AL Central Second Half Preview Odds to win division: Indians (-500), Royals (+800), Tigers (+800), White Sox (+9000, Twins (Off)
% chance according to fangraphs: Indians (86.6%), Tigers (8.7%), White Sox (2.9%), Royals (1.8%), Twins (0)
The baseball nerds and the odds makers obviously agree on the Twins. They have a young core but are a few years away from potentially being a contender. If you have followed all season you know that we are on the Indians to win the division at much better odds than currently posted, so this may be short and sweet.
While the Indians only have a 6.5 game lead, none of these teams present value at their current cost. The Royals odds are juiced up due to their recent success. Let’s get it clear this is not that team. Injury has really destroyed them for the season and they will more than likely fade into fourth place, as fangraphs sees them.
The White Sox are not far behind. They need an infusion of power and need it ASAP. Todd Frazier leads the team in home runs at 25, but is hitting .213 in doing so. Their next highest total is 11 from Brett Lawrie, and Jose Abreu, who is already 29 and may have seen his peak days go by in the past two years.
The Tigers are a tough team to write off given their name potential. Still, Michael Fulmer has essentially carried the rotation recently, and in that we are talking about a 23-year old rookie. They have Jordan Zimmerman and JD Martinez on the DL and do not get me started on their bullpen. 8:1 implies a 10% chance of winning the division. With fangraphs saying they only have an 8% chance, there is no value in any of these teams, even playing with Indians house money. Let’s hope the Indians breeze home and give us our pay day.