At the MLB All-Star break, the Minnesota Twins currently hold a slight advantage over the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox. Will that lead last, or can the Twins find another way into the playoffs via the Wild Card?
Minnesota has -115 odds to make the playoffs in the American League. However, if you consider their odds of winning the AL Central, there’s more value with that price and also a higher likelihood that transpires. The American League Wild Card race is tightly contested with some high-quality teams that underachieved in the first half, so it’ll be a more difficult path to take for the Twins if teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston Red Sox can get back on track.
There’s been a lot to like about this Twins squad, led by Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Jorge Polanco. This trio of hitters has given Minnesota more length to their lineup, putting them in a good position through 94 games. Buxton was named to the first All-Star Game of his career, while Luis Arraez also got a nod for the AL. Buxton has tallied 23 home runs and 2.3 WAR, while Arraez has a .411 OBP, leading the American League, and a 3.1 WAR. Minnesota leads the AL Central in runs scored with 421, which also has them fourth in the entire American League. There were questions about whether or not this offense was built for success, but they’ve done an excellent job deflecting their critics.
Not only were there uncertainties with the Twins’ offense, but it remained to be seen if their rotation would hold up. If you had told Twins management that their team ERA would be in the middle of the pack at 3.92 at the All-Star break, they’d have probably taken that. Rookie Joe Ryan has been a pleasant surprise, with a 6-3 record with a 2.99 ERA in 14 starts. In addition to Ryan, Sonny Gray and Chris Archer have ERAs under four, which was far from a sure thing.
The bullpen needs shoring up ahead of the MLB trade deadline, which has to be an area that Thad Levine targets, along with rotational pitching depth. You can argue another bat wouldn’t hurt, but not everything will be attainable.
Minnesota had an excellent first half of the season, but the White Sox and Guardians are breathing down their necks in the AL Central. What they’ve done through 94 games doesn’t feel sustainable, and it’s hard to trust what they bring to the table, especially with how good the White Sox rotation looks.
Therefore, you should sell the Twins to make the playoffs and side with the value that they miss the postseason at -105.
Below are the odds for each team in the AL Central to win the division on the FanDuel Sportsbook.
|Chicago White Sox||125|
|Kansas City Royals||150000|