AL East 2023 Win Total Best Bets
There aren't many divisions that get much more attention than the AL East. You have two of the biggest names in all of baseball in the Yankees and Red Sox. You have the Blue Jays that have some of the best young talent in all of baseball, and then you have the Orioles who had an impressive season last year. That doesn't mention the always-relevant Tampa Bay Rays. Before I share my thoughts, I should mention that you should purchase the 30 Days MLB with Futures package from BTB and BTBJesse with multiple MAX plays. Not only do you get the futures, you get the first 30-days of the season included.
New York Yankees, 99-63 last year, 1st in the division
The Yankees were able to escape with the division last year, but it wasn't without some hiccups or issues during certain stretches of play. They come in this year with their most notable addition of Carlos Rodon. Rodon is one of my favorite pitchers in all of baseball but he is going to start the season on the injured list. That leaves the Yankees with two reliable pitchers, Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, and two good, but questionable pitchers in Luis Severino and Domingo German. Their lineup is still one of the best in all of the majors led by MVP Aaron Judge. They didn't really lose much hitting in the offseason, but any team that has DJ LeMahieu on the bench is loaded with talent. I don't know think they get back to 99 wins, but 93.5 seems too low. I'd play the over.
Toronto Blue Jays, 92-70, 2nd
The Blue Jays put together a nice season last year, but it wasn't enough to take the division. This year, they added Chris Bassitt to the rotation and he should be a decent addition, something better than they had last year at the very least. Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah should be two of the most reliable pitchers in the AL East. The Blue Jays lineup is going to be bolstered a bit by having Whit Merrifield for the entire season and Brandon Belt being added. I think they should be at least as good as last season. I'll take the over on them at 91.5 wins too.
Tampa Bay Rays, 86-76, 3rd
It really doesn't matter what you say or think, every year, the Rays seem to find a way to win ball games. They still have a really good pitching staff, led by Shane McClanahan and Tyler Glasnow. Even outside of those two starters, they have found ways to implement an opener rather than a starter, they have a good combination of solid starters and relievers that put them in a position to win the games. It is a good balance, and that's what their lineup has too. They have a good combination of power hitters and contact hitters that makes them not too reliant on anything. I don't think they get 89 or 90 wins this season though so I'll pass on their total but would only look towards the under.
Baltimore Orioles, 83-79, 4th
Raise your hand if you thought the Orioles would be above .500 last year. I didn't think so. Raise your hand if you bet the under on their win total last year. I see many more hands up (I didn't bet it either way, for the record). They are not a team that you should expect a lot out of this year, but they could be at least as effective as last season. They will need their pitching staff to be at least as good as last year and I'm not convinced ay of their pitchers are all that impressive. Their lineup isn't packed with hitters like the other three teams, though. I don't know how comfortable I am in them winning 77 or more games, but I'd only look at the over 76.5.
Boston Red Sox, 78-84, 5th
They have to be better than last season, right? Well, they lost Xander Bogaerts, and they replaced JD Martinez with Justin Turner, so it is possible they are worse than last year. Do we expect Chris Sale to be healthy all season? What about Corey Kluber or Nick Pivetta? They didn't get better in the rotation, just kind of plugged some gaps. The lineup should be decent enough but I'm not confident in them winning more games than last season. I'll take the under 78.5 at +100.
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