Things are getting interesting in the American League Central, as it looked for a while that the Minnesota Twins would run away with the division, building an 11-game lead over the Cleveland Indians as of June 21, but since then the Tribe has gone on a tear — with ace Corey Kluber on the injured list and starter Carlos Carrasco dealing with a leukemia diagnosis — and have still pulled within four games of the Twins and in possession of the first wild card position in the American League. In the East, the New York Yankees have pulled to an eight-game lead over Tampa Bay, but things are getting a little tighter in the West, as the Oakland A’s have won eight of ten to pull within 5 ½ games of the Houston Astros. As one might expect, the three division leaders are the current favorites to win the MLB AL pennant and advance to the World Series, but you’ll want to take a look at the latest MLB odds and our thoughts about several of the contenders.
2019 MLB AL Pennant Odds for the Second Half
The Yankees have the best record in the American League! pic.twitter.com/Rcsc4K5zdE
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) July 13, 2019
- New York Yankees 17/10
- Houston Astros 2/1
- Minnesota Twins 5/1
- Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays 15/1
- Oakland A’s 18/1
- Texas Rangers 35/1
- Los Angeles Angels 60/1
- Chicago White Sox 150/1
- Seattle Mariners 2500/1
- Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays 5000/1
The New York Yankees are getting a splendid season from Domingo German, and no team in MLB has a better record than the 12-3 slate that the Yanks have gotten from German in the games that he has started. The Yankees have one of the top rotations in the junior circuit, with Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino and C.C. Sabathia joining German, and closer Aroldis Chapman has been virtually ironclad in save situations. Even so, the Yankees are in “buy” mode going into the trade deadline, which will make them even scarier to deal with.
The Houston Astros are suddenly looking a little thin in their rotation, as Brad Peacock (shoulder) remains on the shelf with stalled progress, and Framber Valdez has been ineffective as a fifth starter. So the Astros have Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole — two great arms — but then it drops down to Wade Miley. The Astros are looking at such big names as Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner, Robbie Ray and Marcus Stroman, as the A’s are coming hard in the division.
Who Else Should You Look At?
The Minnesota Twins got Eddie Rosario (ankle) back after about three weeks off, and the Twins’ offense could use the jolt. Rosario has pounded 20 home runs and driven in 60 runs, scoring 51 runs in 75 games while posting an .841 OPS. Any positive momentum would be a good thing in the Twin Cities, as Minnesota beat Cleveland two out of three over the weekend but has seen the Tribe pull two games closer since then.
The Tampa Bay Rays have gotten their money’s worth from Travis d’Arnaud. On Monday night, he drove in all five runs as the Rays beat the Yankees, 5-4, hitting three home runs — but the Yankees won the next three and have a 12-5 record against the Rays this season. D’Arnaud has put up an .884 OPS, slugging nine home runs and driving in 26 runs in 39 games, but the Rays need some other contributors if they want to get a wild card, let alone win a pennant.
The Oakland A’s went 18-8 going into the All-Star break and then just kept winning for a week after the break. They added Homer Bailey via trade from Kansas City, a name that doesn’t sound all that glamorous until you remember that he has a 2.48 ERA over his last five starts. If he can keep up that momentum, the A’s could make another unlikely push into the playoffs, where anything can happen.