The last division we get to preview is the AL East, although they are certainly not least. I actually think this will be the best division in baseball again this season. The Rays are looking to win 100 games and repeat as AL East champs, but the Blue Jays made many offseason moves to improve their team. The Red Sox surprised many people adding Trevor Story, and they now have one of the best lineups in the league. The Yankees made a couple key moves as well. We will talk about the Orioles as well because they have a lot of young talent slated to debut this season, although they aren’t in the playoff conversation.
MLB Expert John Bollman's AL East Betting Preview - 2022 Season
We will talk about the Orioles first because we know they won’t be in any playoff race. Their Regular Season Win Total is set at 62.5 despite winning just 52 games all last season. I would probably lean towards the under just because of how good the rest of the division will be. However, the Orioles should have top MLB prospects in Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, and DL Hall all slated to debut this season. These guys are very young, and they might not make an impact this season, but they have tons of talent and will be vital to the Orioles rebuild. They also have John Means who is one of the best in the league when he is on. Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, and Trey Mancini are all very good bats as well. They have a couple solid pieces, but they need a lot more before they will be able to compete in this division.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays made many moves including adding Kevin Gausman and Matt Chapman. They get a full season of Alek Manoah and Jose Berrios, and they added Yusei Kikuchi. They are a little thin in the bullpen but that is a spot they will add to at the trade deadline. They also had one of the best lineups in the league last season. They replaced Marcus Semien with Cavan Biggio and added Matt Chapman. They should get a full season of George Springer, to go with another year of Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. This is one of the best teams in the league this season, they just have to go out there and prove it. Their win total is set at just 91.5 and I think they will hit that over easily. They are also a good value to win the AL East at +200.
The Blue Jays also have a couple non-baseball advantages going their way. They will finally get to play home games in Toronto for a full season. Unvaccinated players are also currently unable to play in Canada. So, there could be many other teams missing key players whenever they travel to Canada. The Blue Jays are going to be a problem this season, and this rule is going to be a problem for road teams.
However, the Rays won’t give up their division title that easily. They get full seasons of Shane Baz and Wander Franco. Auston Meadows should also be much better than he was last season. Shane McClanahan got more experienced, and they added Corey Kluber to eat some innings. This team never looks like the best team on paper, yet they didn’t last year either when they won 100 games. The Rays are +200 to win the division as well, which I don’t mind. I think they will be battling with the Blue Jays until the last week of the season for the AL East. However, the Rays are just -200 to Make the Playoffs. I generally hate to play futures this juicy, but I just can’t resist here. -200 implies they are making the playoffs just 67% of the time, but I think they make the playoffs about 85% of the time at the least.
This team won 100 games last season and they only got better. They always have one of the best bullpens in the league, and we’ve seen them be top 5 in ERA just about every year since the opener was introduced. This might not be the most talented team in the world, but they are one of the most advanced and forethinking, and that counts for something. Their Regular Season Win Total is set at just 89.5 which is incredibly low. Tyler Glasnow is a big loss to injury, but they did just fine without him for most of last season. They also have some of the best prospect depth in the league and they are a team that gets better through experience. I think this team easily wins 90 games this season and I think they should make the playoffs easily. There could honestly be four teams in this division that make the playoffs, we were just 1 win away from that happening last season.
RAYS OVER 89.5 REGULAR SEASON WINS @ -110
RAYS TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS @ -200
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox made headlines by landing Trevor Story in free agency, and he adds to one of the best lineups in the league. This team should have no problem hitting, and their bats should carry them again. However, they are a little thin with pitching which is why I am staying away from their futures despite thinking they will make the playoffs. Their win total is set at 85.5 after winning 92 games last season. They are also 4th of 5 teams at +500 to win the AL East. I don’t think they have a chance to win the division, but they are -120 To Make the Playoffs. I think this line is also spot on, I think they have about a 55% chance of making the playoffs.
They still have a very good lineup, but Chris Sale is expected to miss the start of the season again because of injury, and they lost Eduardo Rodriguez to free agency. James Paxton is on their roster but he is also expected to miss the first half of the season. They also have Nathan Eovaldi and Tanner Houck for a full season, but Nick Pivetta and Rich Hill aren’t much for depth. They do have a good bullpen after filling that hole last offseason, and it should remain a strength. However, they just don’t have much value in terms of futures.
New York Yankees
The last team I need to preview is the New York Yankees. They get a full season of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo, but I am not sure if that will help them improve from last season. They traded Gary Sanchez for defense in Ben Rortvedt, but they also got Josh Donaldson in that return. He has plenty of injury history though, so who knows how many games he will play. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge both just can’t seem to stay healthy at the same time. This team has plenty of pieces, especially in the lineup. They should be able to hit with anyone, and they have good bench depth in former top prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. They just have so many injury questions, and the pitching depth isn’t very deep.
After Gerrit Cole come the questions. Luis Severino is very good, but can he stay healthy coming off missing almost all of the 2021 season? Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery and Nestor Cortes are all solid, but they don’t stand out from the rest of the division. They always have one of the best bullpens in the league, but I am not sure if they have the depth that they’ve had in years past after Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees Regular Season Win Total was set at 92.5 and honestly, I love this under. They will be in the toughest division in baseball, and I don’t think they did anything significant to improve their team. They still have plenty of questions, while the rest of the teams in the division just need to prove it. The Yankees have some prospect depth ready to come up this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team sell at the deadline. Maybe I am wrong which is very possible when fading the Yankees. However, I just don’t see this team winning 90 games this season. They need to stay completely healthy and add some trade deadline pieces in order to hit over that number, and I just don’t see that happening.
YANKEES UNDER 92.5 REGULAR SEASON WINS @ -110
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