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Updated AL Central Futures

Max Scherzer - the first pitcher to go 13-0 since 1986 - is a big reason the Detroit Tigers remain World Series favorites.

Max Scherzer – the first pitcher to go 13-0 since 1986 – is a big reason the Detroit Tigers remain World Series favorites.

The Detroit Tigers remain the favorite to win the AL Central, according to leading bookmaker, Bovada.

20130703_ALCentralDespite a hearty challenge from the Cleveland Indians of late, the sportsbook still likes Jim Leyland’s side to emerge as the division champions come the beginning of October. In addition, the Tigers remain the overall favorite to win both the American League pennant and the 2013 World Series.

Following on from Wednesday’s look at the AL West, BettingSports.com now takes a look at the Baseball Futures as they relate to those teams in the AL Central.

Note: all odds quoted are supplied by Bovada and can be found on its MLB Futures list.

Odds to Win 2013 AL Central

Detroit’s Max Scherzer (13-0, 3.09 ERA) became the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to start the season 13-0 Wednesday night, leading the Tigers to a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The ace is now just two wins from tying Johnny Allen (1937) and Dave McNally (1969) for the best start to a season in the live ball era.

Scherzer’s pitching – which has come at a time when Justin Verlander (8-5, 3.77 ERA) and Doug Fister (8-5, 3.80 ERA) are (almost) struggling – has been one of the major reasons Detroit (45-38) has paced the AL Central for much of the season. Another is Miguel Cabrera (.364 BA, 26 HR, 85 RBI), who continues his charge for a second straight Triple Crown. This combination sees the Tiger favored by the bookmakers.

Terry Francona has turned the Cleveland Indians around.

Terry Francona has turned the Cleveland Indians around.

The Tigers currently have 2/7 odds of taking the AL Central crown, a massive reduction on the 15/2 odds the team started with at the beginning of the season.

Cleveland (45-39) resides one place behind the Tigers, both in the standings and bookmakers’ lists. The Indians fell 6-5 to the Kansas City Royals (39-42) on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, a loss that combined with Detroit’s win to drop Terry Francona’s side from the top of the division standings.

Bovada currently has Cleveland at 3/1 to win the division.

The Royals meanwhile have seen their odds of winning the division shorten from 15/1 to 10/1 over the past month, thanks to a 16-11 record since June 4. The club got bad news though in Wednesday’s rain-delayed game as outfielder Alex Gordon left the game after crashing into the wall. The Kansas City Star is reporting that he has suffered a potential concussion and bruised hip.

After showing improvement leading up to the beginning of June, the Minnesota Twins (36-45) once again see their stock falling as bookmakers lengthen the club’s odds of winning the division to 33/1. Meanwhile, the epic downfall of the Chicago White Sox (33-48) – a team that contended for the division title until almost the very end a year ago – as the side was assigned 66/1 odds of winning the division, a monumental drop from the 8/1 odds the club started the season with.

Odds to Win 2013 AL Pennant

At 7/2, Detroit remains the favorite to win the American League pennant, a trend that has stood firm since the Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels – preseason favorites to represent the league in the World Series – got off to poor starts.

However, those odds have slipped just slightly since the beginning of June, most likely a result of the team’s own inconsistent starting as well as the improved play of the likes of the Oakland Athletics. The Tigers are currently holding-off the Texas Rangers (4/5) and Boston Red Sox (7/5) at the top of the AL Futures.

The Royals have seen their odds shorten of late.

The Royals have seen their odds shorten of late.

While Cleveland’s turn-around this season has been undeniably impressive, it’s not been enough to convince bookmakers that the club will make it to the World Series. Bovada currently has the Indians at 14/1 to win the AL Pennant, ranking the team No. 8 in the league. With Detroit expected to take the division title, the Indians would need to settle for a wild card berth, but with the Rangers-A’s race out west and the AL East still looking like it could send any of its teams into postseason play, a wild card berth could be out of reach.

Kansas City currently has 25/1 odds of winning the American League, the same odds it started the season with.

Minnesota (75/1) and Chicago (125/1) are well and truly out of the picture, with only the Seattle Mariners (150/1) and Houston Astros (1000/1) sporting longer odds.

Odds to Win 2013 World Series

At 13/2, Detroit’s odds of winning the 2013 World Series remain unchanged from June 4, ensuring that the club remains top of the pecking order.

The Tigers are followed closely by the St. Louis Cardinals (15/2) – a team many consider to be the best all-around team in baseball – and Atlanta Braves (8/1). The Cardinals have seen their odds shorten very slightly over the past month, despite the surging Pittsburgh Pirates taking over the lead in the NL Central, while the Braves remain constant as they continue to keep the Washington Nationals at arm’s length.

Chicago has fallen to the bottom of the AL Central heap.

Chicago has fallen to the bottom of the AL Central heap.

Cleveland currently has 28/1 odds of winning the World Series, a huge drop from the 80/1 odds the Tribe opened the season with. Still, the last month has seen odds lengthen slightly, and the club now ranks 18th in the majors in the eyes of the bookmakers.

Kansas City opened the season with 50/1 odds of a World Series triumph. After slipping to 75/1 at the beginning of June, the Royals once again find themselves at 50/1.

After good play saw the Twins cut their odds from 150/1 to 100/1 in June, Minnesota is trending downwards again, with the latest odds tipping the scales at 150/1 once again.

Chicago’s slump has been a consistent one. Having started the year with 50/1 odds of winning the Fall Classic, the White Sox fell to 75/1 in June and now stand at a whopping 250/1. The six teams sitting below the Sox on the MLB Futures list reads like a who’s who of mediocre baseball clubs. Sadly, the South Siders seem to fit right in.


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