Predicting the Winner for Each American League Division Title in 2024

Breaking down the three best AL division bets to make in the 2024 season.

Oct 23, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits a double
Oct 23, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits a double / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2024 MLB season approaches, the National League seems much more set than the American, at least in terms of the Division races.

The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are set to dominate their divisions, with the Central up for grabs.

There are no such dominant teams in the American League, despite the Astros reaching the ALCS 7 consecutive seasons, the Rangers being the defending World Series Champion and the Orioles coming off a 101-win season.

While one could argue that has the potential more fun to follow, it also makes this exercise more difficult.

I'm up for the challenge, putting my predictions in writing to haunt me for the entire season and maybe even after.

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Here's how I see the American League Division races playing out in 2024.

American League East: Baltimore Orioles (+200)

The New York Yankees (+150) are the current favorite and I can certainly understand why with the additions of Juan Soto and Marcus Stroman, along with the return of Aaron Judge.

But we didn't even get to mid-March before the injuries began hitting, with Judge indicating the toe injury that sidelined him last season will require maintenance for the rest of his career and Gerrit Cole suffering elbow discomfort.

I indeed expect the Orioles to take a step back from their 101 wins of last season and the Yankees to improve on their total of 82, but given the uncertainty around Cole and Judge and the Orioles stunning addition of Corbin Burnes, I see Baltimore as the likely winner of this division.

The Yankees could add arms at any minute, but given what we know right here, right now, I like the Orioles over 162 games, especially at +200.

American League Central: Minnesota Twins (-125)

From a betting perspective, this isn't a good number, but the task is to identify the division winners and I see the Twins as the class of the Central.

It's all relative, as the 84 to 86 wins the Twins likely accumulate would find them looking up in the AL East and West, but should be enough to edge out the Cleveland Guardians in the Central.

The Guardians offense is projected to improve, but that's relative, too as Cleveland may be looking at another season with a negative run differential.

The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals are coming, but we'll have more to say about those two teams next spring.

American League West: Houston Astros (-105)

This division boils down to a three-team race with the Texas Rangers having one arm tied behind their back with injuries to Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tyler Mahle and Jordan Montgomery still on the open market.

Things are so bad in Arlington that the potential starting rotation to begin the season has been compared with Oakland's and it wasn't immediately clear which is better.

The Seattle Mariners have solid pitching, but project very similar to last year's 86-win team that seemed to overachieve and it's difficult to win 90+ games with margins being so thin.

With the Astros in the division 86 wins isn't going to cut it, especially with Josh Hader now waiting in the wings as the closer.

90 wins was enough to win the division last year and I expect the Astros will exceed that mark this season with a slightly better offense, Altuve and Verlander for a full season and one of the top bullpens in the game.

The Astros are a favorite in the West for a reason and while paying -105 for a team to win a division may not be the most lucrative wager, I'm more confident in the results than I am on the other American League divisions.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.