Red Sox, Orioles Will Need To Rely On Young Stars To Compete In AL East

Devers has the ability to prove he can the be the centerpiece for Boston


March 17

We wrap up our American League East preview with the teams with the longest division odds: the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

I said it before Boston had the highest win percentage in spring training and I’m saying it even more confidently now: Don?t sleep on the Red Sox. They might not have a star-studded roster compared to other teams around their division, but their ceiling has proven to be promising. Considering what we have seen so far and what we know of the potential of new additions to the team, including Rookie of the Year candidate Masataka Yoshida, veteran slugger Justin Turner and the bolstered bullpen, the Sox could be a challenger in the East.

Also, don’t forget what Rafael Devers is capable of.

Rafael Devers Over 165.5 hits (-115) at DraftKings
Devers found his way to the top of the AL hits leaderboard multiple times this past season, but injuries sidelined him for more than 20 games. Even when he was in the lineup, the stats made it clear that he wasn’t 100%. Still, he finished with 164 hits, just one less than his 165-hit 2021 season where he played 156 games. In fact, he recorded more than 100 hits faster than any other player in the AL. If he continues with the same production this season, while staying healthy, I have no doubt he gets over this number. And in case you haven’t heard, Devers signed a 10-year, $313.5 million extension this offseason. It’s time for Raffy to prove why he belongs as a centerpiece to this Boston lineup for years to come.

The Orioles might have exceeded expectations by outplaying the Red Sox last year, but the one bet that I would make this year is on their newest talent. 

Gunnar Henderson AL Rookie of the Year (+300) at Caesar’s
The hype around Henderson already has had a major impact on the 2023 Rookie of the Year odds. The 2019 second-round draft pick began last season in Double-A and ended it in the majors with 34 big-league games where he batted .259/.348/.440 with four homers and a steal. He has a solid glove at second, third and short, with good power and plate discipline on offense — the perfect recipe for immediate impact on the team. Because of this scouting report, he opened as the Rookie of the Year favorite around +450. Respected money already has come in to bring the number one overall prospect down to as low as +225 at DraftKings, which speaks even more to the expectations for the rookie. While you are technically chasing the number, it will dip even lower if he lives up to the hype as the season gets going. Last season, Julio Rodriguez went from +1000 to -2500 before winning it. Grab the plus money while you can.  

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Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images

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