Spring Training is coming to an end and the 2022 MLB season is rapidly approaching. There's been no shortage of drama and stoppages this offseason, and baseball fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that we only have games to focus on.
The 2022 World Series race is wide open outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers (+450), but some early favorites stand out in the field, according to MLB odds from FanDuel Sportsbook. The Toronto Blue Jays (+850), Chicago White Sox (+950), Houston Astros (+1000) and Atlanta Braves (+1200) are all considered legitimate contenders.
Before they worry about the World Series, though, teams need to focus on the regular season and take care of their division.
With that in mind, here is how industry experts see the American League Central shaping up in 2022.
Picks to Win the American League Central
Predictions from USA Today come from their panel of six experts, PECOTA projections come from Baseball Prospectus, and Clay Davenport (who co-founded Baseball Prospectus) projections come from his personal website. FanDuel Sportsbook win totals and odds to win the division are as of April 1, 2022.
USA Today: Chicago White Sox
PECOTA: Chicago White Sox
Clay Davenport: Chicago White Sox
FanDuel Sportsbook Favorite: Chicago White Sox (-230)
The Chicago White Sox put it all together in 2021 and won their first AL Central title in over a decade. A mix of young talent and established stars make them the clear favorite to win it again in 2022.
Chicago White Sox Predictions 2022
USA Today: 90-72
Clay Davenport: 93-69
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 92.5
Odds to Win AL East: -230
A quiet offseason shouldn't make a huge difference for a White Sox team already set up for success. Chicago is expected to finish just north of the 90-win mark, according to all of the projections.
Minnesota Twins Predictions 2022
USA Today: 83-79
Clay Davenport: 85-77
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 81.5
Odds to Win the AL East: +500
The consensus here seems to be that the Twins will bounce back after finishing with just 73 wins last season. All of the projections see the team clearing its win total and being in the playoff race.
Detroit Tigers Predictions 2022
USA Today: 80-82
Clay Davenport: 74-88
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 85.5
Odds to Win AL East: +750
Yikes, none of the projections line up with the hype currently surrounding the upstart Tigers. In fact, PECOTA sees the team finishing dead last in the division with one of the worst records in the league.
Cleveland Guardians Predictions 2022
USA Today: 74-88
Clay Davenport: 78-84
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 75.5
Odds to Win AL East: +1500
This in not the same Cleveland team as years past. A lack of depth will seemingly lead to a subpar record, but both PECOTA and Clay Davenport project the team to go over its win total.
Kansas City Royals Predictions 2022
USA Today: 75-87
Clay Davenport: 75-87
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 74.5
Odds to Win AL East: +2000
If it isn't obvious by now, this division is going to be competitive down the stretch. Kansas City may ultimately finish in last, but grabbing 75 wins is seen as a realistic goal by USA Today and Clay Davenport.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.