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Last Updated May 04, 2022, 16:08 PM

Twins Tie White Sox For AL Central Favroite

A poor April has led to a major shakeup in the AL Central odds. The Chicago White Sox opened the season as one of the biggest favorites to win their division, but they are now tied with the Minnesota Twins at +120 to win the AL Central. Minnesota is currently the only team with a winning record in the division, and the only other team that has 10 or more wins is rebuilding Cleveland.

MINNESOTA’S STRONG START

The Twins had one of the most puzzling offseasons of any team. It looked like Minnesota might be looking to rebuild after dealing Josh Donaldson to the New York Yankees, but the Twins signed Carlos Correa to a three-year deal worth $105 million. That bolstered their lineup, although Correa currently has a .659 OPS.

The biggest factor for Minnesota’s success has been the play of MVP candidate Byron Buxton. The oft-injured center fielder has been used more as a designated hitter to decrease his risk of injury considering he has only played more than 100 games once in his previous seven seasons. Buxton has been one of the best hitters in the game this year with a 1.100 OPS and seven home runs.

Minnesota’s pitching staff was not good in 2021, and it wasn’t expected to be good this year either with ace Kenta Maeda injured. However, four of the five starters have a 3.00 ERA or less, and Joe Ryan is looking like an early Cy Young frontrunner with a 0.70 WHIP and 1.17 ERA through 23 innings.

(Getty)

CHICAGO’S INJURIES HAVE TAKEN A TOLL

Although the White Sox were able to beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 on Monday afternoon, they are still well behind the Twins in the AL Central race. Some of that has been due to key players struggling, but injuries have been a major factor too.

Tony LaRussa doesn’t have Eloy Jimenez or Yermin Mercedes in the lineup, and veteran starter Lance Lynn has missed a lot of time. Quality set-up man Garrett Crochet will miss the full season, and that’s not good given the issues that All-Star closer Liam Hendriks has had for the White Sox.

Tim Anderson and Andrew Vaughn are the only hitters that are making solid contact with the ball at this point. Every other mainstay in the White Sox lineup is carrying a sub-.700 OPS, but that is likely to change at some point. Luis Robert and Jose Abreu are too good to hold down for long, while Yasmani Grandal has to improve on his .154 batting average. That makes Chicago at plus-odds a solid futures bet at this point.

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