The Boston Red Sox bolstered their pitching rotation during the offseason by acquiring starter Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox, and it appears the oddsmakers approve after making Sale a strong +200 betting favorite to emerge as the 2017 American League Cy Young winner at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Sale proved to be one of the few bright spots on last season’s shaky White Sox squad, winning 17 games for the second time in his career and starting for the AL at the 2016 All-Star Game.
The 27-year-old strengthens a starting rotation that already includes David Price, who joins Sale among the Cy Young betting favorites at +550, and 2016 AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, who led the league with 22 wins last season and is pegged at +3300 odds to repeat.
In stark contrast to 2015, when Major League Baseball pitchers recorded no-hitters on seven occasions, they were a rarity in the majors last season, with Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta tossing the lone no-hitter in a 16-0 rout of the Cincinnati Reds on April 21.
The line on the total number of no-hitters during the upcoming MLB season sits at 3 1/2, with the under favored with -175 odds, while odds of at least four no-hitters this year sit at +125.
While Red Sox pitchers dominate on the AL Cy Young odds, the club’s hitters sit well off the pace on the odds to lead in home runs, with outfielder Mookie Betts leading the squad at +6000. That’s well ahead of Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland, who join a crowded group of 39 hitters deadlocked at a distant +10000 odds on that prop wager.
Betts connected for just one long ball in his final 31 games last season, but still tallied a career-high 31 home runs. Bogaerts produced a respectable 21 round-trippers, while Ramirez’s 10 September home runs powered him to his highest season total since 2008, with 30 on the year.
Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton leads the way on the 2017 MLB home run leader odds at +750, ahead of the Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado at +1250, while Baltimore Orioles teammates Chris Davis and Manny Machado are each pegged at +1500.
Stanton has been a fixture at the top of the MLB home run odds in recent years but has been hobbled by injuries throughout his career, limiting him to 27 dingers in each of the past two seasons.
Arenado has led the NL in home runs the past two seasons, while Davis and Machado blasted 38 and 37 long balls last season, respectively.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images