Astros, Guardians Have Value To Win American League Divisions


Jul 29, 2023

The Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians are trailing their respective MLB divisions, but there’s value in backing them to come out on top. With the stretch run closing in on the baseball regular season calendar, there’s a lot of promise in two teams sitting as plus-money underdogs to capture their divisions. 

Entering action on July 29, the Guardians trail the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central by 1.5 games, while the Astros sit behind the Texas Rangers by two games in the AL West. 

Cleveland Guardians

It wasn’t a picture-perfect July for the Cleveland Guardians, but they did make a push towards dethroning the Minnesota Twins from the top spot in the AL Central. No one has grabbed the division by the horns, especially when you factor in the disappointment from the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and the Chicago White Sox.

Cleveland and Minnesota still face off six more times during the regular season. There was an extended portion of the year to this point where the Twins were the only team in the division with a positive run differential, but the Guardians now stand with one too. The Guardians hold +290 odds to win the AL Central, while the Twins are at -400. That’s a lot of juice for the Twins when you factor in how mediocre this division has been and how tight the race is between these clubs.

The Guardian’s pitching staff will be vital in leading them toward a strong August and September. Even with Shane Bieber being placed on the 60-day IL, there’s reason to be bullish about some of the pieces in their rotation having a solid final two months. 

Houston Astros 

Entering the regular season, the Houston Astros were again favored to win the AL West after capturing the World Series last year. This was no surprise, even after they saw some pieces depart in free agency. There are only three matchups left on the regular season calendar between the Astros and Rangers, but that shouldn’t make bettors any less confident in Houston coming out on top.

The Astros have the experience of playing in meaningful games down the stretch, and although that can be said for some of the Ranger’s veteran players, Houston has a been there, done that mentality built into their core. With Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve returning from the sidelines, there’s a lot to like about the premise of the Astros catching fire down the stretch and winning the division.

Houston holds +115 odds to win the AL West, and with how closely contested it’s been between them and the Rangers, this is a number bettors should be comfortable backing. 

All odds courtesy of the FanDuel Sportsbook. 

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Thumbnail photo via Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

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