2016 AL Central Outright Odds And Prediction
There is a case to be made that the AL Central is the deepest division overall in MLB, as there is a good chance that four of the five teams in the division hit the All-Star break with records over the .500 mark. The lone outlier are the Minnesota Twins and they'll likely end up competing for the worst record in MLB when all is said and done. Yet, with Cleveland having created some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack (Detroit, Chicago White Sox, and Kansas City), it might not matter if four of the five teams are over .500 at the break. This looks to be Cleveland's division to lose.
MLB AL Central Division Title Odds
When you take a look at the current MLB Al Central Division title odds, it's no surprise to see the Cleveland Indians as the heavy favourites at -375. Cleveland will likely enter the All-Star break with anywhere from a 5-9 game lead on the second place team in the division and that's a lot of ground for anyone to make up, even with almost half the season yet. The other three teams – the Kansas City Royals (+750), Detroit Tigers (+750), Chicago White Sox (+900) – are all bunched up among themselves and it's going to be tough for any of them to separate themselves from one another. All have various issues to deal with, and if Cleveland either gets better down the stretch or maintains their status quo, the lead Cleveland currently has will not be overcome.
MLB AL Central Outright Prediction
CLEVELAND INDIANS TO WIN AL Central @-375
Although laying these kind of favourite odds on future bet can be tough, The Cleveland Indians are clearly the pick to win the AL Central right now and I've got a tough time believing anything will change in the second half. The Indians have managed to put it all together this year and their AL-best team ERA is something that can't be ignored. Strong pitching is what the good teams have to separate themselves in this league and no other AL Central rival can match what the Indians put out there on the mound for any given game.
Offensively, the Indians can beat you in a variety of ways and are likely going to go into the All-Star break as the only AL Central team with a positive run differential overall. Overall run differential (runs scored – runs allowed) is a strong indicator of just how good a MLB team and if they are a little “lucky” or “unlucky” with their win-loss record. Well, as of this writing, the Indians are +89 in run differential, and with noted MLB statistician Bill James' Pythagorean theorem, that is a very good sign for Indians fans and bettors alike.
Simply put, that theorem suggests that every +10 runs in differential equates to one win over the .500 mark. Now the Indians are much better than nine games over .500 at this point, and that margin could end up being too much to overcome for their competitors. Kansas City and the White Sox currently have negative run differentials, and the Tigers are dead even at 0.
One of those teams are going to have to go on quite the run in the second half of the season and hope that Cleveland finds themselves in a historic collapse. The likelihood of that happening is quite slim, and that's why there is so much “juice” at -500 to back this Cleveland squad.
For those looking for more of a long shot in the AL Central and believe that we could see the Indians stumble towards the finish line, the team that likely has the best chance would be the Kansas City Royals (+900).
The Royals are the defending champions and that experience can't be discounted. They've also been a team ravaged by injuries in the first half of 2016 and if/when they start to get healthy, they are a team most likely to make a run at Cleveland. Taking those +800 odds does look quite juicy on paper, but everything would have to break right for Kansas City and they've had their fair share of that happening the past few seasons.
Overall, the AL Central is Cleveland's division to lose in the second half of the season and I doubt they let that occur.
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