Another week has passed and another updated World Series futures list has been released.
Prior to the start of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, it looked as though the American League East division would be back to its elite status as one of the strongest from top to bottom.
The 2013 World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees opened their wallets after missing out on the postseason for just the second time since the 1994 season and Tampa Bay were the same, which says they were highly competitive even though they lack top name stars.
However, the AL East has now become the AL Least, when many had thought it would be the AL Beast. At the head of the class, this week in the division is the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have won 7 straight and 9 of 10 to take a two game lead over the Yankees.
Tampa Bay is 7 games back in fourth place and the defending World Series champion Red Sox are 8 games back having just ended a losing streak of 10 games with a win on Monday night.
With their recent play, the Blue Jays nearly cut their World Series odds in half from the previous week. Last week Toronto was priced at 30 to 1 and now is sitting at 16 to 1 moving to the 10th shortest odds on Bovada, betonline, topbet and sportsbook.com.
The AL East has just three teams playing over .500 and just one team, the Blue Jays, with a positive run-differential, which is +23.
The Yankees are at -6, the Red Sox at -27 and the Rays, with their pitching strength are at -18. The remaining team in the East, the Baltimore Orioles who were at the top of the division for a short stint are -6, despite having one of the stronger lineups top to bottom on paper.
When strong lineups come to mind, one thinks of the powerful Blue Jays offense that has helped them to their spot at the top including a sweep of the Oakland A’s just last weekend.
Toronto fans were hoping for this after trading for Jose Reyes and signing Melky Cabrera to set up for Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.
However, remember that four plus months remains on the schedule and even though the offense is strong, the Blue Jays pitching staff is currently 24th in baseball with an ERA of 4.15.
Updated Odds for 2014 World Series
DETROIT TIGERS 9 to 2
LOS ANGELES DODGERS 6 to 1
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 7 to 1
OAKLAND A’s 8 to 1
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 10 to 1
LOS ANGELES ANGELS 12 to 1
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 12 to 1
ATLANTA BRAVES 12 to 1
NEW YORK YANKEES 16 to 1
TORONTO BLUE JAYS 16 to 1