AL Central Betting Trends: Twins' Success Continues, But For How Long?

Doug Upstone

Monday, June 8, 2015 1:24 PM UTC

Monday, Jun. 8, 2015 1:24 PM UTC

As MLB baseball handicappers, we are always looking for edges to exploit against the MLB odds the sportsbooks set. In the AL Central there have been situations to go after and cash in on.

Minnesota Mowing Down Opponents and Building Bankrolls
The Twins have been hanging near the top of the AL Central all season to the sheer amazement to anyone making MLB picks. Realistically, nobody expects this to continue into September, maybe even August, but for now its working. so take the money and run.

Minnesota’s starting staff ranks fifth in the American League in ERA and OBP and this group has been an underdog in 47 of the Twins 56 tilts and between them and the bullpen have a 29-18 record, good for a whopping +18.2 units. As mentioned before, we are big fans of Kyle Gibson (4-3, 3.00 ERA) but we seriously wonder if Mike Pelfrey, Ricky Nolasco and Trevor May can keep up the pace in which Minnesota has a 20-8 record in their starts this season. The backend of the bullpen looks strong with Blaine Boyer setting up closer Glen Perkins, but when the bridge is needed for a short start to the eight inning, the rest of the Twins pensters have been fair at best.

At some point this joy ride for sports picks will end for Minny, but when listed as dogs, for now keep playing.


Indians Uprising Making them Easy to Bet
After five weeks into the season, Cleveland chances of even being a contender in the division looked dashed and they were hovering around -15 units. Yet in the last several weeks the Indians have made up almost 10 units and while still in the red, if you have been buying them of late you are in the black.

Though Cleveland starting staff ERA is only good enough to rank 11th in the league, some of that is baggage from pitchers no longer in the rotation. Presently Danny Salazar (3.50), Trevor Bauer (2.94), Corey Kluber (3.61) and Carlos Carrasco (3.99) all have ERA’s under four, which sets up Cleveland pretty well to continue to make up ground and the guys in the pen have a Top 5 league ERA. If the Tribe score runs, they will keep improving.


Detroit and Kansas City Pitching Not Getting it Done
If you have following the betting odds at (and saving unnecessary juice I might add), you know the Tigers and Royals have recently been in big time slumps. There is no mistaking these downturns have been caused by the entire team, but do not think it has been just because the bats have gone silent.

A review of the starting pitching numbers in the AL show Detroit has tumbled from 5th three weeks ago to 9th in the junior circuit and Kansas City has collapsed and is just ahead of Boston who ranks last in ERA. Though it is not the only answer, part of the issue for both is getting the easy out, in this case the strikeout and both rank in the lower third of the league in K’s per nine innings. While the Royals bullpen is still far and away the best in baseball, in the past 10 days even their ERA has gone up 10 percent and this worth following since they rank 4th in the league in usage after being next to last in 2014.


White Sox Have Holes They Cannot Mend
Chicago’s issues are two-fold, the offense cannot generate enough runs and the pitchers give up too many runs which leads directly to the White Sox having the worst run differential in the AL. Conceding 4.6 runs per game clearly explains why they are 14-23 in games decided by two or more runs and with the second-worst scoring offense in the league, the pitching has to improve or the lineup has to provide more.

Other than when Chris Sale pitches, hard to make a good case to back the White Sox often in the other four games until the big lefty’s turn comes back around again.

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