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2018 MLB Preview: AL Central

Might One AL Wild Card Come from the Central?

The AL Central may be the weakest division in the league. The Cleveland Indians are far superior to all other teams in the division. After that, it’s the Minnesota Twins, which are then followed by the Kansas City Royals. The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox bring up the rear of the AL Central. One team that may be a spoiler in this division is the Royals. They aren’t quite good enough to sustain a season-long campaign, but they do have some decent talent. Our AL Central 2018 MLB preview page offers a quick consideration of each team and convenient links to our comprehensive analysis of each team. Click on the appropriate link below to connect with a specific team.

Chicago White Sox (67-95)

The White Sox have attracted some promising prospects over the past few years. Is this the season for their investment to pay off? With a young and fairly untested pitching staff and a closer situation that is questionable at best, we don’t expect this team to do better than fourth. The Sox need at least one more year to get this team in shape and competitive.

Cleveland Indians (102-60)

With a talented and deep pitching staff that includes a dynamite rotation and top-notch closer, the Cleveland Indians are poised to win the AL Central again. This is a team that also has a fine offensive attack and one of the best defenses in the majors. Plus, the Tribe is managed by one of the best all-around baseball minds in the game, Terry Francona. We like Cleveland’s chances this year of going all the way to the World Series.

Detroit Tigers (64-98)

Detroit has some solid hitters on-board but not enough of them to go around. Plus, their number three and four guys in the batting order, Cabrera and Martinez, are in decline. Although the Tigers do offer some offense, they are exceptionally weak on the mound. Their top starter, Michael Fulmer, is a class ace, but after that, there’s a sharp decline in talent and skill. Plus, there are issues withg the bullpen. This is a wait until next year or maybe even longer team.

Kansas City Royals (80-82)

For the Royals to do something magical this season, they are going to need to see the entire starting rotation make marked improvement. In addition, when it comes to hitting and getting guys on base, this ball team has to start making things happen. Their OB% last season was a dismal .311, which ranked them 28th in the majors. The bottom half of the batting order is exceptionally weak.

Minnesota Twins (85-77)

The Twins come into this season with four top talents occupying the first four spots in the batting order. We expect Dozier, Mauer, Sano, and Rosario to be very productive hitters this season. The team has two sound starters in Santana and Rosario, but the rest of the rotation is questionable. Veteran closer Rodney comes to Minnesota from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He should have an impact on this team. Their fielding is effective. Manager Paul Molitor is a class act who knows how to connect with his players.

AL Central 2018 MLB Preview: Predicted Finish

Here’s our prediction for the order of finish in the division. Our AL Central 2018 MLB preview sees two clubs from this division going to the playoffs. All others will be also-rans. To preview other AL divisions click here.

  1. Cleveland Indians 97-65 (AL Central Champions)
  2. Minnesota Twins 89-73 (Wild Card)
  3. Kansas City Royals 81-81
  4. Chicago White Sox 68-94
  5. Detroit Tigers 63-99
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pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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