Opening Day finally is here as the Boston Red Sox welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon.
Everybody around the NESN office is feeling optimistic about the 2021 season, and I share that sense of optimism. My favorite way to wager on the Sox this year is going “Over” 78.5 regular-season wins.
As for the season opener, I’m eyeing the Red Sox on the run line. It’s an extremely similar bet to the puck line in hockey, which we discussed two weeks ago. You’re raising the stakes but lowering the betting juice. Boston is a -170 favorite to win the game, so you risk $170 to win $100 and collect $270.
Run line betting essentially gives a baseball bettor a spread of 1.5 runs. This is a strategy that lots of professional bettors use when betting against bad teams because it maximizes their money and minimizes the risk. Boston has to win by two runs or more over Baltimore, but it’s a plus-money bet.
Red Sox moneyline bet: $170 to win $100
Red Sox run line bet: $100 to win $115
See what we did there?
I always do my best to avoid laying anything over -130 because the juice kills. It’s hard enough in this racket to beat -110 as laying -170 on a regular basis is almost impossible to overcome.
If you bet $100 on six games at -170 and go 4-2, you’re still only up $60.
(W) $100 (1-0, $100)
(L) -$170 (1-1, -$70)
(W) $100 (2-1, $30)
(L) -$170 (2-2, -$140)
(W) $100 (3-2, -$40)
(W) $100 (4-2, $60)
If you go 2-4 on six $100 bets at -170, you’re down $480. RIP.
Nathan Eovaldi gets the ball for manager Alex Cora and he absolutely owned the Orioles in 2020. Eovaldi went 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA and allowed only two earned runs in 19 innings. That’ll do. And it’s not like Baltimore got immensely better over the offseason. The O’s are going to lose 100 games again, especially with 76 against the American League East.
It’s certainly not a must-win game Thursday afternoon at Fenway, but the Red Sox would love to start their 2021 season off with a bang. The offense should score more than enough against lefty John Means, and I think they’ll tack on some late insurance runs for a 6-2 win.
Here’s to a baseball season that hopefully has way more winners than losers.
Red Sox -1.5 runs (+115)
RECORD: (27-19, +6.5)