The Minnesota Twins are +25000 at DraftKings and BetRivers to win the World Series. That’s the longest price of any division leader at the All-Star break. The Phillies, Cardinals, Mariners, Rays, and Red Sox share those odds to lift the Commissioner’s Trophy this autumn, despite not all even currently sitting in postseason position.
Now, the AL Central is the Majors’ weakest division, and the Twins do have the Guardians and White Sox not far behind them, so their place in the playoffs is far from guaranteed if they relinquish the division lead. However, the Twins are well-positioned to win their third division title in four years, as their 50-43 record is not a fluke. Minnesota’s Pythagorean record comes in at 51-42, and they are ninth among all big-league clubs in wins above average, and only the juggernaut Yankees have a better offensive xwOBA. For good measure, Minnesota’s pitchers have also posted an above-average xwOBA.
They've also got a great record for coming quick out of the gate. In 2022, they recorded a run in the first inning 35.92% of the time. That's not bad considering 27 other teams couldn't match this record.
That being said, pitching is a weak link that might put bettors off backing the Twins to go all the way. Their bullpen, which has underperformed and could improve in the second half, ranks just 12th in xFIP. In the rotation, while Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray have been superb in 2022, the starting staff (which ranks just 18th in wins above average) could do with an upgrade. To that end, Luis Castillo, Madison Bumgarner, and Frankie Montas are three feasible options for Minnesota before the deadline. Even if they don’t make a major move, the Twins' odds to win the World Series is still a decent value at +5000, but any of these three could transform this Twins ballclub into a serious World Series contender, and likely shorten their World Series odds considerably. After all, Ryan, Gray, and one of Castillo, Montas, or Bumgarner are a formidable top three in a postseason series.
There are already plenty of rumors that the Twins will be active in the trade market, and they’ve got the young talent to pull off a ceiling-raising deal. In light of the shock signing of Carlos Correa last offseason, it’s apparent that 2022 is a win-now year for the Twins. Thus, there should be no hesitation to take a big swing for a top-tier starter before the deadline. Beyond that, the Twins could also look to add another bat, as Gary Sanchez, who leads the team in plate appearances at designated hitter, has posted an OPS+ of just 97. Outside of Sanchez, this is one of the sport’s premier offenses, led by Correa, Byron Buxton, and Luis Arraez.
Baseball-Reference gives the Twins a 66% chance to make the playoffs and just a 2.1% shot at winning a ring. That seems harsh. Even before delving into the trade market, the Twins are a more complete team than the Guardians and, for all of the talent on the White Sox roster, there is a level of dysfunction surrounding that team that should not be overlooked.
There are two, of course, juggernauts to tackle in the American League, the Yankees, and the Houston Astros. Additionally, the likes of Boston, Tampa Bay, Seattle, or Toronto will also likely be challenging opponents to come playoff time. The Twins’ journey to the Fall Classic will certainly not be an easy one. However, it seems that the Twins are being underrated.
Maybe this is the impact of playing in both a small market and an easy division. Regardless, Minnesota is well-positioned to win the AL Central and has a chance to get markedly better in the coming weeks. Thus, their World Series odds of +5000 are the best value on the board right now.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the Giants at +45000 at FanDuel. San Francisco is still well positioned in the wildcard race despite a difficult few weeks and possesses the rotation to get hot in the second half of the season. With Farhan Zaidi expected to be aggressive at the deadline, San Francisco’s price could shorten dramatically over the next fortnight. This is the time to back the Giants if you fancy an outside bet.
The Minnesota Twins certainly have a long way to go to take the World Series. If you're interested in more MLB betting picks, be sure to read our guide: How To Bet on Baseball, and visit our odds comparison tool to compare the sports odds and take advantage of the latest sportsbook sign up bonuses.