MLB Odds: Is now a good time to bet on the Boston Red Sox?

By Sam Panayotovich
FOX Sports Betting Analyst

It Boston Red Sox didn’t win the American League East this season, but that doesn’t mean the team wasn’t built for a deep playoff run.

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

Around the first week of May, the Red Sox went as high as 35-1 to represent the American League in the World Series. Fast forward to today, and those opportunities have been sharply trimmed.

FOX Bet tackled Boston 11-1 ($100 win $1,100) to become the last team standing on the junior circuit.

AL pennant odds via FOX Bet:

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

“The Yankees’ numbers are fair, but there’s no way I’m going lower than 2-1 on the favorites to win anything,” one professional bettor told FOX Sports. “It’s almost like the case of the Yankees being so dominant that it makes prices better on every other team in the American League.

“If you’re willing to shorten the Yankees, you get your fair share of shakes.”

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

Boston (+1100) and Tampa Bay (+1300) currently have a half-game lead in Toronto (+550) in the Wild Card race, but Toronto’s odds are clearly lower. There’s definitely some liability built in as the Blue Jays are preseason darlings for many bettors and pundits alike.

But come on.

That’s a huge disrespect for a team that was literally just two wins away from playing in the World Series last season.

“The Red Sox have the weapons to compete against the Yankees lineup in the postseason,” the bettor argued. “They’ve done a lot of weight lifting without the likes of Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi and never missed a beat.

“That lineup has a lot to do with [Rafael] devers, [Xander] Bogaert, [J.D.] Martinez and [Trevor] Story and Kike [Hernandez] was a threat in the playoffs last year. The Bullpen Sox had several holes, which they needed to overcome the stretch.

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

Bullpen will get a pretty big boost soon when Josh Taylor and Garrett Whitlock return from the handicap list, and the pitching staff will be much tougher if the likes of James Paxton can contribute under the stretch.

A rotation with Eovaldi, Sale, and Nick Pivetta could 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 last postseason Boston proved, it can get hot in a hurry.

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

If the Yankees go 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 vote against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

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MLB Odds: Is now a good time to bet on the Boston Red Sox?

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