2021 American League Pennant Picks: Houston Astros Now Favored

  • Bovada now lists the Houston Astros as a +300 favorite to win the American League Pennant
  • The White Sox (+340) could represent the AL in the World Series with better injury luck in the season’s second half
  • The Red Sox (+700) have won seven straight while the Rays (+550) and Yankees (+625) flounder in the AL East

After the Astros stole signs and cheated their way to a 2017 World Series title, it sure would have been nice to sling dirt on Houston and see them suffer in obscurity for a couple of years.

But, alas, Dusty Baker’s club advanced to their fourth consecutive American League Championship Series last October, losing in seven games to the Rays, and are now the favorite to win the AL Pennant this season after a recent 10-game winning streak.

Let’s check the latest odds to win the American League, and as always, be sure to refer to our MLB 2021 betting guide for further wagering tips and advice.

2021 American League winner

Houston Astros+300
Chicago White Sox+340
Tampa Bay Rays+550
New York Yankees+625
Boston Red Sox+700
Oakland Athletics+700
Toronto Blue Jays+1200
Cleveland Indians+2000
Los Angeles Angels+3300
Seattle Mariners+5000
Minnesota Twins+7000
Kansas City Royals+10000
Detroit Tigers+80000
Texas Rangers+100000
Baltimore Orioles+150000

Houston Astros are surging

Houston is now +300 to represent the American League in the World Series, cutting their odds in half over the past month. After a recent 10-game winning streak, the Astros have the best run differential in baseball at plus-127 – scoring 21 more runs than the second-place Dodgers. They also lead the Majors in hits, runs, RBIs, average, on-base percentage, slugging, and total bases.

What’s the key to their success with the sticks? A big league-best .205 team batting average with two strikes — easily clearing the MLB average of .161.

Houston’s pitching has also been lights out. Their starters went a collective 10-1 with a 2.10 ERA (20 ER/85 2/3 IP) in a recent 14-game stretch and their staff’s season-long numbers are breathtaking across the board: Luis Garcia (76.1 IP, 2.83 ERA), Jose Urquidy (76.0 IP, 3.32 ERA), Lance McCullers Jr. (67.1 IP, 2.94 ERA) and Framber Valdez (38.1 IP, 2.11 ERA).

Given the team’s recent performance, it’s not surprising that the ‘Stros have a major league-best seven finalists in contention to make the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will take place at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on July 13.

Houston Astrosto win American League
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Chicago White Soxto win American League
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Chicago White Sox in contention

On one hand, the White Sox (+340) should be credited for staying in first place in the AL Central all year despite being one of the most banged-up teams in all of baseball this season. On the other hand, Chicago certainly hasn’t looked like a contender in recent weeks, losing four games to the Astros and seven of nine overall while scoring three or fewer runs nine times in 12 games.

Tony La Russa’s club appears to have righted the ship, however, with victories in four straight and they can only get healthier the rest of the way.

The Rays (+500) are in the midst of a three-game losing streak after just enduring an ugly seven-game skid, and it’s hard to see Tampa Bay competing in October without ace Tyler Glasnow. Their main competition in the AL East, the Red Sox (+700) is heading in the exact opposite direction with wins in seven straight games.

Boston could be a strong bet if they add starting pitching at the deadline and Chris Sale returns to form following Tommy John’s surgery.

Boston Red Soxto win American League
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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