Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia (played in 3 games last year)
World Series Champions
The Red Sox didn’t do much in the offseason as far as adding players but they re-signed some key pieces including David Price, Chris Sales, Steve Pearce, Nathan Eovaldi, and Eduardo Nunez. The starting lineup is still in place and they will get Dustin Pedoria back who only played 3 games last season. This lineup will be just as good as last year if not better after leading the league in runs scored per game at 5.45. The rotation will be solid again with Chris Sale and David Price at the top rounded off by Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nathan Eovaldi. So the Sox will go back to back and win the 2019 World Series right? Eh, not so fast. They lost two key pieces to their bullpen in Joe Kelly and it’s not official yet but the front office has claimed they will not be paying Craig Kimbrel the kind of money he wants. That puts the closing duties on Matt Barnes/Ryan Brasier. I’m a big fan of Brasier but I don’t know if he’s ready to take on a full time closer position. Matt Barnes was good in the playoffs but all season long it seemed like he would lead his inning off by walking the first batter. If you remember, Alex Cora managed differently in the playoffs and used starter in key bullpen spots. I thought the bullpen would be the weak link for the Red Sox last year and they came through in October. Who knows, maybe Kimbrel will come back on a team friendly deal when no one else signs him. If not, this bullpen will likely be a question mark all season long and those 2 run leads in the top of the 9th at Fenway will be sketchy for you bettors who have the Sox run lines -1.5.
Win total (94.5) -
World Series Odds (7-1) - Based on the fact that this World Championship team is pretty much all back for 2019 other than two key bullpen pieces, I’ll be putting $1000 on the Red Sox to win the World Series at 7-1. Like I touched on in the preview, Alex Cora managed this team differently in the playoffs and when you can put David Price, Rick Porcello, Nathan Eovaldi, or Chris Sale in for one inning of work in the 8th or 9th in a playoff game, that’s a huge advantage. The 7-1 odds are totally worth it.