Why These Two Red Sox Rookies Are Worth AL ROY Wagers

Casas and Yoshida are around 10-1


January 26

The Boston Red Sox have two legitimate contenders for American League Rookie of the Year.

First baseman Triston Casas and outfielder Masataka Yoshida are both near the top of the board at DraftKings Sportsbook, which tells you each one has a shot to make some noise. Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson (+350) is the favorite, but Casas and Yoshida aren’t too far back.

FanGraphs expects Henderson to hit third for the Orioles on Opening Day and it projects him to finish with a .254 batting average, 21 homers, 75 runs and 77 RBIs. That’s a pretty decent season for a rookie, but it’s nowhere near a lock that Henderson wins the award.

Value awaits if you dive deeper.

AL Rookie of the Year odds at DraftKings:
Gunnar Henderson +350 ($100 wins $350)
Royce Lewis +600
Hunter Brown +700
Anthony Volpe +800
Triston Casas +900
Grayson Rodriguez +1000
Masataka Yoshida +1000
Logan O’Hoppe +1000
Josh Jung +1200
Kyle Muller +1500 ($100 wins $1,500)

“The Sox are banking heavily on Casas and it’s easy to understand why,” NESN Red Sox host Tom Caron told me. “He’s got elite plate discipline to go along with raw power to all fields. There’s going to be a young vibe in the clubhouse with Devers leading the way and there will be plenty of space for Casas to grow into his own.

“I think he’ll hit in the .270 range with 20 homers and 65 RBIs.”

And there’s Yoshida.

The 29-year-old Japanese outfielder signed a $90 million dollar deal this past offseason and he’s obviously not your traditional rookie. Yoshida has two batting titles and hit .336 last year with an impressive .447 on-base percentage for the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball.

All signs point to Yoshida setting the table for manager Alex Cora’s lineup, so ideally he gets around 600 plate appearances with a realistic path to score 100 runs and walk 100 times. And while patience is often one of the biggest challenges for Major League rookies, it’s never been an issue for Yoshida.

“Some of the projections have Yoshida hitting .300 this year,” Caron said. “He is the leadoff hitter until he loses the job, so he will have a ton of opportunities to score runs. The 90 to 100 range is fair.”

Splitting $100 between Casas and Yoshida could be a very interesting six-month investment this coming baseball season. Fifty bucks a pop would win $450 on Casas or $500 on Yoshida and if either of those Red Sox rookies exceeds expectations, you’ll be in a great spot heading into the second half.

I’ve certainly made worse bets.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images

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