White Sox Will Reclaim AL Central

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The AL Central was one of the divisions I couldn’t have been more wrong about last season. You see I was huge on the Tigers for many reasons – my own stupidity included – but they ended up with just one more win than the last-place Royals. I expected the White Sox to win the division, but they were a disaster. The only team I thought was overrated was the Twins, and I was pretty correct about them. Let’s see if I can make amends for it this year.

This might actually still be the hardest division to predict. You have the Royals without really any improvement in the offseason. I don’t really expect them to take a step forward, and even if they do, it probably won’t be enough to get them into contention for the division. They have one decent pitcher, Brady Singer, and a few decent pieces on offense. At +3000 I think this number should be significantly higher like 45:1.

The Tigers, my darling from last year which turned out to just be an ugly duckling, are not looking like they will be much better than last season. Of course, that probably means they will be outstanding, but we shall see. Their pitching staff is better than the Royals, and their hitters are probably a bit more versatile, but they have the same odds to win the AL Central as the Royals. I’m not sure that makes any sense. Either way, I still won’t play it.

The Twins are currently +215 to win the division. I’m telling you, please, please, please do not bet the Twins to win the division. Look at their pitching staff, that staff will not win enough games for the Twins even with the ability to face the Royals and Tigers many times during the season. They added Joey Gallo in the offseason which could help if he rebounds. They also lost and added Carlos Correa in a string of comical events. I don’t like anything that the Twins have going on. They should not be +215 to win the division.

The White Sox have moved on from Tony LaRussa, one of the main reasons their season was a disaster last year. Maybe disaster is too harsh of a word, but when expectations are that you’re competing for the World Series and you only go 81-81 on the season. There were many reports of the team hating the manager and now they have a new one. That should reinvigorate them. The offseason didn’t see a ton of changes for them, but they did add Andrew Benintendi. They easily have the best lineup in the division and arguably have the best pitching staff with Cy Young candidate Dylan Cease. Even their other four pitchers, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Micahel Kopech, and new addition Mike Clevinger should be fantastic. They will win this division. At +250, I absolutely love this bet and think you’re getting a ton of value. By the way, I’m a Cubs fan, if I wrote what I just wrote, you have to know that it is coming from a place of objective evaluation.

The Guardians kind of just stole the division last year. I’ll be honest, I thought their team was trash and somehow they found a way to win it. How did they do it? Well, it certainly wasn’t the lineup. Their team batting average was a respectable .254 average, but they only had 127 home runs as a team and they only scored 662 runs. They only scored 4.23 runs per game on average last season and were second to last in home runs per game. The strength of the team lies with the pitching staff. Shane Bieber is a Cy Young candidate, Tristion McKenzie and Cal Quantrill both are talented, but I still like the Sox staff better.

As much as I hate to say it, the Sox are the better team and they got rid of their biggest problem, the manager. Injuries could cause issues anywhere, but I’ll take the White Sox at +250 to win the division.

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Written by David Troy

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