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Breaking down AL East division race heading into final month of MLB season

We take a look at the standings in the East and whether the Yankees or Red Sox can catch the Rays for first place.

Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo of the New York Yankees celebrates after Judge hit a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the ninth inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 28, 2021 in Oakland, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

There are still a few division races up for grabs heading into the final month of the 2021 MLB regular season. One of those divisions is the AL East, which looked like the Tampa Bay Rays were going to run away the crown. However, the New York Yankees, who looked dead in the water before the All-Star break in July, made a couple of major moves at the trade deadline and currently hold the top spot in the AL Wild Card race. The Rays are firmly sitting in first place in the AL East with a seven-game lead over the Yankees.

In addition to those two teams, we can’t forget about the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, who both have their eyes set on getting into the AL Wild Card race. Below, we’ll break down the AL East division race and see where the odds stand at on DraftKings Sportsbook.


Tampa Bay Rays (83-48)
New York Yankees (76-55) — 7.0 GB
Boston Red Sox (75-58) — 9.0 GB
Toronto Blue Jays (69-61) — 13.5 GB

Tampa Bay has been the best team in the American League East and in the majors this season. Last year’s World Series runner-ups have continued to play baseball their way, despite losing ace Tyler Glasnow to a season-ending injury. They have an incredible run differential of +168, which is ranked third behind the Astros (+177) and Dodgers (+211).

The Rays are a strong contender to win the AL pennant this postseason with +360, but keep an eye out on the Yankees, who have the offense to compete with any team if they make it into the playoffs.

Odds to win division

Rays -650
Yankees +550
Red Sox +3500
Blue Jays +20000

Unless the Rays have a monumental collapse in September, they should come away with their second-straight AL East crown. Tampa Bay will play the Red Sox one more time, the Blue Jays twice, and end the season with a three-game series against the Yankees. Could that final weekend series be for the divisional crown? It depends on what the Yankees can do to make up some ground.

After they finish up their series against the Angels, they have a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles and will see them one more time in September. They’ll also face the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers. The Yankees should be able to take care of both of those teams at home, but they still have looming series against Boston and will have to play the Jays two more times.

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