Boston Red Sox Blast AL East Wide Open
by Fairway JayJust two weeks ago we were writing about the Boston Red Sox run line and how they were rolling. Boston had built up a 5-game lead on the rival NY Yankees, yet those two teams were among the elite in baseball this season. New York fans and the media believed the Yankees still had a legit shot to win the AL East.
That was until this past weekend, when the Red Sox dusted their rival, sweeping the four game series in Boston with a dramatic 5-4 extra-inning win Sunday. The Yankees had to be devastated after reliever Aroldis Chapman blew a 3-run 9thinning lead with a 2-out error and then lost in the 10thinning. However, New York avoided an immediate letdown with a 7-0 road win against the lowly Chicago White Sox Monday. Still, Fangraphs now rates the Yankees chances of winning the AL East at just 7.4%. Baseball Prospectus rates the Yankees post season chances even lower at 6.5% to finish in first place.
The Boston Red Sox begin a 9-game road trip August 7th and have reached true elite status with a 70% win rate at 79-34. The Red Sox are 25-5 SU since July 1st, which is the last day they didn’t hold an outright lead in the division. Five weeks later they are up 9 games on the rival Yankees. Just two other teams in baseball are playing better than .600 baseball, and one of them is the Yankees (69-42 SU) even after the sweep by Boston. The other of course is the world champion Houston Astros (72-42 SU), who you might recall beat Boston in last year’s playoffs and AL divisional round.
If you’re betting on the Boston Red Sox, you’ll pay a steep price in many games the rest of the season. The Red Sox have won 8 of-9 games after sweeping the Yankees, and five of them by 2 or more runs. Boston has produced a league-best 20 units of profit on the run line this season and 28 units of profit overall. The A’s are next at +26 and then there is a big drop off to the Braves (+15), Phillies (+14) and Brewers (+13). Not many predicted those four with such success and profit this season, and in fact only the Milwaukee Brewers (84.5) had a season win total projected as a winning record. But Boston was expected to be very good with a season win total of 91.5. The Red Sox are currently on pace to win an amazing 113 games.
"Boston has produced a league-best 20 units of profit on the run line this season..."However, if you learned from last year when the LA Dodgers were on fire and playing record-setting baseball near 70% three weeks into August, a letdown is likely looming for Boston now that they have breathing room in the standings. Remember when mighty Los Angeles and Dodger Blue lost 15-of-16 games starting in late August last year, costing betters nearly 20-units of profit alone as they crashed into a tailspin and suffered a letdown in which they couldn’t recover until mid-September. Los Angeles was still an elite team and made it to the World Series. However this year, despite a winning record and (until recently) first place in the NL West, the Dodgers (62-51 SU) have been one of the biggest disappointments in the betting market with losses totaling more than 18-units; tied with the NY Mets for worst in the National League. That points out the importance of shopping for value in baseball betting, and that the best teams don’t always produce profit as many fans and recreational bettors expect.
So back to the dominant American League and projecting forward including the playoffs. The Boston Red Sox are playing elite baseball and will be heavily bet the rest of the regular season. Take a cautious approach and avoid laying huge prices. Understand there is no guarantee bet or outcome, especially when it comes to the playoffs and winning the World Series.
I will point out some interesting numbers in an upcoming article as it relates to the playoffs and the most dominant regular season teams. Know that the Astros, Yankees and Indians are very good teams. Every single one of them will be keen to take a shot at the Boston Red Sox. Fortunately, the boys from Beantown seem resilient as ever. Keep hammering that Boston run line.