AL division odds update: Can Twins fend off White Sox for Central crown?

Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Just under seven weeks into the MLB season, teams have already jumped out to commanding leads in their divisions. Is it worth betting on the front-runners to finish the job, or is there value in betting any teams at plus-money with over four months left in the season?

Here are the odds and best value bet in each AL division:

AL East

TEAM ODDS
New York Yankees -250
Toronto Blue Jays +320
Tampa Bay Rays +600
Boston Red Sox +3000
Baltimore Orioles +50000

How can anyone bet against the Yankees right now? Entering Tuesday, they owned the best record in baseball (30-13) and a 4 ½-game lead in the AL East despite losing four of their last six games - a natural regression after a ridiculous 21-3 run across late April and early May.

Their dynamite lineup fueled that run and leads the majors in all four major Statcast expected metrics. It has runaway leads in barrel rate (11.5%), hard-hit rate (45.7%), and exit velocity (91.1 mph). The X-factor is the group's rotation - particularly the emergence of crafty lefty Nestor Cortes (1.80 ERA), who generated double-digit whiffs in three straight starts.

The Rays have the arms to make a run, while the Blue Jays have the bats. But no team in this division is as complete or dominant as the Yankees, who look poised to claim their first AL East crown since 2019.

Best bet: Yankees -250

AL Central

TEAM ODDS
Chicago White Sox -130
Minnesota Twins +130
Cleveland Guardians +1200
Detroit Tigers +3500
Kansas City Royals +4500

This is by far the most compelling division race, as the Twins are the only division leaders who are underdogs to finish the job. Part of that is preseason expectation - Minnesota was dealing as high as 5-1 before the year - but part of it's also because of how dangerous the White Sox are despite a 5 ½-game deficit.

We've already seen Chicago's upside - it won six straight earlier in May and stole two games off the Yankees this past weekend. We've also seen the downside - accelerated by injuries and bad breaks - which cost this team mightily early in the year.

As exciting as the Twins are with Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa leading the way, the White Sox are simply the more talented club from top to bottom and should be a force when their key pieces return to action. There's certainly risk betting into a deficit with a team this injured, but it's well worth stomaching at this price.

Best bet: White Sox -130

AL West

TEAM ODDS
Houston Astros -250
Los Angeles Angels +200
Seattle Mariners +1600
Texas Rangers +8000
Oakland Athletics +15000

The race between the Astros and Angels in the AL West has been fierce - they were within one game of each other entering Wednesday's slate. While I hate being chalky across the board, I really do think Houston is the best team in this division.

Sure, the Angels have two MVPs in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout and a stable of upside bats, but that still pales in comparison to the depth in this Houston lineup. I also have much more confidence in the 'Stros to maintain their torrid hitting down the stretch, whereas the Halos are the riskier bet to stay healthy and avoid slumps that often plague young MLB hitters.

The Astros also have the more reliable rotation, especially with Justin Verlander (1.22 ERA) turning back the clock in his age-39 season. Once Lance McCullers comes back from the 60-day injured list, this staff will be one of the nastiest in the AL - a height the Angels will be hard-pressed to reach.

Best bet: Astros -250

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at cjackson.cowart@thescore.com.

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AL division odds update: Can Twins fend off White Sox for Central crown?
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