- BetOnline has updated odds on the AL Central and NL Central races
- The Twins (-200) and Indians (+150) are locked in a tight divisional race
- The Cubs (-110), Cardinals (+225) and Brewers (+350) are all fighting it out down the stretch
With powerhouse clubs such as the Astros, Dodgers and Yankees lording over the 2019 season, there are only two tight division races in all of Major League Baseball: the AL Central and the NL Central.
Looking at BetOnline, let’s see if we can pick winners in both divisions with six weeks left until October.
ODDS TO WIN AL CENTRAL
|Chicago White Sox||+100000|
AL CENTRAL: TWINS OR INDIANS?
Minnesota leads the majors with 228 homers and are easily on pace to break the all-time record (267) set by the 2018 Yankees with just under a quarter of the season still to play. However, it still might not be enough to win a division they once led by as many as 11 1/2 games.
The Twins failed to add pitching at the deadline and early-season Cy Young candidate Jake Odorizzi looks like he’s running out of gas, surrendering 11 dingers and pitching through the sixth inning just twice in his last 11 starts.
The #Indians have a revitalized lineup and are expecting Corey Kluber back soon. https://t.co/ZuDvpo23w8 pic.twitter.com/wvTsZMCzuL
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) August 17, 2019
Meanwhile, thanks to the hot bat of slugging third baseman Jose Ramirez and an aggressive deadline move that landed outfielders Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes, Cleveland continues to piles up wins.
With the impending return of two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, the summer’s hottest club shouldn’t cool off in September.
Pick: Cleveland Indians (+150)
ODDS TO WIN NL CENTRAL
|St. Louis Cardinals||+225|
NL CENTRAL: CUBS, CARDINALS OR BREWERS?
Sure, Wrigley Field is a beautiful baseball cathedral that every fan should see before they die, but that doesn’t give the Cubs license to dog it on the road. Chicago is now more than ten games under .500 away from home.
While the Cubbies have an easier schedule than both the Brewers and Cardinals down the stretch, they play their final three games of the season in St. Louis.
16 years ago #OTD, @OzzyOsbourne gave @Cubs fans a rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” that they’ll never forget. pic.twitter.com/PWTANuPbLq
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) August 17, 2019
The Cardinals still seem to trade off the cachet from World Series championships in both 2006 and 2011, so sometimes it’s easy to forget that this could be the fourth consecutive year they miss the playoffs.
For the Redbirds to play in October, they’ll need Paul Goldschmidt to continue his second-half surge, and their bullpen to continue making up for a mediocre starting rotation.
The Brewers haven’t had back-to-back playoff berths in nearly 40 years, but winning the NL Central is probably their best shot at the postseason given that the wild-card race is even tighter and that they have 16 games left against the Cardinals and Cubs.
It helps having the reigning MVP!!
Christian Yelich drives in two as the Brewers take a 2-0 lead! pic.twitter.com/elRgMzYL2m
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 18, 2019
Milwaukee’s hopes of repeating as division champs rest on the wonky back of Christian Yelich, who sits only a few home runs back of both Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger for the Major League lead despite missing 11 starts with a back injury.
Assuming the reigning NL MVP can stay in the lineup, Yelich will power the Brewers to a second straight division title.
Pick: Milwaukee Brewers (+350)