As baseball’s regular season is fastly approaching. Who will emerge on top of the American League Central Division? Let’s dive in and find out.
Chicago White Sox
Signing new manager Tony LaRussa, the White Sox quickly rose to the favorites to win the division. In addition to their strong starting pitching rotation, the batting lineup is lead by reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu.
However, coming in third last year, even if it was just by one game and a poor showing in the AL Wildcard Series, may have some wondering if they can win their first divisional title since 2008.
Vegas has the White Sox at -143 to win the division. Tony LaRussa seems to be a big factor in the betting odds.
The Twins finished on top with a 36-24 record and winning the division in the 2020 season. With most of the squad returning, the Twins should be poised to repeat. However, winning only by one game, ahead of the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox, along with a poor showing in the AL Wildcard Series leave doubt in many minds.
Kenta Maeda and Jake Odorizzi are out of the rotation. Minnesota will be leaning on free-agent acquisition J.A. Happ to step in and strengthen the pitching mound, with Alex Colome was added to sure up the bullpen. Let’s not count the Twins out completely.
Subsequently, with the division being so tight, Vegas putting the Twins at +175 to repeat and having them second in the division is not terrible odds.
The confidence in the Indians winning the division dropped greatly when they traded away All-Star Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the Mets. That being said, having reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber leading the pitching, along with a batting order that can hit the ball out of the park. We can’t sleep on the Indians taking the division.
Betting Odds: Vegas has the Indians with the third-best odds at +650. A rather larger drop from even second.
Trying to rebuild to keep pace with the top teams in the American League Central, the Tigers will keep grooming their young talent. Having Matthew Boyd does solidify the rotation; however, until the trade deadline is up, one has to wonder if he could be traded. They still have last year’s first overall pick Spencer Torkelson, but it is unlikely he will start the year in Detroit.
Not much fun for a better at +4,000. Vegas doesn’t seem to think very highly of the rebuilding in Detroit.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals actually finished three games ahead of the Tigers last; but, that is as far as the confidence goes. Hoping for Jorge Soler to have another career-high season doesn’t do much for being competitive in the division.
However, keep an eye on Bobby Witt Jr., he is starting in the minors, but rumors are call-up could come. Likewise, experts expect Adalberto Mondesi to have a breakout season. Can the Royals crawl out of the last place in the division?
Joining the Tigers at +4,000 to win the division. The Royals are really going to have to bring it to get to .500 for the season.
*stats from mlb.com
*betting odds from draftkings.com