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American League East – MLB Division Guide

This guide is a handy reference if you’re betting on the AL East or just want to know more about this MLB division.

From where to find the latest AL East odds and predictions to providing key stats and records, we deliver all the information you need about one of the toughest divisions in pro baseball.

Simply looking for a detailed look at what has transpired in recent years? We’ve got that covered, too.

The more data you have at your disposal, the better you’ll feel about placing bets on the American League East division.

AL East Betting in 2021

You can bet on Major League Baseball all year round. You don’t have to wait for the season to begin.

From the moment the World Series reaches its conclusion, sportsbooks and online betting sites start releasing odds for the following MLB season. Serious bettors know that’s when to commence their betting preparations.

That’s why we provide a constant stream of baseball content on our MLB blog.

You’ll find all kinds of useful information and advice from our experts, including analysis of the American League East odds, team asssessments, and even AL East predictions.

These are the most recent posts, and there’s plenty more to explore.

Once each MLB season gets underway, we turn our attention to the individual games.

Our writers study the betting sheet each day and find the best games to focus on and the best bets to place. They then provide their MLB betting picks.

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles Key Info

Baltimore Orioles Logo

Let’s briefly dig into some history about the O’s.

Perhaps the most notable tidbit about this organization is Cal Ripken Jr.’s incredible streak of consecutive games played. The “Iron Man” played an eye-popping 2,632 straight games between 1982-1998 – all for the Orioles at either shortstop or third base.

It’s been tough sledding in Baltimore since the franchise won their third World Series in 1983. The Orioles captured their first title in 1966 behind Frank Robinson winning the Triple Crown (.316 BA, 49 HR, 122 RBI), and they won it all again in 1970 with the help of Boog Powell winning the AL MVP.

Most impressive about Baltimore’s 1970 club was having two starting pitchers (Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally), each win 24+ games. It’s the only instance of that occurring since 1961. In fact, Jim Palmer also won 20 games that season, which is a perfect segue into the following morsel.

Since 1961, just three times has a team had a trio of pitchers record at least 20 victories. The Orioles are responsible for two of them, including 1971 where they had four pitchers hit the 20-win mark.

Recent Records and Stats for the Baltimore Orioles

To further examine how poor the Orioles have been in recent years, let’s look at the numbers.

Since losing in the AL Wild Card to the Blue Jays in 2016, here’s what Baltimore has to show for their efforts.

Season Wins Losses AL East Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 25 35 4th No .258 77 4.51
2019 54 108 5th No .246 213 5.59
2018 47 115 5th No .239 188 5.18
2017 75 87 5th No .260 232 4.97

Zero winning seasons and zero playoff appearances.

The Orioles finished in the middle of the pack in team ERA in 2020, a major improvement after finishing dead last in 2018 and 2019.

They’ve been “OK” in the power department slugging out a decent chunk of home runs, but their cumulative .251 batting average just hasn’t been up to snuff.

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Key Info

Boston Red Sox Logo
  • Established: 1901
  • Ballpark: Fenway Park
  • AAA Affiliate: Worcester Red Sox
  • World Series Titles: 9
  • Value: 3 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official Boston Red Sox Website

Moving along to an MLB franchise that has sustained a lot more success than Baltimore, the Red Sox won four World Series between 1903-1918.

Then came an 86-year drought until Boston rattled off four championships between 2004-2018.

The third-most valuable MLB team behind only the Yankees and the Dodgers, the Red Sox history is littered with headlines. Maybe not as many as their rival in the Big Apple, but Boston does have one feather in their cap that the Bronx Bombers do not.

On their way to winning the 2004 World Series, Boston came back from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS against the Yankees. The BoSox were even trailing 2-0 in the 5th inning of Game 4 before they mounted their heroic comeback.

To this day, it’s still the only time an MLB team has won a playoff series after falling behind three games to none.

Roger Clemens won the first three of his record seven Cy Youngs as a member of the Red Sox (1986, 1987, 1991), although he’s got competition as the best righty to ever grace the mound in Boston.

Pedro Martinez was as dominant of a starting pitcher as we’ve ever seen when he won back-to-back AL Cy Youngs with the Red Sox in 1999 and 2000.

His 0.737 WHIP in 2000 is an MLB record that still stands today. 

Recent Records and Stats for the Boston Red Sox

Let’s zero in on what the Red Sox have been up to over the past four seasons.

Since winning the World Series in 2018, “The Olde Towne Team” has taken major steps in the wrong direction.

Season Wins Losses AL East Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 24 36 5th No .265 81 5.58
2019 84 78 3rd No .269 245 4.70
2018 108 54 1st Won WS .268 208 3.75
2017 93 69 1st Lost ALDS .258 168 3.70

The Red Sox hitters are still coming through, but their pitching is headed in the wrong direction.

To help illustrate that point, Boston went from ranking in the top-8 in MLB team ERA in 2017 and 2018 to 19th in 2019 and 28th in 2020.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t allude to the cheating scandal involving the Red Sox – one that ultimately led to Alex Cora losing his job.

While maybe not as egregious as what the Astros were doing, there’s no question that Boston broke “code.” Cora was brought back as the skipper following the 2020 season.

New York Yankees

New York Yankees Key Info

New York Yankees Logo
  • Established: 1901
  • Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
  • AAA Affiliate: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
  • World Series Titles: 27
  • Value: 0 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official New York Yankees Website

Strapped with arguably the most recognizable team logo in professional sports, it’s difficult to serve proper justice to the Yankees with just a few short paragraphs. We’ll do our best.

The unthinkable number of World Series titles give you your first hint at how storied this franchise is. They join the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL as the only two sports franchises on the planet that have been valued at 5 billion or more.

Rather than try and pinpoint select seasons from a team that has won a whopping 40 AL Pennants, let us quickly showcase some of the greatest Yankees of all time.

  • Babe Ruth
  • Mickey Mantle
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Lou Gehrig
  • Yogi Berra
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Derek Jeter

Do those names ring any bells?

Cooperstown is stockpiled with former Yankee players, although Mariano Rivera became the first HOF inductee to receive 100% of the votes (2019).

In terms of the Yankee legends, let’s not forget about guys like Bill Dickey or Reggie Jackson. Alex Rodriguez should also be mentioned.

After all, A-Rod clubbed 30 or more homers in each of his first seven seasons with the Pinstripers. And that was after he tore the cover off the baseball in Seattle and Texas for 10 years.

Recent Records and Stats for the New York Yankees

After missing out on postseason action three out of four years between 2013-2016, Brian Cashman has gotten his organization back on track.

Season Wins Losses AL East Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 33 27 2nd Lost ALDS .247 94 4.35
2019 103 59 1st Lost ALCS .267 306 4.31
2018 100 62 2nd Lost ALDS .249 267 3.78
2017 92 71 2nd Lost ALCS .262 241 3.72

The Yanks GM hasn’t been shy about shelling out cash, specifically a few days before Christmas in 2019.

New York inked Gerrit Cole to a nine-year deal worth $324 million – the richest contract for a pitcher in MLB history. Cole’s annual $36 million salary is the largest in the history of the sport.

Surprisingly – and to the dismay of Yankees fans betting on the AL East Division – New York has claimed just one division title since 2012. On the other hand, how consistent the Yanks have been quite extraordinary.

The Yankees have missed the playoffs a total of four times since 1994. 

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays Key Info

Tampa Bay Rays Logo
  • Established: 1998
  • Ballpark: Tropicana Field
  • AAA Affiliate: Durham Bulls
  • World Series Titles: 0
  • Value: 05 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official Tampa Bay Rays Website

One of the two “newest” teams in Major League Baseball (Arizona Diamondbacks also joined in 1998), Tampa Bay took some time before they experienced their first winning season. 10 straight seasons with a losing record to be exact.

Originated in 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, “Devil” was dropped from the moniker after the 2007 MLB season. Coincidentally (or maybe not), the Rays won their first AL East division title in 2008 and qualified for the first postseason in franchise history.

And they weren’t done there.

Led by the decisions of Joe Maddon and the big bat of Evan Longoria, the 2008 Rays were the last team standing.

Tampa returned to the playoffs four times over the next 11 seasons, although they failed to advance past the ALDS in any of those years. Then it all changed in the truncated 2020 campaign when the Rays landed the top record in the American League.

Recent Records and Stats for the Tampa Bay Rays

Talk about a team trending in the right direction; the Rays have improved their winning percentage every year since 2016.

2020 marked Tampa’s first time winning the AL East since 2010.

Season Wins Losses AL East Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 40 20 1st Lost in WS .238 80 3.56
2019 96 66 2nd Lost in ALDS .254 217 3.65
2018 90 72 3rd No .258 150 3.74
2017 80 72 3rd No .245 228 3.97

The Rays finished last in the AL East standings during 9 of their first 10 seasons. Boy, how the tide has shifted.

Top-3 finishes in each of the last four years are highlighted by a World Series appearance in 2020.

Kevin Cash won the Manager of the Year, and rookie Randy Arozarena took the league by storm, but it’s the pitching that really stands out. Check out where the Rays ERA has stacked up among other American League teams

Year Team ERA – AL Rank
2017 4th
2018 2nd
2019 1st
2020 2nd

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays Key Info

Toronto Blue Jays Logo

The lone MLB organization situated north of the border won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. The bad news is Toronto hasn’t been back to the Fall Classic since.

After coming up short in the ALCS on three separate occasions (1985, 1989, 1991), the Blue Jays finally got over the hump in 1992. Jack Morris led the Majors with 21 victories as Toronto cruised past the Braves 4-2 in the final series.

Acquiring Jack Morris (1991 World Series MVP) in the offseason was obviously a huge move, but a newcomer the following year paid even more dividends.

Following a triumph in the 1992 World Series, Toronto signed Paul Molitor to a three-year deal worth $13 million. All Molitor did in his first season with the Jays was lead Major League Baseball in hits (211) while hitting .332 with 22 homers and 111 RBI. He was named the 1993 World Series MVP after batting .500 across the six games.

Worth noting about the 1993 regular-season – John Olerud, Paul Molitor, and Roberto Alomar finished 1-2-3 in the AL batting crown. That (the top three hitters being from the same team) hadn’t happened in a century.

Recent Records and Stats for the Toronto Blue Jays

Not only have the Jays not won the AL Pennant since Joe Carter walked off in ’93, they’ve only been to the postseason three times in the 27 years that have elapsed.

Season Wins Losses AL East Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 32 28 3rd Lost in WC .255 88 4.60
2019 67 95 4th No .236 247 4.79
2018 73 89 4th No .244 217 4.85
2017 76 86 4th No .240 222 4.42

Toronto has had no problem hitting home runs in the last four seasons.

They’ve ranked in the top 10 in baseball in team home runs every year during that stretch (10th-5th-9th-8th).

The problem is they’ve been near the bottom in team batting average and team ERA.

Not getting on base and surrendering a bunch of runs is not exactly a formula for success.

AL East History

Formed in 1969, the AL East began with six teams, three of which are still currently part of the division.

Here are the six original members.

  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox
  • New York Yankees
  • Cleveland Indians (moved to AL Central in 1994)
  • Detroit Tigers (moved to AL Central in 1998)
  • Washington Senators (moved to AL West in 1972 after becoming the Texas Rangers)

When the Senators left in 1972, they were placed by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Milwaukee remained in the AL East until 1994 when they shifted to the AL Central.

Toronto joined the AL East in 1977, Tampa Bay came along in 1998.

The landscape of the division has been untouched ever since.

Current AL East Teams in the World Series (Since 1969)
Franchise World Series Record
New York Yankees 7-4
Boston Red Sox 4-2
Baltimore Orioles 2-3
Toronto Blue Jays 2-0
Tampa Bay Rays 0-2

AL East Division Stats and Records

You’ve soaked up some history about each team and the AL East division as a whole.

Now for some more stats to assist with betting on the American League East.

Of all the statistics covered below, the most pertinent piece of data to many bettors is the against the spread (ATS) numbers.

Whether you’re betting straight-up or on the run line, or even the totals, here are some numbers to give you some context.

AL East Stats for 2020
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Record Over %
Orioles 25-35 41.7 35-25 58.3 28-28-4 50.0
Red Sox 24-36 40.0 30-30 50.0 31-26-3 54.4
Yankees 37-30 55.2 35-32 52.2 34-29-4 54.0
Rays 51-29 63.7 40-40 50.0 36-41-3 46.8
Blue Jays 32-30 51.6 30-32 48.4 30-29-3 50.8
AL East Stats for 2019
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Record Over %
Orioles 54-108 33.3 72-90 44.4 81-71-10 53.3
Red Sox 84-78 51.8 69-93 42.6 90-67-5 57.3
Yankees 108-63 63.2 99-72 57.9 88-77-6 53.3
Rays 99-69 58.9 83-85 49.4 80-78-10 50.6
Blue Jays 67-95 41.4 78-84 48.1 75-79-8 48.7
AL East Stats for 2018
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Record Over %
Orioles 47-115 29.0 68-94 42.0 73-83-6 46.8
Red Sox 119-57 67.6 103-73 58.5 85-82-9 50.9
Yankees 102-65 61.1 35-86-81 51.5 82-78-7 51.2
Rays 90-72 55.6 92-70 56.8 73-82-7 47.1
Blue Jays 73-89 45.1 73-89 45.1 82-72-8 53.2

Generally speaking, good teams are a heck of a lot more reliable on the run line than the bad teams.

Nowhere is that better portrayed than with the Red Sox and Orioles in 2018.

  • Boston had the best record in baseball and led the league in cover %.
  • Baltimore had the worst record in baseball and finished last in the league in cover %

If you’re fully in tune with how to bet on the AL East Division, you know about the futures markets and division betting.

The Yankees used to own this division – key words being, used to.

Recent AL East Division Winners
Year Winner Regular-Season Record
2020 Tampa Bay Rays 40-20
2019 New York Yankees 103-59
2018 Boston Red Sox 108-54
2017 Boston Red Sox 93-69
2016 Boston Red Sox 93-69
2015 Toronto Blue Jays 93-69
2014 Baltimore Orioles 96-66
2013 Boston Red Sox 97-65
2012 New York Yankees 96-67
2011 New York Yankees 97-65
2010 Tampa Bay Rays 96-66

The last time fewer than 90 wins was enough to capture the AL East crown was the Yankees in 2000 (87-74).

The record for most regular-season victories is 114 set by the Yanks in 1998. New York swept San Diego in the World Series that year.

The lesson here is not to expect anything fewer than 93 wins to be enough to finish on top of the AL East division.

More MLB Division Guides

This American League East division guide is updated as needed to ensure the content is fresh and current. We’re always looking for the latest trends and stats that can help sports bettors.