2013 MLB AL Central Odds, Free Picks and Predictions – Vegas Favorites and Odds to Win 2013 American League Central: Of all the divisions in baseball, the American League Central has a knack for either being competitive or weak depending on how you want to look at it. Since 1995, there have been five teams to win the division without winning 90 games, including the 88-74 Detroit Tigers last year. Not to mention the fact that only one team from the AL Central has ever earned a wild card berth. It remains to be see if the trend will change in 2013, but in the meantime, here is a look at how the AL Central stacks up for the upcoming season.
1. Detroit Tigers: Other than finding a closer, the Tigers look a lot like the team that went to the World Series last season. The offense will again be led by defending AL MVP Miguel Cabrera and fellow slugger Prince Fielder, and Detroit’s lineup actually stands to improve in 2013 with the addition of Torii Hunter and the return of Victor Martinez from injury. Meanwhile, workhorse Justin Verlander will anchor one of the hardest throwing rotations in baseball. If Detroit’s stars stay healthy, the AL Central is the Tigers’ division to lose.
2. Chicago White Sox: Offense shouldn’t be an issue for the White Sox in 2013. After all, Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Paul Konerko are among the returning starters for a lineup that ranked third in homers and seventh in runs scored last year. The pitching has a chance to be solid, as well. Chris Sale and Jake Peavy are both ace-caliber starters, and the bullpen is loaded with hard throwers. A wild card berth is certainly possible, and if Chicago’s younger arms develop and solidify the rotation, the White Sox could make a serious run at the division crown.
3. Kansas City Royals: Bill Butler and Alex Gordon have emerged as reliable, potent bats in the middle of a lineup that has some upside. If highly-touted prospects Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas all realize their potential in 2013, Kansas City’s offense could be dangerous. More importantly, the front office brought in a pair of quality arms in James Shields and Ervin Santana to help bolster a rotation that has been awful in recent years. No, neither guy is in their prime anymore, but adding to reliable arms to an improving offense could make the Royals a tougher out than in recent years.
4. Cleveland Indians: Adding manager Terry Francona should bring leadership to a fairly young team, but there are still a lot of question marks for Cleveland in 2013. On the plus side, new addition Michael Bourn should be solid at the top of the lineup, and second baseman Jason Kipnis has star potential. However, free swingers like Nick Swisher, Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds will likely make the offense run hot and cold. Meanwhile, the rotation is depending on Ubaldo Jimenez turning things around, Brett Myers transitioning back to a starter successfully and Trevor Bauer keeping his temper in check. Like I said, there are a lot of questions marks surrounding the Indians this year.
5. Minnesota Twins: On one hand, Minnesota does have a pair of former MVPs in its lineup in Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, along with Josh Willingham, who is coming off a career year. However, Mauer’s power has been sapped by years of playing catcher, Morneau has been battling concussions, and it remains to be seen if Willingham can back up his numbers. Meanwhile, the starting rotation is shaky, and the bullpen is even scarier. Even if the offense performs to its full potential, the lack of pitching is going to handicap the Twins in 2013.
2013 MLB AL Central Division Odds
5106 Chicago White Sox +550
5107 Cleveland Indians +1200
5108 Detroit Tigers -300
5109 Kansas City Royals +650
5110 Minnesota Twins +2000
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