“There are only two seasons - Winter and Baseball” — Bill Veeck
Today it is my absolute pleasure to announce the turning of the calendar from the former to the latter. The offseason was bumpy to say the least, and us fans had to actually grapple with the prospect of not watching our teams hit the field this spring. Not fun! So today and for the rest of the season, let us all be grateful that this game will be there for us nearly every day for the next six months.
Before we get into team breakdowns, let’s take a look at the splits for our Futures Markets.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
World Series Splits
League Pennant Splits
Cy Young Splits
Rookie of the Year Splits
- The Oakland A’s fire sale has depleted their projected win total by 10 games since the market opened
- Minnesota’s surprise addition of Carlos Correa increased their win total from the opening line and they continue to add with the acquisition of Chris Paddack
“Last year was the trailer. Now you guys are going to see the movie” — Vlad Guerrero, Jr.
The Jays are perhaps the most likable team in the league this year. They are loaded with young talent and lots of power. The team lost some key pieces in the offseason, with Marcus Semien (third in MVP voting) going to Texas and AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray signing with Seattle. However, those holes were filled with defensive star Matt Chapman and Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman. The Jays appear to have put all the pieces together to compete in this division for a full 162. Coming off a season where he was just shy of winning a Triple Crown, 23-year-old Vlad Guerrero Jr. is the current favorite to lead the league in Home Runs (+700), and sits only behind Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani for the AL MVP. This team is going to be must-see TV this year.
Another year, another season where the Yankees lineup is absolutely terrifying (on paper). Gerrit Cole is the favorite to win the AL Cy Young (+425) with a strikeout total set at 255.5. The short porch at Yankees Stadium benefits the likes of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo. Add Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and D.J. LeMahieu to the mix, and we’re in business. Injuries and untimely underperformance have kept the Yankees “this close” for going on half a decade now. Is this the year they put it all together? The public seems to think so!
The postmodern Moneyball darlings are back again, this time entering the season with a household name that casual fans may remember. Wander Franco is in the MVP conversation (+1800) after a breakout rookie campaign year last year. They signed 2017 AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber this offseason and expect to get ace Tyler Glasnow back from injury this spring.
The Sox enter the year with mixed expectations. On one hand, the team that was two wins shy of the World Series last year returns essentially the same lineup, with the added power and speed of Trevor Story, who will be moving over to second base to play alongside Xander Bogaerts. There are more questions on the mound, however. On top of the loss of Eduardo Rodriguez to free agency, ace Chris Sale will be out for the first few months of the season with a rib injury. The Red Sox rotation and bullpen leave fans with more unease than last year (which is saying a lot if you, like me, had to sweat out the bullpen preserving a lead past the 7th inning every night). In a tough division, anything can happen, and the Red Sox may very well put it all together to rise to the top.
After hyping up this division, it’s hard to muster that same hype for the Orioles. The one thing I can say for sure: They will play baseball this season. Keep an eye out for the Adley Rutschman call up! The 2019 No. 1 overall pick is on the brink of making the big league club. Also, John Means may pitch for a bad team, but don’t let his W-L record fool you. Look for him to represent Baltimore on the All-Star squad this year.
After a quick exit at the hands of the Astros last year, the boys on the South Side are the strong favorite to win the AL Central again by fielding a juggernaut lineup and strong starting pitching. Led by Hits Leader favorite Tim Anderson (+1000) and TWO Cy Young frontrunners in Lucas Giolito (+1000) Dylan Cease (+1400), this team is poised to make a deep postseason run in a fairly weak division. If Dallas Keuchel can return to the form of his Astros days, this pitching staff is going to be dangerous. Expect a lot of run production from a lineup featuring Luis Robert (+1500 AL MVP), Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada. In conclusion, I fully expect to see this team come October.
The Twins are making MOVES this offseason. After signing Byron Buxton to a large contract to be their everyday centerfielder, they turned around and signed World Series Champion Carlos Correa to take over at shortstop. He is projected to have a strong season, sitting at +4000 to win AL MVP. Also, on Thursday morning, they reached a deal with the Padres to acquire an additional starter in Chris Paddack and reliever Emilio Pagan. The AL Central is very much up for grabs, and the Twins are not keeping any secrets about their ambitions to snatch the crown from the White Sox.
The Tigers are edging closer to completion of the rebuild and are on the come-up. They added an electric shortstop in Javy “El Mago” Baez and their bolstered starting rotation by adding Red Sox Starter Eduardo Rodriguez. Look out for prospect Spencer Torkelson, who is sitting at +450 to win Rookie of the Year.
There were two major pieces of news for the Guardians this offseason. They changed their name and they signed a franchise player to a contract extension. In an offseason with so much talent changing hands, I can’t imagine too many fans are pleased with the results. Jose Ramirez is officially a Guardian for the next five years and will see this team through the dog days of a rebuild. After a 30 home run season last year, I expect Franmil Reyes and his 6’5”, 265lb frame to continue mashing baseballs into the upper decks of Progressive Field. Ace pitcher Shane Bieber (+700) is currently No. 2 in AL Cy Young Odds behind Gerrit Cole and will carry a heavy workload given his accompanying rotation and bullpen. While there are some bright spots, this team has a lot of gaps that need to be filled to contend for the Central title.
It’s been a tough few years for the boys in baby blue since winning it all in 2015. But the Royals are very much on the path back to relevance. Coming off a breakout power year where he hit 48 home runs, catcher Salvador Perez comes into the year at +1800 to lead the league in homers. Ace pitcher Zack Greinke makes his homecoming to the team that drafted him in the first-round two decades ago. The 38-year-old will likely finish his career there and give way to the new generation of up-and-coming prospects. Enter Bobby Witt Jr., the favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year (+310). This team is probably not going anywhere this year, but will certainly bring the fun factor.
Last year’s AL Pennant champs look to make it back to the World Series for the fourth time in six years, and are a strong candidate to repeat as AL Champs at +475. Talent-wise, they have taken a step back after losing Carlos Correa, but the lineup is still very strong, led by All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman (+5000 to win MVP) and hulking power hitter Yordan Alvarez. This division is still theirs to lose, but the ‘Stros may have some tough competition from the improved Angels and Mariners squads.
Mike Trout. Ever heard of him? How about Shohei Ohtani? SPOILER: They are both good at baseball. Oh yeah, World Series Champion Anthony Rendon is back from an injury-plagued year and flamethrower Noah Syndergaard decided to join the fun this offseason. If the Angels can stay healthy, look out for them to give the Astros a serious run for their money in this division!
Fun fact: Until the Mariners called up Julio Rodriguez, their entire projected starting lineup was acquired via trade. They love homegrown talent in Seattle! On Rodriguez, remember that name! The No. 2 Rookie of the Year (+450) favorite only sits behind Bobby Witt Jr. and is expected to be their starting centerfielder this season. AL Cy Young Robbie Ray joins the team from Toronto where he’ll assume the role of ace, substantially improving an ailing pitching staff. The Mariners overperformed their expectations last year, but with the addition of a few key pieces and the Astros taking a step back, this Mariners team could make some magic in the second half of the year.
After a down year last year, the Rangers have added some heavy hitters in Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Their middle infield will now consist of two players who have finished Top 10 in MVP Voting twice. While the pitching leaves some questions, look for the Rangers to shake things up in this division.
After a full-on garage sale this offseason, the A’s appear to be the cellar dwellers of the AL West. Oakland looks to be in full rebuild as they try to build up the farm system. While I don’t expect much from them this season, I’ll be looking forward to seeing a steady diet of Ramon Laureano outfield assists from the warning track.
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