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AL Central Odds 2021: White Sox Open as Favorites

Yoan Moncada (left) and Tim Anderson's (right) White Sox are favored in the AL Central Odds 2021.

In a shortened 60-game season, the AL Central was as competitive as can be and came right down to the wire last year. Ultimately, the Minnesota Twins won the division by one game over the Cleveland Indians and the favorite in AL Central odds 2021, the Chicago White Sox.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released its AL Central odds for 2021 with the White Sox listed as the -115 chalk, followed by 2020 champion Minnesota at +145, Cleveland at +950, Kansas City at +2000 and Detroit at +7000 to round out the five teams in the division.

Chicago’s -115 AL Central odds mean that you would have to bet $115 to profit $100. Additionally, our sports betting calculator tells us that Chicago’s betting line represents an implied win probability of 53.49 percent.

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AL Central Odds 2021

AL Central Odds 2021
TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
Chicago White Sox-115-115
Minnesota Twins+145+145
Cleveland Indians+950+950
Kansas City Royals+2000+2000
Detroit Tigers+7000+7000

Odds as of March 25 at Bovada

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AL Central Odds 

Below I provide a preview for each of the five teams in the AL Central and their chances of winning the division.

Chicago White Sox -115

I was all-in on the White Sox last year – I even bought one of their hats – but perhaps I was a season too early. Chicago finished last season tied for the best run differential in the American League and third-best in the bigs. I absolutely love the batting lineup top to bottom with great young players in Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, whose average age is just 24. Throw in Jose Abreu, who led the majors with 60 RBIs and was second in homers with 19, and this team is dangerous.

The rotation has a nice blend of young and veteran arms with 26-year-old Lucas Giolito the ace of the staff and 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel following him. The bullpen got a great boost with the signing of former Oakland closer Liam Hendriks and this team is the best in the division. I’m not a fan of a minus-money futures bet, though. Maybe they will stumble out of the gate and you can get better value later.

Minnesota Twins +145

It’s understandable to have the urge to place a futures bet on Minnesota at plus money in AL Central odds with the Twins having won the division in back-to-back years while finishing second or better in six of the last seven years. The Twins had the second-best run differential in the American League last season and surrendered the third-fewest runs in the majors. 

I like the Twins’ rotation more than Chicago’s with the addition of J.A. Happ from the Yankees and Matt Shoemaker, who made only 11 starts over the last two seasons due to injury, from the Blue Jays. 

There’s a lot of pop in the lineup as well with Miguel Sano, Nelson Cruz and 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson, who had a strong 2019 but struggled in 2020. Minnesota is rightfully the second team on the oddsboard and I wouldn’t be shocked if they won the division for a third straight season.

Cleveland Indians +950

We have seen a mass exodus from the Cleveland organization over the past few years since the club went to the World Series in 2016. There are some bright spots on the team, though, with reigning Cy Young winner Shane Bieber heading the pitching staff, while third baseman Jose Ramirez can be found fifth in AL MVP odds.

The bullpen is solid and will be able to keep the squad in tight games and I think 26-year-old Cal Quantrill will be a strong fifth starter in the rotation. All that said, this team is simply outmatched by the depth and high-end talent on the White Sox and Twins.

Kansas City Royals +2000

Not for nothing, the Royals did make some moves in the offseason to try to improve a team that hasn’t finished above third in the division since winning the World Series in 2015. That said, the addition of Mike Minor to the rotation after he had an ERA over 5.00 his last two seasons doesn’t provide much confidence for the 2021 season.

Andrew Benintendi from the Red Sox and Michael Taylor from the Nationals do provide some more big-league bats to the lineup, which was lacking last season, but it’s simply not enough to contend.

Detroit Tigers +7000

This may sound crazy but I like the Tigers’ chances to win the AL Central more than the Royals’. That said, I certainly don’t think they win the division, though there are signs of life from a team that has finished last in this division in four of the last six years.

The rotation is serviceable and it’s followed by a half-decent bullpen. Offseason additions Jose Urena and Julio Teheran are legit MLB starters, though Teheran is coming off a horrendous 2020. Additionally, if 23-year-old Casey Mize can take a jump forward in his second season, he could be one to watch. 

The batting lineup doesn’t overly impress me, although I am a fan of 23-year-old shortstop Willi Castro, who had an impressive .349 batting average last season. Top to bottom, it’s a team that will be scrappy and might have a few winning streaks through the season but won’t have enough consistency to contend.

How To Read AL Central Odds

If you’re betting on Major League Baseball and you decide to wager on the American League Central Division odds, you would see odds listed like this at your sportsbook:

  • Minnesota Twins -150
  • Cleveland Indians +300
  • Chicago White Sox +325
  • Kansas City Royals +10000
  • Detroit Tigers +12500

Since you’re betting on events that will happen in the near future, this is called a futures bet. This type of wager is also similar to a moneyline bet with the clear favorite indicated by the minus symbol (-). That means the Twins are the favorites to win the division while the rest of the teams are considered underdogs in this scenario.

If you were to bet $100 on the Twins at the beginning of the season and they win the AL Central Division, you’d get a payout of $166.67 – your original $100 is returned, along with your winnings of $66.67. On the other hand, if you wagered that same $100 on the Royals and they win the division, you’d get a payout of $10,100 – you get your $100 back, plus your profit of $10,000.

Our Odds Calculator can help you determine how much you’d pocket depending on the odds and the amount bet.