Red Sox Shuffle the Deck
There were plenty of changes in the offseason for the Boston Red Sox and the team is in a sort of flux between rebuilding and contending if there is such an animal. As we all know, Boston shipped All-Star Mookie Betts and former AL Cy Young Award winner David Price to the Dodgers for a young outfielder named Alex Verdugo and a pair of prospects. It was a disappointing return if you ask the average Sox fan but the fact that Betts would have likely walked into “greener” pastures at season’s end diminished his value to potential suitors.
We know what Betts is capable of and he will most likely live up to his limitless potential this season with a potent LA lineup surrounding him during a contract year in which he is in his physical prime at 27 years of age. But the kick to the teeth will come when the brooding David Price rebounds with a stellar season at the back end of the Dodgers’ rotation. Price has already stated that the laid-back LA lifestyle and less demanding media suits him far better than the rabid baseball hotbed that is Boston, “It’s such a big difference from Boston to here,” Price commented to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “Really, it’s night and day.”
Price went on to say, “I came in, got undressed, showered, came back to my locker, and stood there for 10 or 15 minutes. There were maybe two or three (reporters) hanging out, talking to other guys, and nobody came over to talk to be about my day. I couldn’t believe it. It was like after me and Mookie had our introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium, we walk off the field when it was all done, and Mookie says, ‘That’s it? Is this a joke?'”
Yet, the core of the Boston lineup is better than most with burgeoning superstar Rafael Devers the main attraction while Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez can mash with the best of them. But the tale won’t be told for the 2020 season until we discover whether or not Chris Sale can rekindle the magic that made him one of the best hurlers in the game and if the bullpen can withstand the rigors of bailing out a starting rotation that is a question mark from top to bottom. Maybe last season was an aberration and this Red Sox edition will be more akin to their 2018 World Series predecessors than the lackluster 2019 squad we witnessed last year. Only time will tell.
What are the Odds?
For the first time in a long time, the Red Sox are being viewed by the oddsmakers as just another team, as opposed to a frontrunner poised to capture a World Series title. If you’re a wide-eyed Red Sox fan who refuses to discard those rose-colored glasses then you will get plenty of bang for your betting buck before the regular season commences. Boston is +1000 to win the division, +1600 to win the AL pennant, and +3300 to win the World Series. If you want to see a complete list of all the futures then click on over to Sportsbook Review, the sports betting industry’s watchdog, where you will see all of the best online sportsbooks dealing the most current MLB odds.
The schedule for the Red Sox will see them clashing with arguably the most talented club in the big leagues when they go toe-to-toe with the Yankees a total of 19 times this season. However, residing in the AL East is a double-edged sword because they will also meet the woeful Baltimore Orioles the same number of times which will hopefully mitigate some of the damage the Sox will take at the hands of the Bombers. In terms of interleague play, Boston will entertain the Brewers, Braves, Cardinals, and Reds at Fenway while visiting Wrigley Field to meet the Cubs as well as road trips to Atlanta and Cincinnati.
This should be an interesting year and if you’re throwing your hands up in the air about the Red Sox dealing Mookie then consider that last year Bryce Harper took the money and ran all the way from DC to Philadelphia because the Phillies gave him 330 million reasons to do so. However, all the Nationals did without their All-World outfielder was win its first World Series in the history of the franchise. Hitting is nice but pitching wins championships. Does Boston have enough fire in the rotation and enough ice in the bullpen? Soon enough, all of those questions will be answered.