MLB Odds: Is Now a Good Time to Bet on the Boston Red Sox?

By Sam Panayotovich
FOX Sports Betting Analyst

The Boston Red Sox won’t win the American League East this season, but that doesn’t mean the team isn’t built for a long playoff streak.

Boston is buried 14 games behind the first-place New York Yankees, and its odds of winning the division are a colossal 40-1 at FOX Bet. (Do not even think about it). That being said, the odds have gone the other way in the American League pennant market.

Around the first week of May, the Red Sox went 35-1 to represent the American League in the World Series. Fast forward to today, and those odds have been slashed precipitously.

FOX Bet deals Boston 11-1 ($100 wins $1,100) to be the last team standing in the junior circuit.

AL Pennant odds via FOX Bet:

New York Yankees: +175 (bet $10 to win $27.50 in total)
Houston Astros: +245 (bet $10 to win $34.50 in total)
Toronto Blue Jays: +550 (bet $10 to win $65 in total)
Boston Red Sox: +1100 (bet $10 to win $120 in total)
Tampa Bay Stingrays: +1300 (bet $10 to win $140 in total)
Chicago White Sox: +1400 (bet $10 to win $150 in total)
Minnesota twins: +2000 (bet $10 to win $210 in total)
Cleveland Guardians: +3500 (bet $10 to win $360 in total)

“The Yankee number is right, but there’s no way I’m playing anything less than 2-1 on a favorite to win anything,” a pro bettor told FOX Sports. “It’s almost a case of the Yankees being so dominant that it makes the prices better than every other team in the American League.

“If you’re ready to short the Yankees, you get a good jolt.”

Houston is the clear second seed at +245, but things get really interesting after the second row. Three AL East teams are trailing the Astros, but the order doesn’t make much sense.

Boston (+1100) and Tampa Bay (+1300) currently hold a half game lead over Toronto (+550) in the Wild Card race, but Toronto’s odds are significantly lower. There’s obviously some built-in liability because the Blue Jays were the preseason darling of many bettors and pundits.

But come on.

That’s a lot of disrespect from a team that was literally two wins away from playing in the World Series a season ago.

“The Red Sox have the weapons to take on the Yankees roster in the playoffs,” the bettor said. “They put in a lot of big effort without guys like Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi and didn’t miss a beat.

“This range has a lot of noise with [Rafael] Devers, [Xander] Bogaerts, [J.D.] Martinez and [Trevor] History and Kike [Hernandez] was a threat in the playoffs last year. The Sox bullpen has a few holes they need to fill on the stretch.

“But they have the resources to bolster the roster by the deadline.”

The bullpen will soon get a huge boost when Josh Taylor and Garrett Whitlock return from the disabled roster, and the pitching staff will be much more formidable if guys like James Paxton can contribute over time.

A rotation with Eovaldi, Sale and Nick Pivetta can be dangerous in a best-of-three playoff series — another new wrinkle this year — against Minnesota, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa Bay or Toronto in the first round.

As Boston proved in the last playoffs, it can get hot fast.

The Red Sox aren’t the best team in the American League on paper, but there’s absolutely no reason they should have double-digit chances of winning the pennant.

If the Yankees die out, anything is possible.

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He will probably choose against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

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