Coming in the season, the American League Central was forecasted by sportsbooks and baseball experts alike to be a four-team race. One of those teams was not supposed to be Minnesota, yet here they are.
The Twins have supplanted Cleveland who is playing like Minnesota was supposed to and those constructing MLB picks are profiting handsomely on Minny. In Part 3 of our division series breaking down each team with look towards the scheduling future, we attack the AL Central.
Royals – Can Kansas City Keep Up the Pace?
It is hard to find fault with the Kansas City Royals as a baseball handicapper, they are among the best money-makers for those placing sports picks, their run differential is also top shelf and their offense is markedly better than a year ago in scoring 5.0 runs per game, which is third in the majors. What is there to worry about?
At this time it might be a minor detail but it bears watching. Kansas City has the best bullpen by a country mile with a 1.58 ERA. Upon closer examination we have two intersecting factors which could work against this group later. Last year the Royals also had a terrific pen and the world had not yet caught on. But last season’s crew was 14th in inning usage in the AL, but this season they are up to 5th. Last year Ned Yost’s starting pitchers had the third-most innings in the junior circuit, in 2015 to this point they have sunk to 11th in the league. No reason to sound the alarm yet, just pay attention.
Tough stretch for K.C. with I-80 series at home with St. Louis followed immediately by heading out to face the Yankees and Tigers. The Royals have been a sharp 11-5 as underdogs and are worth the follow versus the MLB odds at betting outlets like WagerWeb.
Tigers – Detroit Winning But Still Unstable
Since the middle of July last year, the Detroit Tigers are like a stock that rises and falls on the flow charts. For awhile you cannot help but be impressed, sending out signals as a ‘buy’. However, within a week they trending downward and bettors are thinking ‘sell’ (play against) right away.
The overall pitching is above average, but not outstanding and despite having players that should stroking the baseball, other than Miguel Cabrera, the rest are ordinary and the offense is plodding along below 4.5 RPG. Detroit will be tested against the betting odds with home series with Houston and a trip to Cali to face the A’s and Angels. Not an easy team to back at the moment.
Twins – Minnesota Confounding Experts
You keep waiting for the Minnesota Twins to tumble, but thanks to an offense that generates 4.6 RPG and gets just enough pitching, they are making backers at places Wagerweb.ag very pleased. Let this sink in, Minnesota has only lost back to back games once since April 22. (#whoknew) Opposing teams can no longer discount the Twins at Target Field where they are 14-6 and they are whippin’ up on lefty starters with a 12-5 record.
Can it last? You would not think so, however, their next three foes are at the White Sox and home with Boston and Toronto who are not better than they are in spite of what talent level looks like, so why not back this Norsemen from the Land of 10,000 Lakes and take the cash as they keep winning enough.
White Sox – Chicago on the Rise
Coming out of Arizona in March, the Chicago White Sox looked like a true contender in this division. The hitting was crisp, the pitching was more than adequate and there was an aura about them. So much for appearances, as Chicago’s offense started flatter than a cheese pizza and opposing batters were sending out shots that looked like they sent from rocket launchers, not wood bats.
But in true baseball form, something clicked and after humbly being swept in a four-game series in Minnesota, the Sox came together and moved up to .500 and back into contention in the division. The offense still is underachieving at less than 4 RPG, but there is improvement. After finishing with Cleveland on the South Side, a revenge-ridden series with the Twins is next, before leaving for Toronto, Houston and Texas. Modest potential for making money with the Pale Hose unless the bats heat up.
Indians – Sad State of Affairs for Cleveland
With Terry Francona as manager, you would not expect to see the Indians getting tomahawked like this. Cleveland started as one the worst wagers in the game and nothing much has changed, with inaccordant offense and fickle pitching, the Tribe deserve to be where they in the standings.
One would like to think the upcoming homestand versus Cincy and Texas would bring relief, but Cleveland is a disgusting 6-12 (-9.3 units) at home. No rest for the wicked.