MLB Odds: Buying Low On Red Sox After MLB Trade Deadline Passes

The Sox are +280 to reach the postseason

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With only two months of the MLB regular season left, there are three clear favorites. The Los Angeles Dodgers have dominated the National League while the New York Yankees and Houston Astros have separated themselves from the rest of the American League.

Bookmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook have given the Dodgers and Yankees the shortest odds to be World Series champions at +390, followed by the Astros at +475. However, I’m here to remind you there’s still a possibility we don’t see any of the three come out on top. We’ve seen it before.

Now, let’s talk about those Red Sox.

After a stellar 20-6 June, Boston looked like a playoff team. Its odds went from +220 to make the playoffs to around -265 (implied odds of 73%), which proved the market and bookmakers were giving manager Alex Cora and crew the respect they deserved. They were one of the hottest offenses that month, ranking fourth in the AL in hits, as well as fifth in runs and batting average. They had the second-best on-base percentage of all teams in baseball. Their pitching staff was doing its part, as well, with the starting rotation having the best ERA in the American League (2.91) and third-best ERA overall.

Then, July happened. First, there was a slew of injuries to the starting rotation and bullpen. Next, it was Rafael Devers with a back injury, and before you knew it, the whole lineup quieted down. The defense didn’t help much, either, and it seemed like nothing could go right for the Red Sox.

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Now, with the fresh month of August, there’s hope once again. The trade deadline has come and gone, and Red Sox fans should be excited. Xander Bogaerts, Devers and J.D. Martinez all remain in the lineup. While it was unfortunate for fans to see catcher Christian Vazquez traded to Houston (with a few minor leaguers in return), the Red Sox filled the void by acquiring Reese McGuire from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for reliever Jake Diekman.

Boston didn’t stop there. It also acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Cincinnati Reds, as well as first baseman Eric Hosmer from the San Diego Padres. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom believes Hosmer could be a difference-maker.

“We have struggled to find stability at first base this year … We think Eric will provide that,” Bloom told reporters this week.

Lack of stability is a good way to put it. Before adding Hosmer to the roster, Boston had 10 errors at first base (tied for third-most in the majors). The Red Sox also had around bottom-five offensive production at the position in batting average, home runs, RBIs and OPS. If Bloom is right, and Hosmer proves to be an upgrade over Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero, then it will prove to be a great deadline grab.

Pham, meanwhile, was one of the Reds’ more productive players, and his speed (he led the team in steals) could be an important asset. He already has had a hit in each of his first three games (including two doubles) as a Red Sox. It’s a small sample size but a good sign.

Who knows? A healthier rotation and a new spark to the lineup and defense could help the Red Sox return to their June ways. They’re just four games out of a playoff spot entering the weekend. While their record might not look like that of a championship contender, I’ll remind you the 2021 Braves were 51-53 after 104 games and won the World Series.

Right now, you can bet the Red Sox at +280 to make the playoffs on DraftKings. While the 80-1 odds to win the World Series is enticing, too (and perhaps worth a sprinkle), I’m inclined to say I’d like to see them get hot before I group them with the Dodgers, Yankees and Astros. Then again, Boston did just win a series against a full-strength Astros team during this “skid” of theirs, making them 4-2 versus Houston this season. We’re talking about the same Astros team that has wins in five of seven games with the Yankees this season.

With that said, I certainly think the opportunity is there for Boston to get back on track and join those two in the postseason conversation. A $100 bet would win you $280 if you make the bet now and they end up reaching the playoffs. That’s a bet I’m willing to make.

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