While it still feels like winter across most of the US, spring is not far off – and neither is the start of the 2020 MLB season.
Opening Day 2020 will be the earliest in MLB history as all of the action will get underway just three weeks from today on Thursday, March 26.
That said, it is time to start thinking ahead at which teams could surprise this upcoming season.
Twins AL Central favorites
In the AL Central, this five-team race is predicted to come down to a battle between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins.
The Twins are stacked.
With the addition of Josh Donaldson to a lineup that already includes Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, and Miguel Sano, Minnesota is going to be a tough team to beat in 2020.
Jose Berrios will once again lead the pitching staff. Berrios, who is morphing into the Twins’ ace, finished 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA in 2019.
Minnesota will need more of that type of production from Berrios this season if they are going to make a run at the postseason.
The Twins added to their rotation by trading for Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda right before the spring campaign began.
In his four seasons in LA, Maeda posted a 47-35 record with a 3.87 ERA.
These two starters will provide the Twins with a nice one-two punch in the rotation.
Right behind the Twins on the Vegas odds board are the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland has owned the Central Division recently, winning the crown in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
While the White Sox haven’t won the AL Central since 2008, they are one of the favorites this season following several key signings this offseason.
Last season the Chi-Sox finished in third place with a 72-89 record.
Tigers crashing the party?
The odds of the Detroit Tigers or Kansas City Royals winning the AL Central are not too good. However, if they did shock the MLB world, they would pay out a nice chunk of cash.
The Royals are currently listed at +7500 to win the AL Central crown while the Tigers sit at a whopping +10000.
If this were a horse race, you would have to throw $5 on both of them, and here’s why.
Besides the fact that no one knows which team or teams will surprise in 2020, trust me, a few teams will. It happens every season.
Sure the Detroit Tigers most likely won’t be hoisting the World Series trophy in late October. However, the total rehaul of their starting lineup should make them a much better team this season.
At +10000 (meaning every $100 wagered on Detroit wins $10,000), Detroit is worth a small investment.
With the additions of Cameron Maybin, Austin Romine, CJ Cron, and Jonathan Schoop, this team should be leaps and bounds better than they were in 2019.
Can the longshot Tigers or Royals pull off the massive upset in the AL Central in 2020?
You may not want to bet the house on it, but at those odds, they are worth a small risk.
Below is a look at the odds to win the AL Central.
- Minnesota Twins -134
- Cleveland Indians +240
- Chicago White Sox +300
- Kansas City Royals +7500
- Detroit Tigers +10000