The first-place Boston Red Sox have exceeded almost every preseason expectation set by Las Vegas oddsmakers.
It’s worth reminding you that most sportsbooks posted Boston season win totals around 79 or 80. The Sox currently have the second-most wins in Major League Baseball at 49 with 82 games to go. Boston was also as high as 20-to-1 to win the American League East, 35-to-1 for the pennant and 70-to-1 to win the World Series.
So oddsmakers definitely whiffed on the 2021 Red Sox.
You’re lucky to find them now at +175 to win the AL East and those massive numbers are long gone in the pennant and championship future markets. The best Boston odds I can find are +750 to win the AL and 16-to-1 to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Let’s re-examine some future bets we discussed on NESN before the season started.
Red Sox “Over” 78.5 wins (Circa Sports)
Somebody give me a raise. Barring a colossal collapse, the Sox are going to fly over 78.5 wins, which was such a disrespectul number. The offense is booming, the rotation has been better than expected and the bullpen boasts the seventh-best ERA in the game. And Chris Sale might return soon.
Red Sox +275 to make playoffs (DraftKings)
Baseball Reference gives Boston a 79 percent chance to make the playoffs. So that +275 before the season should be priced around -350 or so right now. DraftKings’ current odds are Yes -320 / No +250, so we’re a heavy favorite to cash this one.
Alex Cora +1200 AL Manager of the Year (DraftKings)
This is shaping up to be a heck of a race between Cora, Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker. I would give the nod to Cora because he changed the culture and reinvigorated the franchise. These markets usually come down on Opening Day and don’t get re-posted, but I can promise you that Cora would be much closer to +300 or +400.
Red Sox -120 to win more games than Cubs (DraftKings)
The Cubs stink.
Bobby Dalbec +2000 to win AL ROY (FanDuel)
Dalbec is on pace for 16 homers, which is well shy of my sky-high prediction of 30 long balls for 2021. There’s almost no chance “Bobby Bombs” wins AL Rookie of the Year. Texas Rangers slugger Adolis Garcia (.274, 20 HR, 55 RBI) has this award all but locked up.
Xander Bogaerts +3000 to lead Majors in hits (PointsBet)
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos currently leads the way with 100 hits, but Bogaerts is only eight back. Boston’s longtime shortstop has a chance to make this interesting over the next three months and I certainly wouldn’t count him out. Good number, too, at 30-to-1.
Xander Bogaerts +6000 to win AL MVP (Westgate SuperBook)
Believe it or not, bookmakers are paying attention to Los Angeles Angeles superstar Shohei Ohtani’s insane season. The SuperBook is dealing Ohtani at -500 in the market right now. So you would have to risk $500 to win $100. Bogaerts and Rafael Devers were both as low as 10-to-1 about six weeks ago, but Ohtani’s dominance and Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s potential Triple Crown are way too strong to ignore.
J.D. Martinez +7500 to lead Majors in homers (Circa Sports)
I still don’t hate this flier one bit. Sure, it’s a dead loser, but it was fun for about a month when Martinez was near the top of the home run leaderboard. He’s only got 16 long balls and he’ll never catch Ohtani (28), Guerrero Jr. (26). Better luck next year.