With the midway point of the MLB campaign approaching the Minnesota Twins remain this season’s biggest surprise. Winners of just 78 games a year ago, the Twins enter the week among the best teams in baseball. Sporting a 47-23 record to set themselves apart from the pack in the AL Central standings, the Twins join the favorites on the odds to win the World Series as a +650 wager.
Now perched as massive -6000 chalk in MLB betting to win the AL Central after opening the season trailing the Cleveland Indians as a +300 bet, the Twins have regularly rewarded bettors, racking up a lofty 31-10 record as favorites, and are one of just three MLB clubs to own a winning record as betting underdogs this season.
The Twins have received important contributions from up and down the lineup. Shortstop Jorge Polanco is enjoying a breakout campaign, and leads the AL with a .332 batting average. Outfielder Eddie Rosario sits among the AL leaders in home runs and RBI, while starter Jake Odorizzi has an AL-best 10 wins with a sparkling 2.24 ERA.
Over in the National League, the Atlanta Braves have emerged as legitimate contenders during their rise to the top of the NL East standings. A -130 bet to win UNDER 86.5 games to open the season, the Braves have been the hottest team in baseball during the month of June. Atlanta has gone 12-3, capped by a 15-1 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon, and now sit second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers as a +500 wager on the MLB odds to win this year’s NL pennant.
The Braves have gotten the job done with a balanced mix of emerging talent and experienced veterans. Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. has captured headlines during his second MLB campaign, piling up 16 home runs and 47 RBI through 72 contests.
Rookie Austin Riley has been a revelation since joining the club in mid-May. The 22-year-old has connected on 11 home runs and compiled 32 RBI in just 30 games. Former AL MVP Josh Donaldson has enjoyed a resurgence in Atlanta with 12 home runs and 33 RBI, while 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel is expected to bolster a Braves pitching staff that ranks fourth in the NL when he makes his debut with the club later this month.
Phillies Battling Braves on the NL East Odds
The Braves can expect to remain in a season-long dogfight with the division rival Phillies, who sit at a strong +125 on the MLB betting odds to finish atop the NL East for the first time since 2011. Winners of just 27 games following last season’s MLB All-Star Break, the Phillies beefed up over the winter with the signings of veterans Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutcheon, and closely trail Atlanta in the NL East standings.
However, the Phillies have been plagued by inconsistent play that has resulted in multiple losing streaks of three or more games. Philadelphia has also been a betting disappointment, particularly when pegged as an underdog, going 7-15, a trend fueled by a middling 6-9 record over their past 14 road contests.
The Houston Astros continue to lead the way as +275 favorites on the World Series odds, just ahead of the Dodgers at +295, while the New York Yankees lag behind the Twins as a +750 wager.
The Yankees have been in a seesaw battle with the Tampa Bay Rays for top spot in the AL East, and took a bold step this past weekend to bolster their faltering offense by dealing for AL home run leader Edwin Encarnacion.
Despite their strong start, the Rays continue to lag on the World Series odds at an intriguing +1400, just ahead of the defending champion Boston Red Sox, who have dipped to +1600 and out of the AL playoff picture following a middling 39-34 start.
Odds as of June 17, 2019