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This rival team still favored to win AL East despite Red Sox' hot start originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox have exceeded expectations early in the 2021 MLB season and occupy first place in the American League East Division.
Oddsmakers aren't totally buying the Red Sox as favorites to win the division, though.
Boston lost its first three games of the year but has posted a 12-4 record since. The Sox have a two-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays, a 3.5-game advantage over the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles and a five-game edge over the last-place New York Yankees.
Despite the Yankees' horrendous start to 2021, oddsmakers still view them as the favorites to claim the division crown.
Here are the latest AL East betting lines -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
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The Yankees are really struggling offensively and their 59 runs scored are the fewest of any AL team. They also rank last in the AL in home runs and batting average, while sitting 14th of 15 teams in hits.
New York's offense isn't likely to be this bad all season -- there's too much talent in the lineup for that to happen. But it's still a legitimate concern.
The Red Sox offense has been the opposite. It leads the AL in hits, runs scored, total bases, doubles, batting average and on-base percentage. Boston's pitching has been surprisingly good and ranks fifth in the AL in ERA and fourth in strikeouts.
The AL East is shaping up to be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball with maybe four teams having a real chance to compete for first place. It should create for a very exciting summer when the playoff races begin to heat up.