When it comes to the American League East in 2022, you might want to say a little prayer for the Baltimore Orioles.
On paper, the AL East is back to being arguably the best division in all of baseball. The lockout officially is over, which means teams are able to resume building their rosters and must do so in short order with the April 7 opener less than a month away.
As it stands right now, though, bookmakers expect the East to be a four-team heavyweight showdown among four clubs who all have legitimate chances to win the World Series.
Here are the projected win total (over/under) numbers at DraftKings Sportsbook for each team in the division with the divisional odds in parentheses.
New York Yankees — 92.5 (+185)
Toronto Blue Jays — 91.5 (+190)
Tampa Bay Rays — 89.5 (+300)
Boston Red Sox — 85.5 (+550)
Baltimore Orioles — 61.5 (+15000)
That the Red Sox, who beat the Yankees in a one-game playoff before eliminating the Rays in the American League East, have the fourth-best total tells you all you need to know.
Those four teams are also all within the top 12 shortest odds to win the World Series.
It makes sense, too. The Yankees have arguably the best player (Aaron Judge) and best pitcher (Gerrit Cole) and were able to do what they did last season despite a rash of injuries to some really key players. The Blue Jays might have the best roster in the AL East from top to bottom, and it’s just a matter of putting it all together. They’re also a team that’s seemingly connected to everything and everyone within the hot stove season. The same could be said for the Red Sox, who just nearly reached the World Series, while the Rays can never be counted out, either, and might be a stealthy option for some top free agents.
DraftKings Sportsbook also offers a “winning division” prop for the World Series champion, and to the surprise of no one, the AL East is the favorite at +255.