MLB Odds: AL Central Division Update Focused on Offense

Doug Upstone

Friday, May 29, 2015 5:40 PM UTC

Friday, May. 29, 2015 5:40 PM UTC

If you have been paying attention to the betting odds, many baseball handicappers have been recommending teams from the American League Central and for good reason, it pays well.

Of course other divisions have good situations and good choices for sports picks, but the AL Central has sportsbooks with a wary eye at this time with how events have transpired.

This is how each club is performing in this division with a focus on the offense.

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Royals – Kansas City at Where They Should Be
The Kansas City offense finally hit a speed bump just past the quarter pole of the season, but anyone seriously reviewing the MLB odds has to surmise this is a temporary issue. The Royals are second the league in scoring and far more consistent than top-rated Toronto as evidenced by being third in both OBP and OPS. For those who appreciate the concept of avoiding strikeouts and putting the ball in play, Kansas City is last in fanning in the AL.

While Ned Yost lineup might not be worthy of averaging five runs per game, their current level of 4.7 with so many players in or heading towards their prime years should continue to yield profits for those creating MLB picks.


Tigers – Offense Weaker than Expected
It is not easy to put together what is wrong with the Detroit offense which is averaging only 4.2 runs a game. Their batting average, OBP and OPS rank in the top two in the AL and they are second in walks and below the midpoint average of strikeouts in the league.

In seeking answers, last year they were sixth in the AL in home runs and this season they are down to 12th, which takes away the potential to score in bursts as opposed to putting a group of hits together. The only other factor that comes into play is being like the ESPN commercial of the last few years – Clutch.

The Tigers leave the sixth most runs on base in baseball. This state can be viewed two ways, one it is a positive that you generate hits and both Cleveland (1st) and St. Louis (2nd) strand more runners and score more runs than Detroit. Now just because you leave fewer runners on does not make you offense is more effective because Milwaukee is actually 30th and scoring 3.7 RPG. Yet both Minnesota and Houston who tally more runs are 28th and 27th respectively, showing they are more efficient and come thru with more clutch hits.


Twins – Minnesota Tied for First, Really?
Minnesota is defying the MLB odds at GTBets and other wagering outlets with their unbelievable start to 2015. Let there be no doubt the improved pitching has been large part of their success, but so has their offense which averages 4.6 RPG.

It cannot be understated what Torii Hunter has meant in his return to the Twin Cities as his enthusiasm, professional approach and results (.280 BA, .457 SLP) has sparked this mostly faceless team.

Can the Twins continue as this pace, well, the schedule sets up where the offense and pitching should continue to thrive over the next three series before opponents before tougher.


White Sox – Chicago Needs More from Reinforcements
When the White Sox brought in Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche they thought the offense would have lineup depth to support Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia. To this juncture this has not been the case with Cabrera and LaRoche batting around .250. LaRoche has a higher OBP because he’s taken far more walks (28-12) but he’s alone struck-out a ton more (49-16).

Abreu and Garcia are both doing their jobs but need more runners on base to improve 3.6 RPG average. Other disappointments include Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez who own OBP averages of under .300. The lack of scoring and so-so pitching has translated into an 11-19 record in contests that have two or more run differentials.


Indians – Gaining Ground but a Long Way to Go
For roughly a month from the middle of April until mid-May, Cleveland was the best play-against teams in the game. A lack of pitching and hitting made the Indians regular losers.

Beginning May 19th the starting pitching began to come around and a few days later Terry Francona’s lineup card started to generate runs and Cleveland began its climb towards respectability and .500. If three staples in the batting order named Brandon Moss (.227 BA), Carlos Santana (.221) and Lonnie Chisenhall (.215) can start to ascend and be compared to Jason Kipnis (.345) and Michael Brantley (.316), the Tribe will begin chasing preseason expectations.

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