While most people are familiar with the division favorites heading into the 2021 MLB season and will probably be betting those teams, there’s always value with underdogs. We will be talking about some of the sleeper teams that could win their division though they aren’t favored. Last year was full of surprises and breakout teams and this year may be no different, especially now that the regular season is longer than it was during the shortened 2020 campaign. Let’s kick off our list with the AL East division and cross-reference it with the online sports betting odds:
American League East: Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays could very be on their way to a second division title. They aren’t getting much respect this year as the MLB division odds show that the New York Yankees are favored to win the AL East. The Rays still have a ton of talent left on their roster though they parted ways with one of their best players in Blake Snell while also ditching a few other players during the offseason. The Rays normally always find a way to succeed when it doesn’t seem like they have the roster to do so and this season could be no different.
American League Central: Cleveland Indians
This pick may surprise some people, but the Cleveland Indians may have the talent required to make a run at the division title. They did lose their best player during the offseason in Francisco Lindor but they were able to retain Shane Bieber and partner him up with Zach Plesac right afterward. Not to mention the fact that they were able to get their top prospect Triston McKenzie some playing time last season and he is expected to be placed into the starting rotation at some point. This is a team that has a ton of unknowns heading into the regular season but there are no locks in the division. They have enough young and talented players that they could make some noise in the AL Central division.
American League West: Oakland Athletics
While it may be difficult to surpass the Houston Astros, the only team that has the possibility of doing so is the Oakland Athletics. There isn’t much competition in this division outside of these teams and the Astros have suffered a number of offseason losses that could set them back – just far enough for the A’s to reach. The loss of outfielder George Springer will definitely hurt the Astros and it could be just enough to throw Oakland back into the mix for division leader. Houston has also thrown around their Carlos Correa in trade talks, according to various MLB news. No deal is in place right now and it may not happen.