The AL Central is shaping up to be one of the more interesting division races in baseball this year.
The Guardians and Twins are neck-and-neck, but only one of them can win the crown. Will Cleveland take the flag for the second year in a row? Or will Minnesota come out on top for the first time since 2020?
Here at Factory of Sadness, we naturally side with the Guardians. They're the legitimately better team, and they have what it takes to repeat as division champs. That makes them a great bet.
Here are three reasons why Cleveland will win the AL Central again this year.
3 Reasons the Guardians Will Win the AL Central
1. Pitching Wins Championships
The AL Central is a literal arms race between two of the best pitching staffs in baseball. As of July 28, Minnesota ranks third in MLB in ERA at 3.80, while Cleveland is seventh at 3.84.
We're not putting too much stock in that 0.04 difference, however, for a couple of reasons. For starters, our ace Shane Bieber is currently on the shelf with right elbow inflammation. Assuming he comes back healthy and strong, he's giving to give us a big boost down the stretch.
What's more, rookies comprise four-fifths of our starting rotation right now. That's insane! They've all been amazing for the most part, too, but we should only expect them to get better as the season progresses and they become more comfortable in the big leagues. We also wouldn't mind if the front office brought in a veteran arm to help them out, either.
I'm also not entirely sold on the Twins' pitching staff. Pablo Lopez and Joe Ryan have both faded after hot starts, and is Bailey Ober really going to maintain a 2.76 ERA? Sonny Gray's been healthy so far, but he'll probably get hurt at some point like he did during the last two seasons.
Our pitching staff is younger, healthier, and just plain better.