Cleveland Guardians remain a contender to win the American League Central

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Cleveland Guardians right fielder Will Brennan greets teammates after the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The 2023 MLB season is only about 20 games old, but already, the AL Central might just be a two-team race.

The Minnesota Twins currently pace the division with an 11-8 record, which includes a 4-2 record at home. The Cleveland Guardians, meanwhile, are 10-9 and sitting second in the AL Central. Every other team has double-digit losses thus far.

FanDuel Sportsbook has taken notice, adjusting the odds based on what has transpired on the diamond to this point. The Twins are now priced at -140 to win the division, while the Guardians are listed at +190. At +190, Cleveland has an implied probability of 34.48% to finish atop the AL Central.

For context, the Guardians actually entered the year as the favorites to win the division at +125. The Twins were priced at +200, while the Chicago White Sox had a value of +250. The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals were both listed at 30/1 in late March.

Cleveland won the AL Central last year with a 92-70 record, marking the team’s fourth division crown since 2016. Minnesota won in 2019 and 2020, while Chicago earned bragging rights in 2022. The Royals last won the division in 2015, while the Tigers haven’t had the honors since 2014.

After taking a look around the rest of the futures market, Cleveland should expect to be in the mix throughout the 2023 campaign. The Guardians are +105 to make the playoffs, which equates to an implied probability of 48.78%.

Cleveland is 16/1 to win the American League pennant, according to FanDuel. That puts this team seventh on the odds board, which is led by the Houston Astros and their price of +360. The Guardians haven’t made it to the World Series since 2016 when they lost in seven games to the Chicago Cubs.

As for the World Series market, Cleveland is listed at 35/1 to win it all this year. A total of 14 teams have better odds than that mark, including the Atlanta Braves who are at the top with their price of +550.

The Guardians have a favorable stretch to close out April, which could help them boost their standing in the futures market. They will face the Miami Marlins, Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox to close out the month. Two of those series will take place at home.

Cleveland is set to face Miami for a three-game set this weekend, starting with the opener on Friday. Right-hander Zach Plesac is expected to get the nod for the Guardians, while Braxton Garrett will go for the Marlins. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET.

FanDuel lists Cleveland as a -126 favorite to win Game 1 on Friday.

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