The American League Central has long been known for its parity, as it’s seemed like the division has been up for grabs at the start of every season over the years. With the emergence of the Cleveland Indians, those days appear to be over.
To back this up here are some facts. The Tribe are heavy -400 chalk to win the Central at some online books, while the Detroit Tigers (+550), Kansas City Royals (+675), Chicago White Sox (+2500) and Minnesota Twins (+2800) lines are also available.
Cleveland will be looking to build off an extremely strong 2016 campaign with a heartbreaking finish, as the Indians were one inning away from winning the World Series. As everyone knows by now, the Indians held a 3-1 lead in the Fall Classic before collapsing and letting the Chicago Cubs rattle off three consecutive wins en route to their first championship since 1908.
Don’t expect this team to dwell on the past, though. The front office added the most sought-after hitter on the market in free agency by signing ex-Toronto Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion, while reliever Boone Logan, outfielder Austin Jackson, first baseman Chris Colabello, outfielder Wily Mo Pena and reliever Carlos Frias have also joined the squad. If the Indians don’t claim the Central this season, it will be a major surprise.
The Tigers and Royals are the only other clubs with a realistic shot of catching Cleveland. Kansas City suffered a major World Series hangover in 2016, finishing on the outside of the postseason with an 81-81 record. The Royals’ contending window hasn’t closed yet, but they’ll need to put forth a much better effort this season if they want to convince the rest of the league they’re still a force to be reckoned with.
The Tigers seem to be consistently in the mix, but they haven’t reached the playoffs since 2014 and are no longer the top dogs in the division. If the Indians fail to copy last year’s success, look for the Motor City Kitties to be near the top of the standings once again.
ODDS TO WIN THE 2017 AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL DIVISION
Cleveland Indians -400
Detroit Tigers +550
Kansas City Royals +675
Chicago White Sox +2500
Minnesota Twins +2800
It is clear that baseball season is getting closer, as the MLB season win totals are up.
For the second year in a row, the highest win total has been set on the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs win total for the upcoming season is set at 95.5, which is a massive number when you consider they were 92.5 entering last year.
The huge total is understandable with the Cubs tallying 97 wins in 2015 and 103 in 2016. Chicago lost a few key players during the offseason, including closer Aroldis Chapman, but the young core remains largely intact. The lineup that features Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell was second in on-base percentage and third in runs during the regular season last year. Baseball betting is now available at HeritageSports.eu