For Sam Panayotovich
FOX Sports Betting Analyst
to say the Chicago White Sox poor performance in the first full month of Major League Baseball season would be an understatement.
After winning six of their first seven games and opening their eyes in the American League, the South Siders proceeded to lose eight in a row and 11 of 13 between April 17 and May 1.
Chicago’s early rocky road coincided with a stellar outperformance from the Minnesota Twins, making the Twinkies the AL Central betting favorites at most American sportsbooks after about 20 games. Then the White Sox fired up, ripping off six straight wins last week and began to show their true edge.
It didn’t take long for punters to recalibrate the mathematical hierarchy.
Current FOX Bet AL Central Odds:
White Sox -110 (bet $110 to win $100 total)
Twins +150 ($100 bet to win $250 total)
Guardians +900 (bet $100 to win $1,000 total)
Tigers +2000 ($100 bet to win $2,100 total)
Royals +3000 (bet $100 to win $3,100 total)
* Fees as of 05/10/2022
The plus-money prices on the White Sox to win the division are gone, but this is still an excellent opportunity to buy White Sox stock.
Remember, Chicago went to -285 ($285 wins $100) to win the AL Central in Las Vegas before Opening Day. Most of the stores were in the -225 to -250 range, which implied about a 70% chance chance.
Chicago then started the season without the services of Lance Lynn, Yoan Moncada and Joe Kelly. Lucas Giolito, Luis Robert, Andrew Vaughn and AJ Pollock have already spent time on the disabled list, and Eloy Jimenez tore his right hamstring after 11 games.
None of those injuries are season-ending — Vaughn is rehabbing in Charlotte, Lynn will be back in early June, Jimenez in July — and I’m betting the White Sox regress injuries the right way and are healthy for the summer. .
It’s also worth considering that White Sox management believes their team is good enough to win a World Series, and they’ll be more than willing to mortgage assets to bring in another starter or bat at the trade deadline.
The odds are good that guys like Dallas Keuchel, Jimmy Lambert and Vince Velasquez won’t start meaningful games down the stretch.
I tip my cap to the Twins, who have played .600 baseball in 30 games and are better than preseason expectations said they would be. But there is a big difference between starting strong from the beginning and playing at that level for six months.
Minnesota can challenge Chicago and make this a close race down the stretch, but this is probably their last chance to get the White Sox to -110 to win the division. This team has too much potential, too much talent and too many assets to be priced so low after a wobbly month of baseball.
Buy, buy, buy.
CHOOSE: Chicago White Sox (-110 on FOX Bet) to win AL Central
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports, and VSiN. He will probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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