Blue Jays underdogs, Yankees, Dodgers lead MLB division odds

Toronto Blue Jays pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu throws to live batters during full squad workouts at the team's spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla., (Steve Nesius/CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays made a splash in the free-agent market by signing pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year contract. However, with the club’s youthful core still a work in progress, the Blue Jays lag well behind the favourites on the odds to win the AL East as a plus-3300 wager at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Winners of just 67 games last season the Blue Jays have nowhere to go but up, but remain an underdog plus-600 wager at sports betting sites to make their first post-season appearance since 2016. Complicating matters is the stiff competition they will face in the AL East, particularly from the New York Yankees, who are heavy minus-450 favourites to repeat as AL East champions.

The Yankees made headlines by making Gerrit Cole the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history, signing the free-agent hurler to a nine-year, $324-million contract. And with the ongoing delay to the start of the season, New York is hoping to avoid the injury woes that plagued the club throughout 2019. However, the Yankees will have to make do without starter Luis Severino, who will miss the entire 2020 season with an elbow injury.

After winning 96 games in 2019, the Tampa Bay Rays sit second on the AL East odds at plus-350, well ahead of the transitioning Boston Red Sox at plus-1200, while the Baltimore Orioles lag as distant plus-25000 longshots.

The scandal-ridden Houston Astros are expected to remain the team to beat in the AL West, where they sit as minus-200 chalk to win a fourth straight divisional crown, while the Minnesota Twins lead the way as minus-160 favourites to repeat as AL Central champions.

The Astros have yet to shake off the fallout from the sign-stealing scandal that consumed the club during the off-season. And while Houston won the division by 10 games last season, it remains to be seen whether the scandal will impact their play in 2020, and provide the Oakland A’s with a chance to return to the top of the division and pay out on plus-275 odds.

Over in the NL West, the addition of Mookie Betts and David Price in an offseason deal with Boston has solidified the Los Angeles Dodgers’ perch as heavy minus-900 favourites. The Dodgers also lead the way on the World Series odds, edging the Yankees as plus-325 favourites.

The Atlanta Braves top the NL East division odds as a plus-175 bet, ahead of the World Series champion Washington Nationals, who trail at plus-240 on those MLB odds, while the St. Louis Cardinals join the Chicago Cubs as plus-225 co-favourites on the odds to win the NL Central.

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