For the first time since 2002, the Boston Red Sox will take the field without face of the franchise David Ortiz after the slugger officially retired in the offseason. But the good news for fans and bettors of the BoSox is, on paper, they look like one of the best teams in Major League Baseball.
While most teams who lost their team leader in home runs, RBI, on-base percentage and slugging percentage would consider it a devastating loss, the Red Sox aren’t most teams. Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are set to anchor the offense, while the pitching staff is shaping up to be one of the most dangerous in the league after team president Dave Dombrowski went all-in to acquire ace Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox.
From a betting perspective, what can you expect from the Sox this season? Here’s an analysis of Boston’s futures odds for 2017:
World Series +450
The Red Sox are co-favorites to win the Fall Classic with the Chicago Cubs, ahead of the Cleveland Indians (+800), Los Angeles Dodgers (+1000), Washington Nationals (+1200) and San Francisco Giants (+1200) at the top of odds lists at Bovada.
After breaking their longtime World Series drought in 2003, Boston has gone on to hoist the trophy three times. The biggest difference between those veteran-laden squads and this team is the youth.
Much like the Cubbies, the Red Sox have a litany of young talent and figure to be in the title hunt for many years to come. I’m not sure if the +450 price is worth grabbing before the campaign, but if they stumble at all throughout the season you’ll be able to get them at better value.
American League Pennant +225
Unsurprisingly the Red Sox are the favorites to win the American League banner, with Cleveland (+350), the Houston Astros (+650), Toronto Blue Jays (+1000) and New York Yankees (+1200) right behind them.
If the Sox are going to win the AL, it’s going to come down to their pitching. The big three of Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price are a three-headed monster at the top of the staff, but the health of Price is going to be in question.Price is expected to start the season on the disabled list because of his sore pitching elbow, but there was a period where the team feared he was heading towards Tommy John surgery.
AL East -175
Every time the Red Sox reload in the offseason by making a big trade or free-agent signing, oddsmakers seem to tab them as the heavy AL East favorites and that’s once again the case in 2017. The Toronto is still a contender, but many pundits around baseball believe they took a step back. The Yankees’ talented prospects are almost ready for the big time, and the Orioles have to prove their window isn’t closing. Barring injury, the Red Sox should run away with the AL East.
OVER/UNDER win total 92.5
The Red Sox put 93 wins on the board a year ago and with the addition of the former Cy Young winner Sale, I’m surprised this number isn’t higher. If Price can make a quick return from the disabled list and the offense continues to improve, Boston shouldn’t have any problem going OVER this number.
Mookie Betts to win AL MVP +750
At the age of 24, Betts has already established himself as both a fan favorite in Beantown and one of the best players in the American League. Betts had a coming out party in 2016, as the Nashville native finished the season with 31 home runs, 113 RBI and a solid .318 batting average.
He’ll have to do some serious leg work to eclipse the likes of Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado, but a wager on Betts at +750 is great value in my eyes.
|American League Pennant||+225|
|American League East||-175|
Odds as of March 15 at Bovada