2017 AL Pennant Picks

2017 AL Pennant Picks

2017 AL Pennant Picks

The Cleveland Indians stunned the Boston Red Sox and the rest of their American League counterparts en route to the 2016 AL Pennant. Now, with each of the last three AL Pennants going to underdog teams that no one picked to do much of anything, the big question is can the Tribe repeat as one of the top two favorites or will some other ballclub, most notably, the Boston Red Sox, beat out the young and dangerous Indians for this year’s AL Pennant. Click here for 2017 World Series odds.

Let’s find out now, which team is the favorite, my smart pick, my top value pick and longshot pick to win the 2017 MLB American League Pennant.

2017 MLB American League Pennant Odds & Picks

2017 AL Pennant Odds

Team

Opening odds

Updated odds

Boston Red Sox

9-2

5-2

Cleveland Indians

9-2

4-1

Houston Astros

11-2

5

Texas Rangers

7-1

7

Toronto Blue Jays

6-1

10

Detroit Tigers

9-1

15

New York Yankees

11-1

15

Seattle Mariners

11-1

15

Kansas City Royals

14-1

20

Baltimore Orioles

9-1

20

Los Angeles Angels

50-1

25

Minnesota Twins

50-1

50

Tampa Bay Rays

28-1

50

Oakland Athletics

50-1

50

Chicago White Sox

28-1

100

The Odds-On Favorite To Win The 2017 AL Pennant: Boston Red Sox 5/2

The Red Sox  won 93 games last season last season to win the AL East title and added gifted starter Chris Sale, veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland and young right-hander Tyler Thornburg to their ballclub as they look to overtake the Tribe this season.

By now, everyone knows that the Red Sox will have to overcome the retirement of David Ortiz and that could be easier said than done seeing as how ‘Big Papi’ led the BoSox in homers (38), doubles (48), RBI (127), on-base percentage (.401) and slugging percentage (.620).

The good news is that Boston has their own handful of talented youngsters that all look like they’re ready for even bigger roles in 2017 in veterans Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts and younger talents in Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and rookie of the year candidate Andrew Benintendi.

Boston will need to get some quality pitching outside of their ‘Big Three’ of Sale, AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and the gifted but inconsistent David Price, but the pieces are in place for the Sox to really contend in 2017.

The Smart Bet To Win The 2017 AL Pennant: Cleveland Indians 4/1

The Tribe look like they’re the smart pick to retain their AL Pennant title after adding veteran Boone Logan to bolster their bullpen and adding heavy hitter Edwin Encarnacion to put some pop in their batting order and overcome the loss of the clubhouse stabilizing Mike Napoli.

Of course, the Tribe could stand to add some better quality starters to go along with the gifted Corey Kluber. To that end, Cleveland really needs Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin to step up.

The good news is that Cleveland ranked fourth in scoring last season (4.8 rpg) and seventh in runs allowed (3.8 rpg) and strengthened their phenomenal bullpen.

The Value Bet To Win The 2017 AL Pennant: Settle Mariners 15/1

The Mariners went 96-76 last season to finish in second place in the AL West, nine games behind Texas, but there is plenty of hope in the far Northwest heading into 2017 seeing as how the M’s finished 2016 ranked a stellar sixth in scoring (4.7 rpg) and equally impressive eighth in runs allowed (4.0 rpg).

The Mariners were very busy this offseason, making 10 different trades since November and are now clearly looking to win. Seattle has an excellent bullpen, but they’ll need better starting pitching in 2017 if they want to contend for the AL Pennant. The Mariners did not have a pitcher with an ERA lower than 3.75 and a WHIP below 1.200 and only had only two starters with more than 10 wins.

The offense carried this team with nine batters hitting at least 12 home runs and three driving in at least 99 runs, but the M’s will need a better season from staff ace Felix Hernandez (11-8, 3.82 ERA) but added veterans Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo in the offseason to help address their starting rotations issues.

The M’s will go only as far as their pitching takes them in 2017, but right now, it looks like the M’s will challenge for the NL West title at the very least.

The Longshot To Win The 2017 AL Pennant: Kansas City Royals 20/1

The Royals underachieved in 2016 one year after bagging the 2015 World Series title, but
Kansas City still has a good portion of their core players that won it all two years ago in Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Alcides Escobar.

More importantly, the Royals also made some nice offseason additions by trading for  Chicago Cubs outfield Jorge Soler while also adding former Seattle Mariners starter Nathan Karns.

While the Royals lost a gifted starter back on January 22 when gifted young right-hander Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident, the Royals did manage to sign former Chicago Cubs starter Jason Hammel to a two-year deal after he went 15-10 with 3.83 ERA in 2016.

If Kansas City’s starting pitching can match the contributions of their stellar bullpen, the Royals could surprise in a big way in 2017.