2018 American League Central Odds and Betting Preview

February 19th, 2018 MLB Baseball

The Cleveland Indians have garnered a lot of MLB game lines respect since 2013.  That is the year Terry Francona took the helm as manager.  Francona made his name in Boston as a World Series managerial winner in 2004 and 2007.  He has twice won American League Manager of the Year at Cleveland.  In his five seasons at the helm he has led the Tribe to three playoff appearances.  In 2016 Francona’s Indians lost the World Series in seven games to the Chicago Cubs.  They enter the 2018 season fresh off a 102 win campaign.  The great 2017 season ended with a five game divisional series playoff loss to the Yankees.  Cleveland is the overwhelming favorite to win the American League Central.

2018 American League Central Division

Date and Time: Opening Day is March 29, 2018

Location: Check Schedule

2018 MLB Betting Odds at SBG: (Click here to see the lines)

2018 MLB TV Coverage:  Check Listings

Cleveland Indians opened as a 4/1 baseball odds today choice to win the American League pennant.  The improved Minnesota Twins opened at 25/1 to win the AL flag.  The Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals are 50/1 longshots.  The rebuilding Detroit Tigers are 125/1.

The Indians are in one of their most successful eras ever.  They have enjoyed five consecutive winning seasons.  For only the third time in their history they cleared the 100 win mark in 2017.  The most important strength the Tribe has is balance.  Last season they posted the best earned run average in the American League.  The entire starting rotation returns for 2018.  Defensively the Indians had the best fielding percentage in the American League.  Offensively there are some concerns due to three departed free agents.  Carlos Santana, Jay Bruce and Austin Jackson leave lineup holes to fill.  But All Stars Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez will keep run production high.

Last year the Minnesota Twins strongly rebounded from a 59-103 season in 2016.   Minnesota posted an 85-77 mark last year.  The Twins made the post season for the first time since 2010.  Offense was the strength of the Twins last season.  Minnesota was just slightly behind the Indians in run production.  Starting pitching is what could hold the Twins back in 2018.  The fact that number one ace starter Ervin Santana may miss April is a bad omen.  The additions of relief pitchers Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed and Zach Duke should help.  Brian Dozier powered for 34 home runs last season.

The Kansas City Royals have fallen back as an online sportsbook value.  After winning the World Series in 2015 KC has failed to keep pace.  Franchise superstar Eric Hosmer is heading to San Diego.  A full throttle rebuild beckons in KC.  The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers are no threats either.  It is hard to see any sustained betting value from the bottom three teams.

Matchup to Watch

The 2018 American League Central looks like a two team baseball odds today race between the Indians and Twins.  Francona’s record of success at Cleveland cannot be ignored.  The complete starting rotation returns.  Cleveland ranked third in quality starts last season.  They are a complete team with great balance. They also add plenty of playoff experience.

MLB Betting Odds Picks

The favored Indians are not cheap but are the best team.  They rate as a quality choice in the American League Central.

MLB Betting Online Pick: Cleveland Indians

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