to have the 1 seed in the playoffs, meaning the Astros would have home-field advantage in a potential ALCS.

The good news for the Yankees is that they have the 2 seed in 99.1% of my simulations. With a coveted first-round bye and home-field in the ALDS, New York should qualify for the ALCS.

The Yankees hitters have a wRC+ of 114, which in plain english means they create 14% more runs than the average MLB team. Among American League teams, only the Blue Jays have a better wRC+.

Even though my model gives me only a 0.7% edge on the Yankees winning the pennant, my gut tells me this is a better bet than my model suggests, making this our MLB bet of the day.

AL Pennant Winner Contenders 2023

Tampa Bay Rays (+1200) at Caesars Sportsbook

For years my model had never been crazy about the Tampa Bay Rays, but my model likes them this year.

The Rays have a decent lineup led by infielders Wander Franco, Yandy Diaz, and Brandon Lowe. Additionally, they have strong hitters in the outfield in Randy Arozarena and Austin Meadows.

With a wRC+ of 105, they are slightly above average offensively. This is encouraging for a 12-1 long shot to win the pennant.

Even though Tampa has some hitting, their pitching is the franchise’s crown jewel. Rays pitchers collectively have an xFIP of 3.64, the 2nd best in the AL. As a statistic, xFIP is like ERA but better as it neutralizes ERA to reflect how many runs pitchers should allow for every nine innings when you factor out ballpark effects and fielding.

The Rays are not a good bet to win their division due to the Yankees’ dominance in the standings, but they are a great bet at +1200 to win the AL Pennant, as my model gives them a 12.2% chance.


See the latest MLB futures odds and picks


AL East Winner Odds 2023

  • New York Yankees (-1600)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (+1100)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (+1400)
  • Baltimore Orioles (+30000)
  • Boston Red Sox (+75000)
TeamDivision Win %Breakeven Odds
New York Yankees99.9%-86107
Tampa Bay Rays0.1%+86107
Toronto Blue Jays0.0%Infinity
Baltimore Orioles0.0%Infinity
Boston Red Sox0.0%Infinity

AL East Winner Prediction 2023

New York Yankees (-1600) at Caesars Sportsbook

The Yankees win the AL East in 99.9% of my simulations. At (-1600), they are a great value to win the division as the breakeven odds of -1600 are around 94%.

I am a little hesitant to back the Bronx Bombers at such a hefty price as the Rays have been surging, but based on my model, this is the best bet.

AL Central Winner Odds 2023

  • Cleveland Guardians (-160)
  • Chicago White Sox (+275)
  • Minnesota Twins (+350)
  • Detroit Tigers (+150000)
  • Kansas City Royals (+150000)
TeamDivision Win %Breakeven Odds
Cleveland Guardians74.4%-290
Minnesota Twins21.6%+362
Chicago White Sox4%+2388
Detroit Tigers0.0%Infinity
Kansas City Royals0.0%Infinity

AL Central Winner Prediction 2023

Minnesota Twins (+350) at Betway Sportsbook

Going into the season, I bet on the Twins at (+750) to win the AL Central. Minnesota had a sizeable divisional lead for a while during the season, but now they are in 2nd place.

The key for Minnesota will be how they do this coming weekend in their series with the 1st place Cleveland Guardians. If they win the series or sweep, they have a chance to win the division.

In the playoffs, I don’t have much faith in the Twins. Although the difference is at +350, they are a great bet to win a wide-open division.

Author

Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is a Betting Analyst at The Game Day residing in Hoboken, NJ. Previously a Bronx resident, Kevin got his start betting on sports at his local Bronx barbershop. When sports betting was legalized across the river in Jersey, Kevin was there on the ground floor making regular trips to the Hoboken PATH station or for soup dumplings in Fort Lee. Previously, Kevin has written for The Action Network, and Vegas Insider.

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