Breaking down American League division winners and World Series futures bets

Sportsnet's Kevin Michie takes you through everything you need to know if you’re planning on placing some futures bets on your Toronto Blue Jays this season.

The MLB regular season returns this week, so we’ve decided to break down each division in the American League from a betting perspective.

Can the upstart Blue Jays compete for the division in a tough AL East? Can a healthy Mike Trout stay on the field and help get the Angels into the post-season?

A lot of big questions in the AL to consider, so I’ve mixed in each team’s win total odds as well as win projections from FanGraphs. I’ve also tossed in a World Series pick, so hopefully, this helps should you want to put a little sprinkle in the futures market.

(Editor’s note: All betting lines are courtesy of Sports Interaction and are current as of the time of publication.)


• Toronto +162

• New York +220

• Tampa Bay +263

• Boston +504

• Baltimore +17300

Toronto Blue Jays

Regular season wins: Over 92.5 -122 | Under 92.5 -105

FanGraphs projection: 92 wins

The Blue Jays won 91 games last season and just missed out on the playoffs while playing home games in three different ballparks in 2021. They said goodbye to reigning AL Cy Young award winner Robbie Ray and all-star Marcus Semien. Toronto replaced them with free-agent pitcher Kevin Gausman and Platinum Glove award winner Matt Chapman in a trade with Oakland. If Vladimir Guerrero Jr. plays at an MVP level in 2022, the Blue Jays are a legitimate World Series threat.

New York Yankees

Regular season wins: Over 91.5 -105 | Under 91.5 -120

FanGraphs projection: 91 wins

The Bronx Bombers are once again World Series or bust in 2022. The Yankees added 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson to a lineup that already includes power hitters Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo and Giancarlo Stanton. New York will need starters Luis Severino and Jameson Taillon to stay healthy and contribute to keep pace in the very tough AL East.

Tampa Bay Rays

Regular season wins: Over 89.5 -111 | Under 89.5 -111

FanGraphs projection: 85 wins

The Rays and their shoestring budget will once again rely on their bullpen, which was the best in the AL in 2021. Super shortstop prospect Wander Franco looks for a breakout season after slashing a rock-solid .288/.347/.463 in his first 70 games in the majors last season. The pesky Rays are flying under the radar but would surprise nobody with another division title.

Boston Red Sox

Regular season wins: Over 85.5 -112 | Under 85.5 -112

FanGraphs projection: 87 wins

The Red Sox gave free agent Trevor Story a six-year, $140-million contract to bolster an offence that already includes all-stars Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. Boston will hit in 2022 but can they pitch? The BoSox won’t have ace Chris Sale and reclamation project James Paxton in their rotation to start the season and will need Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta to hold down the fort until reinforcements arrive.

Baltimore Orioles

Regular season wins: Over 62.5 -109 | Under 62.5 -118

FanGraphs projection: 65 wins

It should be another looong season in Charm City. The Orioles are in a full rebuild and going cheap once again in 2022. Cedric Mullins was the MLB’s only 30-30 man in 2021, and rookie Ryan Mountcastle finished with 33 home runs, so the O’s had some positives in 2021. Baltimore’s pitching staff was the worst in baseball last season, so I guess the only way is up.

My Pick: I mean, who doesn’t want the Blue Jays to win the AL East and ultimately the World Series? But we’re here to focus on value and I think the Rays are that in this division. Tampa could have an MVP candidate in Franco and a bullpen that once again could be the best in the American League. I’ll take the Rays at +263 to win the division.


• Chicago -217

• Minnesota +581

• Detroit +598

• Cleveland +1001

• Kansas City +1438

Chicago White Sox

Regular season wins: Over 91.5 -111 | Under 91.5 -111

FanGraphs projection: 86 wins

The White Sox were bitten hard by the injury bug last season. Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert and Yasmani Grandal all missed a big chunk of time in 2021 and the ChiSox still won 93 games. If their lineup can stay healthy, this team should be the class of the division. The rotation boasts rock-solid starters Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease. The “North Siders” are serious World Series contenders.

Minnesota Twins

Regular season wins: Over 81.5 -111 | Under 81.5 -111

FanGraphs projection: 82 wins

The Twins are the best of the rest in the division. Minnesota shocked the baseball world by signing superstar shortstop Carlos Correa to a three-year deal worth $105 million. The Twinkies also acquired Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela from the Yankees and traded for starter Sonny Gray in a deal with the Reds. Minnesota could compete for a wild card spot in the American League.

Detroit Tigers

Regular season wins: Over 77.5 -111 | Under 77.5 -111

FanGraphs projection: 76 wins

The Tigers are a young and exciting club that could make some noise in the AL Central. Detroit spent over $220 million to bring in free agents Javier Baez and Eduardo Rodriguez to add to a team that includes exciting prospects Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene. The Tigers were six games over the .500 mark after losing 22 of their first 30 games in 2021. A better start in 2022 and Detroit could contend.

Cleveland Guardians

Regular season wins: Over 76.5 -112 | Under 76.5 -112

FanGraphs projection: 77 wins

Will they or won’t they trade all-star José Ramírez? That’s the main storyline for the Guardians heading into 2022. Cleveland is one of the youngest teams in baseball and will need guys like Bobby Bradley and James Karinchak to have an impact if they hope to contend for a wild card spot.

Kansas City Royals

Regular season wins: Over 74.5 -111 | Under 74.5 -111

FanGraphs projection: 75 wins

The Royals are in a rebuild but at least fans will get to watch Bobby Witt Jr., as the No. 2 prospect in baseball will be on their Opening Day roster. Witt Jr. is the early favourite to win AL Rookie of the Year. Kansas City also brought back Cy Young Award winner and their 2002 first-round draft pick Zack Greinke and starting pitcher Mike Minor to try to keep things respectable in 2022.

My Pick: I’ll ride with the chalk here. The White Sox are not only the best team on paper in this division, but they’re also arguably the best team in the AL. If Chicago can stay healthy, I think they run away with the Central and I’ll lay the juice and take them at -217.


• Houston -179

• Los Angeles +347

• Seattle +489

• Texas +1642

• Oakland +2390

Houston Astros

Regular season wins: Over 92.5 -110 | Under 92.5 -115

FanGraphs projection: 89 wins

Houston lost Correa, Greinke and Yimi García but still have a rock-solid core. The Astros are legitimate contenders thanks to a group that includes Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez. There’s also the potential return of Justin Verlander to the rotation. Houston is looking for its fourth World Series appearance in the last six seasons.

Los Angeles Angels

Regular season wins: Over 83.5 -116 | Under 83.5 -104

FanGraphs projection: 83 wins

The Angles are a club with a ton of star power but have produced little results lately. The Halos have the reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani and all-star Anthony Rendon. The Angles also desperately need Trout to play more than the 89 games he’s played the past two seasons combined. Former N.Y. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard should help bolster a thin rotation in LA.

Seattle Mariners

Regular season wins: Over 83.5 -125 | Under 83.5 -111

FanGraphs projection: 80 wins

The Mariners had a surprise 2021 and were in the thick of the playoff race until the final weekend of the season. Seattle made a pair of big acquisitions during the off-season by bringing in AL Cy Young Award winner Ray and all-star outfielder Jesse Pinker. Ty France and outfielder Mitch Haniger need to build on their breakout 2021 campaigns for the Mariners to stay competitive.

Texas Rangers

Regular season wins: Over 74.5 +100 | Under 74.5 -132

FanGraphs projection: 75 wins

The Rangers were busy this off-season by adding Semien, Corey Seager, Jon Gray and Kole Calhoun. Adolis García is also an exciting power bat, but their lineup isn’t deep after García, Seager and Semien. Pitching should be a big problem for the Rangers again in 2022 after they posted a 4.80 Team ERA in 2021.

Oakland Athletics

Regular season wins: Over 70.5 -111 | Under 70.5 -125

FanGraphs projection: 70 wins

The A’s did a complete teardown this off-season and have moved on from Chapman, Matt Olson, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Josh Harrison and pitchers Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea. It’ll be a season of keeping an eye on the latest prospects that Billy Beane has brought in and whether they’ll have an impact on the big league club. It should be a painful season in Oakland.

My Pick: Is this the year the Angels get Trout back into the post-season? I think so. Houston still looks good, but if Trout and Syndergaard stay healthy and play up to their abilities, I think Los Angeles can win the AL West. I’ll take the Halos here at +347.


• Toronto +832

• Houston +940

• Chicago White Sox +1128

• New York Yankees +1135

• Tampa Bay +1386

• Boston +1709

• Los Angeles Angels +2780

• Seattle +3088

• Detroit +4037

• Minnesota +4039

• Cleveland +6580

• Texas +7410

• Kansas City +7910

• Oakland +9700

• Baltimore +34600

My Pick: Tampa at +1386 is the value pick for me here. The Blue Jays, White Sox, Astros and Yankees look better on paper, but we say that seemingly every year heading into the baseball season. The Rays won 100 games last season and still have enough depth to be a real threat in the American League. Plug your nose and take Tampa.


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