2024 American League Betting Preview

Thursday is Opening Day in Major League Baseball, and in the American League, the Texas Rangers begin defense of the first World Series in franchise history.

The Rangers’ biggest threat exists in their own division and in their own state, just down the road in Houston. Since 2017, the Astros have been 1st or 2nd in the A.L. West – and mostly in first – and four times have won the American League.

The Astros enter the 2024 season as the favorite to return to a fifth World Series in eight years. The Rangers are +700 to win the pennant, and +230 to win their first division title since 2016. Last year’s World Series run was done as a wild card.

The Rest of the Contenders

Everyone in the league is chasing the Astros, the most consistently good team over the last decade. Houston has been in the playoffs in eight of the last nine years. 

The combination of Juan Soto and Aaron Judge has the New York Yankees at +500 to win the American League. You can also bet on the season home runs for Judge (the over/under is 41.5) and Soto (over/under of 35.5), and whether or not they will lead Major League Baseball in home runs. A bet on Judge is paying +350, while Soto is paying +900.

After the Yankees, the third-shortest odds belong to the Baltimore Orioles at +550. After six years of finishing in fourth or fifth place, they have come in from the wilderness. Last season, the Orioles won the A.L. East with 101 wins, and we shall see if they can return to the World Series for the first time since 1983.

The Rangers are fourth, and in fifth we have the Minnesota Twins at +850. Last year, they won the A.L. Central for the third time in five years, and they are the overwhelming favorites to repeat as division champions. The Twins are paying -115 to win the division, with the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Guardians at +350.

The Seattle Mariners are the third-betting favorite to win the American League West at +285. They are +900 to get past the Astros, Rangers, Orioles, and Yankees and go to their first World Series.

The last of the sub +1000 teams are the Toronto Blue Jays at +950. The Jays have been a wild card team in three of the last four years, but have lost in that round all three times. The win total for Toronto this regular season is 86.5.

Postseason Award Favorites


Aaron Judge is the favorite to win the 2024 MLB home run title, and he is the favorite to win the American League MVP at +550. He was the MVP in 2022, when he broke the American League record for home runs in a single season with 62.

Julio Rodriguez of the Mariners is +600, and now in just his third year, he is putting together quite a resume. He was Rookie of the Year in 2022, he’s been an All-Star in each of two MLB seasons, and he has two Silver Slugger Awards. An MVP is coming, even if it doesn’t happen this year.

Juan Soto has four Silver Slugger Awards and he is also +600 to win the MVP. Yordan Alvarez of the Astros is +800, Corey Seager of the Rangers is +1000, and Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals is +1300. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, the winner of three MVPs, is +2000 to win a fourth.

Cy Young

The race for American League Cy Young is tight, with Toronto’s Kevin Gausman and new Oriole ace Corbin Burnes at +700. Luis Castillo of the Mariners and Framber Valdez of the Astros are at +800. Tarik Skubal of the Tigers and the Royals Cole Ragans are both at +900. 

Last year’s winner, Gerrit Cole, was the favorite a month ago. He’s now down at +2500 because of the nerve inflammation that will keep him sidelined the first two months of the season.

Rookie of the Year

Less than a year ago, Wyatt Langford was a Florida Gator. Now he is a rookie outfielder for the Rangers, and the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Eight of the nine Rangers from their primary lineup are returning from last year. The ninth is Langford, and he is paying +225 to win ROY.

Just behind Langford is his teammate, Evan Carter. He was a call-up for the Rangers last September, and is paying +310. Jackson Holliday is the hot rookie in Baltimore, and he is +450 to give the Orioles back-to-back winners. Last season, infielder Gunnar Henderson was the A.L. winner.

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