As the Boston Red Sox open spring training in Fort Myers in search of ways to avoid a last-place finish in the AL East for a third straight year, there is plenty of optimism at Coral’s online sportsbook, where the oddsmakers have pegged the Red Sox at a strong 12/1 on the World Series odds.
The Red Sox open their Grapefruit League schedule on March 2 against the Minnesota Twins with a roster that last season’s last-place roster largely intact. The addition of ace David Price via free agent, and a healthy Clay Buchholz are expected to fill major question marks in the rotation, while the club’s strong 26-20 finish to last season has inspired loyal Red Sox betting fans, can pick up a free bet from Coral here on the team’s fortunes in 2016.
The Chicago Cubs open camp as clear 15/2 favorites in MLB betting at Coral to claim their first World Series pennant in 108 years. The Cubs won an impressive 97 games in 2015 to grab the National League’s second Wild Card, and their first berth in the MLB Postseason since 2008, but made a speedy exit in the NLCS, swept in four games by the New York Mets. The addition of veteran hurler John Lackey via free agency adds some needed experience to the youthful Cubs, while the addition of Jason Heyward, who also comes over from the rival St. Louis Cardinals, gives the ChiCubs a boost both on defense and at the plate.
The defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals are the Cubs’ closest competition on the World Series odds, perched at an attractive 10/1. The Royals saw ace Johnny Cueto depart for San Francisco, but responded by adding veteran Ian Kennedy, who spent last season with the San Diego Padres. Sports bettors can also use a free bet from Coral to wager on any of the four clubs that join the Red Sox at 12/1, including the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and the rival Toronto Blue Jays.
New York opened well back of the favorites, falling as far as 20/1 before re-signing superstar outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a monster contract that will keep him in Queens for the next three years. The loss of Lackey and Heyward will certainly be felt by the aging Cardinals, who face a huge challenge to a fourth straight NL Central pennant, while the Nationals will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 83-win season in 2015, which they opened as strong World Series favorites.
Perhaps the most intriguing team in that group are the Blue Jays, who went on a stunning 40-17 run following the Trade Deadline acquisition of Price, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and outfielder Ben Revere to claim their first AL East crown since 1993, before taking their fans on a wild run to the ALCS, where they fell to the Royals in six games.
A front office makeover at Rogers Centre has shaken up the Jays and their fan base, while the loss of Price leaves the Toronto rotation with question marks. But the Blue Jays are once again expected to be an offensive juggernaut in 2016, and capable of repeating as division champs.