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VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Minnesota Tops Headlines In AL Futures Discussion

AL Futures

MLB Pick: Twins To Win AL Central & Astros To Win ALCS


Odds

Among the higher-profile contenders, the Yankees have moved from +700 at opening to +400 currently to win the World Series. The Red Sox are the defending champs and opened at +550 to win it all. But after winning only 49 of their first 90 games, they sit in third in the AL East behind the Yankees and Devil Rays. They are at +2000 to repeat. Tampa Bay has progressed from +4000 to +2000. But the Rays have fizzled out, going 11-15 in their last 26 games. Usual threat Houston, which leads the AL West by 7.5 games with a 57-33 record, has gone from +600 at opening to +500 currently. Minnesota has seen its odds change the most, going from +5000 at opening to +800 currently.

Minnesota sits at 56-33, 5.5 games ahead of Cleveland for the AL Central lead. I like the Twins to continue their sucess largely because of how stacked their lineup is. Six different players with at least 100 at-bats are hitting .279 or better. This stat indicates that the Twins aren't relying too much on any one hitter. There's no problem if a few have an off night. Jorge Polanco leads the bunch at .312. As a team, the Twins rank 20 spots and 28 points higher than Cleveland in team BA.

Still, Minnesota's pitching is also improved. Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi have sub-3.20 ERAs. There's enough quality in the rest of the rotation that the starters rank fifth in collective ERA. The bullpen boasts two proven closers in Taylor Rogers and Blake Parker--both combine for 22 saves, currently. The team as a whole ranks sixth in ERA.

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Minnesota is now heavily favored (-1000 at BetOnline) in the AL Central race. Cleveland, even as a massive underdog, isn't worth betting on. The Twins are a different team this year in a positive way. Conversely, Cleveland misses some star power in its lineup, most notably in Edwin Encarnacion, whom they traded in the offseason. The pitching is also in trouble with staff ace Corey Kluber suffering a down year before incurring a prolonged injury. Without his help, Cleveland's starters rank six spots behind Minnesota's in collective ERA while both bullpens are about equal.

While Minnesota is a great long-shot pick at +500 to win the AL, Houston is a more realistically solid grab at plus money to win the ALCS, if not the World Series as well. BetOnline has Houston at +200 to win the AL. What separates Houston from Minnesota and any other team in the AL is pitching. Its collective ERA is better than any other AL contender's. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are still two of baseball's best pitchers. The Astros possess even more depth. Most notably, Wade Miley is proving that his progression last year was not a fluke. His ERA is currently 3.28, right behind that of Verlander and Cole.

In the bullpen, Roberto Osuna proved to be a good pickup. He's converted 19 of 22 (86.3%) save opportunities so far. Two other staple relievers in Ryan Pressly and Will Harris also have sub-two ERAs.

The lineup is still stacked. Former AL MVP Jose Altuve will surely pick things up, although Houston is still thriving with his BA at .262. In Altuve's last seven days, his BA is .318, which is in line with his career average. Michael Brantley has been a positive surprise from the left side of the plate as the team's BA leader. Josh Reddick, George Springer, and Carlos Correa are all consistent contributors with BAs over .290.
 
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VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
I have been writing college football all night (again) so I am beyond wiped. Hopefully there's something good here. Feel free to discuss!
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
What are we doing quoting BA and ERA in 2019

Happy to read your writing again, but it seems like you were forced to make a pick since idk who in this world is paying 1/10 on wagers that tie up funds for three months. Think you should have gone more in depth on why HOU instead of NYY as it seems like a two-horse race
 
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