Last season, the Cleveland Indians fell one win short of winning a World Series title. Despite the disappointment, Cleveland has reloaded with the intention of contending for another championship. The Indians have one of the most talented rosters in the majors but they will have some tough competition. That starts in their own division with the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. Here is a look at how to bet on the American League Central this season.
The Favorite: Cleveland Indians
Odds To Win American League Central: -250
Cleveland upgraded its offense with the additions of Edwin Encarnacion and Austin Jackson. However, the biggest upgrades might be in the starting rotation where they bring back Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin after both pitchers were injured when it was most important last season. The Indians have one of the most talented rotations in the AL. As long as they stay healthy, this should be a playoff team.
The intriguing change will be on offense where Encarnacion should provide even more pop in the heart of their order. Encarnacion and the returning Michael Brantley should upgrade an offense that featured Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana last season. Cleveland has the power to put up big offensive numbers in 2017. If everything comes together, they should live up to their status as AL Central favorites.
The Dark Horse: Kansas City Royals
Odds To Win American League Central: +1000
The Detroit Tigers should be in the mix for an AL Central title but the real dark horse is Kansas City. The Royals have reached the World Series in three of the last four years so it’s impossible to overlook them this season. Kansas City has reloaded for one more championship run and the urgency will be there with a number of key players set to become free agents after this season. Royals GM Dayton Moore called this year’s starting rotation the best he has had during his tenure. Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jason Vargas and Nathan Karns will need to perform at a high level in order to live up to what Moore thinks of this group.
Meanwhile, the offense will feature Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Brandon Moss was brought in to provide some power and if everyone stays healthy this group should be solid. Kansas City is being somewhat overlooked heading in to the 2017 season but nobody should be surprised if they contend for an AL Central title.
The Disappointment: Detroit Tigers
Odds To Win American League Central: +450
On paper, some people feel Detroit is right there with Cleveland in the AL Central. However, there are reasons to believe the Tigers will disappoint. Justin Verlander is coming off an outstanding season but he will be in tough to duplicate his 2016 numbers. Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez is coming off another rough year. The back end of the rotation is far from set. The Tigers made it clear they were looking to move some big names in the offseason. While they failed to move any notables, that doesn’t mean they won’t be open to trades in season.
Detroit has enough talent to contend but a slow start could lead to a major shakeup. Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez are among the names that teams could be interested in so it will be interesting to see if something gets done. The Tigers are arguably the second-most talented team in the division. That doesn’t guarantee they will contend for an AL Central title in 2017.
Best Regular Season Win Total To Bet: Royals Under 77
While the Royals could be a dark horse, there is a very good chance they go in the other direction too. The challenge is that this is typically a frugal franchise. Mix that in with the fact that they have a number of pending free agents and there is potential for this to go sour quickly. Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar are just a few names. If the Royals are out of contention in the middle part of the season, they could be big-time sellers at the trade deadline. That would mean a second-half nosedive and an under.
The 2017 MLB season is rapidly approaching, so if you’re looking at some early lines and World Series futures, click here to bet on MLB (or any other sports) at BetDSI!
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