MLB Trade Deadline: Updating Odds for the New Look AL West After a Flurry of Trades

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
08/02/2023
News

Highlights

  • The Rangers are the favorites to win the AL West at -135
  • Houston is no longer focused at adding starting pitching
  • The Angels added four new players after deciding to keep Ohtani

The 2023 MLB trade deadline officially ends tonight, and it has been one of the most exciting in recent memory. While many teams made changes, no division had more turnover than the AL West. Three teams added key pieces to push for the playoffs, which changed the complexity of the division race.

Below we are recapping the moves for the AL West's top three teams and updating their new MLB betting odds to win the division. If you are looking to bet on MLB division winners, you have come to the right place.

Texas Rangers

Texas has led the AL West for almost the entire season, but they are now neck-and-neck with Houston. While their lineup is one of the best in the league, the team lost their ace when Jacob deGrom when he picked up a season-ending injury early in the year. Their staff has performed well since, thanks to solid seasons from Nathan Eovaldi and Jon Gray. However, both have overperformed for most of the season, and Eovaldi landed on the IL last week. 

The Rangers got precisely what they sought by adding former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and former-Cardinal Jordan Montgomery. Scherzer hasn't been great in New York this season, but a change of scenery could do him good. Rangers' pitching coach Mike Maddux is known for getting the most out of veteran arms (see Eovaldi and Gray), and we can only imagine what he can do with Scherzer and even Montgomery. 

While bookmakers are torn between the Rangers and Astros, FanDuel Sportsbook now has the Rangers as the favorite at -135. By comparison, the Astros are at +120. Given Texas's moves, this may be the most valuable their odds will be for the remainder of the season.

Houston Astros

While Houston came in as a heavy favorite to win the AL West, a slew of injuries have caused them to struggle for most of the season. Things have turned around over the last month, and now they have a chance to overtake the Rangers for the division lead. The Astros lineup is once again one of the best in all of baseball, thanks to the return of Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez. However, their pitching needed a boost. 

Houston addressed some of those concerns by trading for Kendall Graveman, but many believed they gave up too much to acquire the reliever. The move also doesn't improve their starting rotation, which lost Lance McCullers and Luis Garcia for the year. While former Astro Justin Verlander has been rumored to be a target for Houston, the team has said they are no longer focused on improving their rotation. A lot can happen between now and 6 PM EST, but it seems the Astros won't get the pitching boost they need. 

Bookmakers were also underwhelmed by the addition of Graveman, with Unibet Sportsbook listing the team at +125 to capture the AL West title. While those are good odds, it shows they believe Houston is firmly behind Texas in the division.

Los Angeles Angels

After listening to offers for mega-star Shohei Ohtani, the Angels reversed course to attempt to win now. Instead of making the blockbuster trade to begin a rebuild, the Angels made many moves to improve their team. LA's front office has made it clear they believe they can sign Ohtani in the offseason, which is a big reason for the change in course at the trade deadline.

The Angels have a lot of issues, as Ohtani is their sole healthy star. Their starting rotation has been awful, partly thanks to Tyler Anderson's disappointing first season in the City of Angels. The lineup has also been atrocious, and they got even worse once Mike Trout went on the IL. The Angels attempted to solve both issues by trading for OF Randal Grichuk, 1B CJ Cron, SP Lucas Giolito, and RP Reynaldo Lopez. Those moves will certainly help, though it is hard to imagine it being enough to overcome the teams from Texas. 

DraftKings Sportsbook is among those less than impressed by the moves, as they have the Angels as the fourth-favorite to win the division at +2000. We agree with DraftKings and recommend avoiding this bet.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.