MLB 2018: Red Sox Opening Odds
Rough When It Counted For Red Sox in 2017
Last season saw the Boston Red Sox perform fairly well. They finished with a 93-69 record, good for first in their division, clinching the AL East top spot for the second season in a row for the first time in franchise history. Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel had amazing seasons as the team's respective ace starter and closer. Despite this being Boston's first season in 15 years without All-Star slugger David Ortiz, they exceeded expectations. Well, during the regular season that is.
The postseason was an uphill battle. Boston won the AL East by a meager margin, especially compared to the top teams of most other divisions, so weren't favored going into the first round against the red-hot Astros in the ALDS. In unsurprising fashion, the Sox lost the series 3 games to 1, but kept it competitive in the elimination game. Sale was saddled for two of their three losses against the team that went on to win the World Series in epic fashon.
The Red Sox In 2018
Next season proves to be an unknown for this team. They haven't made any moves as of yet, but we know that manager John Farrell is going to be replaced. We can only speculate on what the team will decide to do, and if management has any clue, offense should be their top priority, specifically power. A hitter like J.D. Martinez would make a good fit, and there are rumblings about interest in Miami Marlin Giancarlo Stanton. Eric Hosmer's name was also mentioned in the ether.
Pitching, on the other hand, shouldn't be an issue, as Sale will still be available to them, along with Kimbrel to close out games. The latter does become a free agent after 2018, so the Sox should make a move to retain him before the end of the season. Holding opponents to just .140 over 67 appearances is no small feat. Sale was no slouch either, leading the major leagues in strikeouts with 308 over 32 starts.
Will They Win Their MLB Division?
As mentioned before the Red Sox didn't have the most convincing of division wins in 2017. Their two game cushion over the second place Yankees was the least among all other divisions, some of which had the leaders hold massive leads over their next place rivals. Because of this it's too early to tell whether Boston will win the AL East again next season, but chances are heavy that they won't. The Yankees have a much better chance, being a more well-rounded team.
Odds to Win the MLB World Series
The Red Sox opened at +1100 to win the 2018 World Series. These odds are the same as the Yankees and Cubs, all tied as fifth favored. The Nationals are close by as fourth favored with +1000 odds, and the Mets and Cardinals are both behind the Sox at +2200.
While it's still too early to make hard predictions, the Red Sox with the current team absolutely cannot win the World Series, and not worth taking at +1100. If they add a power hitter or two, their hitting consistency and pitchers should take them pretty far, but only then should they be around this price. If they do net Stanton, +1100 is a great price for this team, and we should expect them to take the division again, and go further in the postseason than the ALDS. This is dependent on what moves the Yankees make as well. Don't forget this current Yankees team won the ALWC, went on to upset the 100+ win Indians, and then took Houston to seven games in the ALCS.
Boston was out in the first round after four games. Stay away from them at this price unless they get consistent power hitters.
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