There’s no shortage of ways to document the dominance of the Boston Red Sox’s 2018 season thus far.
Boston swept the Kansas City Royals on Sunday to put the finishing touches on a 7-2 road trip. The Sox return home Monday night for a seven-game homestand with the major leagues’ best record at an astonishing 62-29.
The Red Sox have five — potentially six — All-Stars and are on pace to set a new franchise record in wins. They have arguably the best starting pitcher in the league, arguably the best closer, and they have two legitimate MVP contenders at the plate.
While they might be World Series threats, the betting odds still don’t see the Red Sox as the World Series favorites. In fact, they’re not even one of the top two favorites to win the American League pennant.
The Red Sox still trail both the New York Yankees and Houston Astros to win the AL, per BetOnline.ag.
Red Sox +400
Perhaps the more surprising thing is that the Red Sox are that close to the Indians, who are only 10 games over .500 in the putrid AL Central.
So, is this a sign of disrespect from the oddsmakers? Not really.
The Yankees and Astros battled it out for seven games in the American League Championship Series, with Houston ultimately prevailing and winning the World Series. The Yankees are better this season, and the Astros are humming along at 30 games above .500 themselves.
Meanwhile, questions do remain about the Red Sox despite their general dominance. The Astros blitzed Boston in the divisional series last season, with the best start from a Red Sox pitcher coming courtesy of Doug Fister. The Red Sox have played seven playoff games over the last two seasons and have lost six of them, with poor starting pitching being a theme.
Until they silence those doubts, a healthy amount of skepticism is warranted.
But if you’re looking for value, the Red Sox are an enticing pick to win the division, especially if everything holds as is. If the Red Sox are able to hang on and win the division, they’ll avoid the one-game playoff and set themselves up (potentially) for a deep run with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
(Only Houston has a better home winning percentage than the Red Sox this season.)
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