The most fun division in the American League has got to be the one out west. It contains arguably the best team in baseball and, inarguably, the best player in baseball this season. A couple of squads are surprisingly competitive, and there is still a real race here for the division title. So who’s the best value pick to win it in the end? Let’s dive into the odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and discuss.
- Houston Astros (54-34) —
- Oakland Athletics (50-39) 4.5 GB
- Seattle Mariners (46-42) 8.0 GB
- Los Angeles Angels (44-42) 9.0 GB
- Texas Rangers (34-53) 19.5 GB
Analysis: The Mariners (+2700) and Angels (+4000) aren’t going to the playoffs, but they have both been enjoyable to watch this year. Seattle’s future looks incredibly bright, especially once Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Logan Gilbert and a host of other youngsters come into their own together. And obviously, there has been no player more enjoyable to watch this season than the magical Shohei Ohtani. Let’s hope Mike Trout returns to action shortly after the All-Star break and stays healthy, because those two together ... just the thought is so exciting.
But ultimately, the division will be decided between two teams: The Astros and the Athletics.
AL West Division winner odds
Analysis: And maybe the Astros (-625) have already sewn this thing up. They are 9-4 versus Oakland this year, leaving the A’s (+400) with only six chances to directly gain ground for the rest of the year. All of those games come within the final two weeks of the season. The Astros have five hitters who rank among the top 30 in weighted runs created plus, a starting rotation that leads the AL in ERA and WHIP, and an All-Star closer in Ryan Pressly. Barring a spate of injuries or other bad luck, it’s going to be a tall order for the A’s to get atop this division. Matt Olson is having a big year at the plate, and starters Sean Manaea and Chris Bassitt have an argument to be All-Stars. Oakland should add another bat at the Trade Deadline — Nelson Cruz, perhaps? — as well as some bullpen help, But even with those reinforcements, it’s probably not enough. The A’s are a good team. Unfortunately for them, the Astros may be the most complete team in MLB.
Betting value: Astros, -625
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