One year after the NL East had two 100-win teams – and a third team reached the World Series – and the AL East nearly became the first division in MLB history to have all five teams finish above .500, both divisions are trending toward another strong season.
Which division is the best? Or is one of the other four divisions better through the season’s first month
As of May 31, the AL East and NL East are favored at the online sportsbook to produce the World Series champion.
Ranking the Best MLB Divisions in 2023
1. AL East
The AL East still reigns supreme.
Every team is above .500, and no other division is close to achieving that feat. The Rays lead the division with an impressive 39-18 record and a +118 run differential. The second-place Orioles are only three games behind at 35-20.
Elsewhere in the division, the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays are fighting to remain in wild-card contention. To put in perspective just how good the AL East is, these three teams hold better records than any team in the AL Central and more than half of the teams in the AL West.
2. NL East
Compared to the AL East, the NL East is a close second.
Despite dropping a couple of embarrassing losses to the Athletics, the Braves reside at the top of the division. They still hold the lead by a handful of games, but the Mets and Marlins are starting to gain momentum. If these teams continue to win, the NL East title race could heat up sooner than expected.
At the bottom of the division, the Phillies and Nationals have slipped 6.5 and nine games behind, respectively. It’s unlikely either of these teams will be in postseason talks.
3. NL West
The NL West holds the No. 3 spot mainly due to the success of the division’s top two contenders: the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks.
As June quickly approaches, the Dodgers are still the top team in the division. But they aren’t leading by much. The Diamondbacks are just 1.5 games behind and seem to improve by the week. The Giants are also starting to pick up steam and currently occupy the third and final NL wild-card spot.
4. AL West
The biggest surprise out of the AL West has been the early, sustained success of the Rangers.
They are the top team in the division with a .648 win percentage and hold a three-game lead over the second-best team in Texas: the Astros. Houston racked up a 16-9 record in May, a much-needed reprieve after spending most of April and May below .500. Since the return of All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve, they’ve lost only twice and seem to be back to their winning ways.
At the bottom of the AL West, the league’s worst A’s have a measly 12 wins.
5. NL Central
The NL Central is full of talent. However, talent doesn’t always translate to long-term success.
For example, the Cardinals were expected to top the division yet have fallen to last place. The two teams that currently top the division, the Brewers and the Pirates, are inconsistent at best. The Brewers have lost four of their last six games, including a 15-1 drubbing at the hands of the Giants.
To the Pirates’ credit, they’re performing much better than anticipated. However, it’s unlikely that their unexpected start is sustainable.
6. AL Central
The AL Central lands at the bottom because it’s unlikely any team hits 90 wins this season.
As it stands, the Twins top the AL Central with a record of 28-27. No other team in the division has a record above .500. Remember that the new schedule will negatively impact every team in this division. They will have fewer opportunities to compete against each other and more chances of being beaten by some of the league’s premier squads.
NRFI/YRFI Odds at BetMGM
Betting on NRFI odds and YRFI odds is a great way to add more excitement to the start of baseball games.
If you’re unfamiliar with NRFI/YRFI betting: NRFI means “no runs in the first inning,” while YRFI means “yes runs in the first inning.”
When you bet on NRFI odds, you’re betting on both teams to combine for zero runs in the first inning of that game. Alternatively, when you bet on YRFI odds, you’re betting on both teams to combine for at least one run in the first inning.
And check out sports betting promotions throughout the year!