While no team from the American League Central would be at the top of many people’s lists to win the World Series, the division has the only legitimate three-team race for the division crown.
Minnesota has been on top for a while but is only one game ahead of the Cleveland Guardians and two games ahead of preseason favorite Chicago.
With the tension ratcheting up, let’s take a look at the updated betting odds to win the American League Central. This race will feature a lot of drama because the second-place finisher may not get one of the Wild Cards.
Twins can slug with best of them
Minnesota, which is 55-50, has stumbled out of the All-Star break but still maintains +125 odds to win the division. The Twins, who are 4-6 in their past ten games, have been excellent of offense this season. Minnesota has a lot of power, smashing 130 home runs this season, which ranks ninth in the league.
Byron Buxton is leading the Twins’ lineup by smashing 26 home runs and also has 46 RBIs. Where Minnesota has been lacking is with its pitching staff.
The Twins’ pitching staff ranks 20th in the league in ERA with a 4.05 ERA. Minnesota added starting pitcher Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline to bolster the rotation.
Still waiting for the White Sox push
The Chicago White Sox were expected to repeat as division champions. However, the White Sox are still in third place, and just a game over .500 as the calendar turns over into August. Chicago, which is +150 to win the division, doesn’t struggle to put the ball in play.
The White Sox are third in MLB with a .258 batting average. However, once the runners get on base, Chicago hasn’t found the timely or clutch hitting to bring them home. The White Sox are 17th in MLB in runs scored, bringing in 4.34 per contest.
The lack of run production is difficult for the White Sox to overcome at times due to struggles with the pitching staff. Chicago’s pitching staff has a collective ERA of 3.92, which ranks 16th in the league. Dylan Cease has been the White Sox’s most productive pitcher, collecting 11 wins in 15 starts, and currently has a 2.01 ERA.
Guardians may be undervalued
While Cleveland didn’t have nearly the expectations of some of its division rivals, the Guardians have found a way to be tough. Third baseman Jose Ramirez has provided a spark for an excellent lineup. Ramirez is batting .282 with 21 home runs and 86 RBIs this season.
As a team, Cleveland ranks eighth in MLB with a .251 batting average. The Guardians pitching staff doesn’t necessarily have one lockdown starter. Cal Quantrill and Triston McKenzie are tied with a team-high seven wins apiece for Cleveland.
Better luck next year
The Detroit Tigers (+20000) and Kansas City Royals (+27500) are well out of the division race. Both teams are focusing on development for next year.
Barry Devoe can regularly be found rocking the sticks on League of Legends, Rocket League, and CS:GO, but he loves his traditional sports as well. Barry is a Chicago sports fan through and through, but his knowledge of the game is second-to-none. When he's not watching or playing, he works as a baseball umpire and football referee.