It’s starting to feel like baseball season around New England as the Boston Red Sox begin their 2021 campaign next Thursday at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles.
You can wager on baseball in so many different ways these days. There are future markets for divisions, pennants and the World Series. You can bet on a team to lead the league in wins. You can fire on teams to make or miss the playoffs. And you can take shots on player exotics like home run king and wins leader for bigger payouts.
In my opinion, the best way to attack the Red Sox in 2021 is via the regular-season win total. Oddsmakers create a number that you can either bet “Over” or “Under.” Sportsbooks aren’t exactly high on the Sox this year because they struggled last season, and the American League East looks pretty strong on paper.
But if you believe in a bounce-back season like I do, “Over” is the way to go.
I truly applaud the way Chaim Bloom and Brian O’Halloran retooled the roster and think the reinsertion of the extremely likable Alex Cora into the dugout is a bigger deal than people think. But mostly, it comes down to the starting pitching and how much stronger it could be than last season.
The Sox limped through 2020 without a single start from Chris Sale or Eduardo Rodriguez. You’re looking at a potential rotation of Sale (upon his midseason return from Tommy John surgery), Nathan Eovaldi, Rodriguez, Garrett Richards and Martin Perez by this summer. Say hello and wave goodbye to Zack Godley and Chris Mazza.
We must touch on the importance of right team and right price. Sportsbooks are a lot like gas stations in a way because the price of a gallon is different everywhere. Here is where the Red Sox season win total sits at six different American sportsbooks:
Red Sox season win totals
78.5 Circa Sports
79 Westgate SuperBook
Many people that bet on sports as a hobby don’t understand the importance of getting the right number. If you like the “Over” and don’t bet “Over” 78.5, you are only selling yourself short. A 79-win Red Sox season is a winning bet at Circa, a tie at Westgate and a loss everywhere else.
Why would you bet “Over” 80.5 when there are much lower numbers in the market?
I know one professional bettor that bet “Over” 78.5 and “Under” 80.5. This bettor is playing the arbitrage game and hoping to land on exactly 79 or 80 wins to win both wagers. That’s some next-level stuff.
At the end of the day, I believe in regression the right way for the Red Sox. Their win total hasn’t been this low in almost 20 years. The New York Yankees are loaded, but I’m always wary of the World Series loser (Tampa Bay Rays) and don’t think the Toronto Blue Jays will live up to all the hype.
Let’s buy low on a disrespectful 78.5 and take the “Over.”
Red Sox Over 78.5 wins -110
RECORD: (27-14, +11.5)