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MLB Expert Betting Prediction on AL East Division in 2017

Written by on June 28, 2017

Some consider the American League East the marquee division in baseball because it holds the big-market New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Maybe, but no AL East team has even reached the World Series since Boston won it in 2013. What can you expect in the AL East the rest of the way? The Red Sox are favorites to win the AL East division this season.

MLB Expert Betting Prediction on AL East Division in 2017

Red Sox Win the AL East Division

As of this writing, Boston and New York are tied atop the AL East but Boston clearly has the better pitching now that David Price is back even with Steven Wright out for the season and Eduardo Rodriguez out until after the All-Star break. The bullpen has been fantastic. It ranks 3rd in the majors in ERA (2.96) behind only CLE (2.53) and LAD (2.92). Boston relievers have not finished a season with an ERA below 3.10 in 50 years (2.90 in 1967). Craig Kimbrel leads the AL in saves and save percentage (95.5, 21-for- 22). He has converted each of his last 15 save opportunities, as well as 40 of his last 41. With a save Monday vs. Minnesota, Kimbrel has now earned at least 1 save against each of the 30 MLB teams. Boston’s lineup is also one of the best in baseball, although there could be a change soon. Red Sox manager John Farrell said recently he wouldn’t rule out using others in the designated hitter spot even after Hanley Ramirez (knee) is able to play. Farrell noted that he didn’t want to “completely turn away from what Hanley did last year,” adding that he thinks he’s “still a key member in our lineup.” Ramirez has struggled vs. lefties, batting only .143/.333/.229, far from his career slash line vs. lefties of .300/.381/.523. Sam Travis could start against lefties.

Rays Could Steal Wild-Card Spot in the AL East

I didn’t think the Tampa Bay Rays would have enough hitting to compete for a wild-card spot this year, but there they are right in the mix. The pitching staff is one of the best in the AL, led by Chris Archer. Tampa has also recently added two new every-day starters in shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and catcher Wilson Ramos to upgrade the lineup and defense. Tampa traded for Hechavarria from the Marlins for minor league outfielder Braxton Lee and right-hander Ethan Clark this week. The 28-year-old has been sidelined for over a month with an oblique injury, but he was slated to make his return this week. He’ll presumably take over as the primary shortstop for the Rays. Hechavarria, who is under team control through 2018, isn’t a great hitter but a fine defender. Meanwhile, catcher Wilson Ramos made his Rays debut over the weekend. Ramos tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last September while playing for the Nationals. When it happened, he was in the final week of a career year in which he batted .307 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs. After signing Ramos to a two-year, $12.5 million deal in December, the Rays finally got a chance to see the 2016 All-Star play. He is a huge upgrade at the position for Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays are underdogs in the AL East to win the division.

Jays Will Never Reach .500

If you follow or bet on the Blue Jays, you are probably pulling your hair out at this point. Why? They have lost nine straight games when having a chance to reach .500 for the first time this season and been outscored 73-24 in those losses. The last was June 21, an 11-4 defeat in Texas. Toronto’s run differential was plus-29 in May but is minus-30 this month. The Jays reached the ALCS the past two years, but with a really tough schedule into the All-Star break, I believe this team will be a seller ahead of the July 31 trade deadline Free-agents- to-be this winter on the Blue Jays are starting pitchers Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano as well as most likely slugger Jose Bautista. After next season, J.A. Happ and Josh Donaldson hit free agency. Donaldson clearly would bring the most in return, especially with another year on his contract. Ownership would love to trim a payroll of more than $186 million that ranks behind only the Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers.

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Latest AL East MLB Betting Trends

Boston Red Sox

  • 12-4 SU in its last 16 games at home
  • The total went UNDER in 4 of Boston’s last 6 games at home
  • Odds to Win AL East Division: TBA
  • Odds to Win AL Conference: TBA

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total went OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 7 games
  • The total went OVER in 15 of Tampa Bay’s last 22 games on the road
  • Odds to Win AL East Division: TBA
  • Odds to Win AL Conference: TBA

Toronto Blue Jays

  • 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
  • 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
  • Odds to Win AL East Division: TBA
  • Odds to Win AL Conference: TBA

Upcoming AL East Schedule

Boston Red Sox

  • June 28th, 2017 vs Minnesota Twins. 7:10pm ET
  • June 29th, 2017 vs Minnesota Twins. 7:10pm ET
  • June 30th, 2017 @ Toronto Blue Jays. 7:07pm ET
  • July 1st, 2017 @ Toronto Blue Jays. 1:07pm ET
  • July 2nd, 2017 @ Toronto Blue Jays. 1:07pm ET

Tampa Bay Rays

  • June 28th, 2017 @ Pittsburgh Pirates. 7:05pm ET
  • June 29th, 2017 @ Pittsburgh Pirates. 7:05pm ET
  • June 30th, 2017 @ Baltimore Orioles. 7:05pm ET
  • July 1st, 2017 @ Baltimore Orioles. 4:05pm ET
  • July 2nd, 2017 @ Baltimore Orioles. 1:35pm ET

Toronto Blue Jays

  • June 28th, 2017 vs Baltimore Orioles. 7:07pm ET
  • June 29th, 2017 vs Baltimore Orioles. 7:07pm ET
  • June 30th, 2017 vs Boston Red Sox. 7:07pm ET
  • July 1st, 2017 vs Boston Red Sox. 1:07pm ET
  • July 2nd, 2017 vs Boston Red Sox. 1:07pm ET

Final AL East MLB Predictions

Even though the Red Sox are the clear favorites to win, it still hasn’t been the greatest season for them. But much can change after the All-Star Break. But until we get ther, be sure to check out more MLB betting guides and predictions for other divisions as well.