The Boston Red Sox are finally climbing the American League East betting boards.
After almost three full months of disrespect — including a +450 price to win the division five weeks ago — bookmakers have all but closed the gap between Boston and the Tampa Bay Rays. Apparently all it took was a second straight sweep over the preseason favorite New York Yankees.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the two teams closest on the sheet with Tampa Bay +170 and Boston +175 to win the AL East. So a $100 bet wins $170 or $175 respectively and pays out $270 or $275.
As you can see, Boston is actually down to +175 at most sportsbooks across the United States. Circa Sports in Las Vegas is the lone differentiator at +220. Tampa Bay is anywhere from +140 to +170 depending on the shop, while New York has ballooned out to +450 at some places.
The Red Sox are clearly the biggest riser in the market. And the respect is finally real.
“If you’re still shopping for Red Sox division tickets, you missed the boat,” one professional bettor told NESN. “They were 4-to-1 or higher last month, which was total disrespect. The sportsbooks were skeptical of the rotation for way too long and they failed to realize how good the offense is.”
Remember, Boston’s (47-31) regular-season win total was Over/Under 79.5. The Sox are almost halfway there with 84 games to go. So it’s safe to say Las Vegas was wrong on this team from jump street.
“They were 20-to-1 to win the division before the season,” the bettor continued. “I can’t sit here and tell you they’re a good bet at +175 right now. You’re better off taking them around 8-to-1 to win the American League pennant. There’s still a decent return on that wager.”
The fact that we’re even having these conversations in late June speaks volumes. With every clutch hit by Xander Bogaerts, every Rafael Devers 450-foot bomb and every clip of Chris Sale zipping strikes off a mound, the Red Sox get more popular at the betting window.
But truth be told, the betting value is all but gone on Boston to win the AL East. It’s obviously very realistic that they finish the job, but your payout just ain’t what it used to be.