Major League Baseball Betting Analysis and Predictions: American League East

Major League Baseball Betting Analysis and Predictions: American League East
© USA Today

When the baseball regular season begins, the American League East starts with a marquee matchup in the Bronx between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

Last season, the Red Sox won the series 10-9. In that series, the Red Sox had a highly-profitable 5-14 Over-Under record.

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Although this is the best rivalry in MLB each season, three other teams in the AL East have thoughts of a dream season. Let’s dive into the analytics to find the best betting opportunity in the MLB Futures markets.

Who Do the Markets Point to as the AL East Champion in 2022?

The betting community points to the Toronto Blue Jays as the team to beat in the AL East.

Toronto is priced at +180. Next is the Yankees at +230, then the Tampa Bay Rays at +240. Then there is a drop-off to the Red Sox at +600 and finally, the Baltimore Orioles at a whopping +15000.

So, the futures betting odds see this as a three-team divisional race with the potential for the Red Sox to join in the chase.

Why Bet the Red Sox to Win the Division in 2022?

The Rays and Orioles have Top 5 farm systems with an abundance of elite players ready for the jump to the majors.

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However, the Red Sox farm system is vastly underrated. Boston’s system has been below average in the past two decades because they offered up their top prospects in trade deadline deals meant to drive a World Series run.

But the past two seasons, the Red Sox have resisted the temptation to move prospects and instead allowed the Yankees to acquire players that were 20 to 30% overpriced.

Boston’s farm system has improved to Top 10 from a bottom-10 ranking a season ago. It has three elite prospects: Triston Casas, Marcelo Mayer, and Nick Yorke.

It also has several starting pitchers with high potential. Left-handed power pitcher Chris Sale is back in the rotation but has significant tightness in his throwing shoulder and might be out until May.

The young guys might be an X-Factor that could make the Red Sox an AL East contender this season.

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A Look at Triston Casas

Boston has a power-hitting prospect in Casas who can play either corner of the infield. The Red Sox drafted him in the first round, 26th overall, in 2018. He is 6 feet 4, 252 pounds, with great hands and a fast, level-swinging bat.

Baseball American ranked him the 70th best prospect before the 2020 season and he has risen to 19th going into this season. The right-field corner is quite short at Fenway Park, and I can see Casas hitting plenty of home runs in the right-field seats.

He batted .279 in 2021 for several teams as he moved up the ranks, ending the year with the AAA Worcester Red Sox.

He destroyed right-handed pitching, batting .298 with a 0.964 OPS spanning 288 at-bats, and hit 13 of his 14 home runs against righties. He will have to improve against left-handers, hitting .219 in 83 at-bats.

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A Look at Shortstop Marcelo Mayer

Even though he is 19 years old, Mayer is Boston’s future franchise shortstop. He was drafted fourth overall in 2021 out of East Lake High School in Chula Vista, California.

He ranks as the 15th best prospect by Baseball America. He hit .275 in his one season in the Florida Coast league, with a .875 OPS in 26 games, spanning 106 plate appearances.

He is projected to join the Red Sox next season, but he could be fast-tracked if the team suffers a number of injuries.

So, how does all of this affect my MLB betting strategy for the AL East? A lot.

I like the Red Sox at +600 to win the AL East.

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