The Boston Red Sox stunned the baseball world by crawling
out of the outhouse and into the penthouse and claiming the 2013 World Series
but are they poised to repeat in MLB odds?
What's On Tap?
The Boston Red Sox celebrated perhaps the most unlikely turnaround in sports
history. They became the Amazin' Mets of
the new millennium and a previously toxic clubhouse miraculously became peace,
love and Kumbaya. But that's all a
distant memory for those who like to bet sports and are happy to leave all the
emotion to those who love sports, the athletes and their teams. Let's gaze deeply into our crystal ball and
see whether these beloved Boston Red Sox will be defending their World Series
title or crackin' open a cold one while watching two other teams vie for the
Take a look at the 2014 MLB Future Odds.
Pitching Wins Titles
While having a guy like Big Papi going
nuclear at the right time doesn't hurt the cause, championship seasons begin
and end with pitching. The Red Sox have
plenty of it and will return their entire starting rotation. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake
Peavy and Felix Doubront comprise a fearsome five-some and all will return,
barring a trade or injury, next season. In addition, the Sox have plenty of pitching talent and depth with
Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa and Allan Webster waiting in the wings.
The 14-million-dollar-a-year man Ryan
Dempster is almost an afterthought at this point and will be used as trade bait
for a hot ball girl and a few Louisville sluggers. If the Sox find no takers, he will be used as
a middle relief man and a spot starter. The bullpen is stacked with lights out closer Koji Uehara leading a rock
solid corps of relievers. Pitching
appears to be Boston strong and should propel the team to contention next
season unless of course the injury bug bites and derails this juggernaut.
Jacoby Ellsbury will be the most
notable defection from Boston’s roster as he is looking for telephone book
numbers for the foreseeable future. The
Red Sox are now allergic to doling out big money contracts over an extended
period of time after the spectacular failure of that same strategy when they
heaped oodles of dough on Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. They were able to find a willing dance
partner in the LA Dodgers to assume those long-term deals and are terrified of
repeating that mistake. While Ellsbury’s
bat at the top of the lineup and speed on the base paths will be missed, the
Sox brass is counting on the intriguing possibility that Jackie Bradley Jr.
will be able to fill that rather large void.
As far as the other potential
departures are concerned, the Sox are interested in retaining defensive wizard
Stephen Drew despite his anemic hitting performance in the postseason. Big slugger Mike Napoli is still a
consideration for the Red Sox particularly due to his steady improvement at
first base during the course of last season. And finally, it appears as though Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be cut
loose after veteran receiver David Ross took over the catching reigns when it
counted. Nevertheless, the Sox will be
on the hunt for an everyday catcher (hello Brian McCann?) but there is a slim
chance that Salty could be back with the club at a team friendly deal.
Red Sox World Series Odds
The World Champions are not the
favorites in MLB odds to repeat next season because that distinction belongs to
the rebuilt LA Dodgers at 7-1. Next in
line are the boys from Motown who clock in at a respectable 8-1. Third from the top are the Red Sox at 10-1
and you can plunk down a few bucks at either Bet365.com or WilliamHill.com if
you want to get a very tasty return on your six-month investment.
bottom line in Boston is that their core group is intact and the pitching looks
fierce. However, Messrs.’ Lester,
Buchholz and Lackey have all had down years before and to believe the
triumvirate will click on all cylinders as they did last season may be a bit
much to ask. So for those looking to place their MLB picks
, I like the
10-1 odds that the linesmen are dealing and heartily endorse another trip
to the winners circle for Boston.