Boston Red Sox at 12-1 to repeat

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Nov 2, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Duck boats line up inside of Fenway park prior to the World Series parade and celebration for the Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 2, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Duck boats line up inside of Fenway park prior to the World Series parade and celebration for the Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The sports books are starting to check in with their lines for the 2014 season. The Red Sox are not favorites since they are slotted in at 12-1 for the World Series with the Dodgers the favorite. That 12-1 is not bad.

The Sox over/under for games is 87.5 and that is a nice chance to place a few Benjamin’s at even money. No push on the O/U. The odds, naturally, will change as the season progresses, and for those with a desire for unpleasant memories the 2011 Sox had a 98.7% chance to make the playoffs on 9/1. How did that work out? So those odds will hop all over the place as injuries and slumps take their toll.

From my own perspective I really examine the season in sections – just in case I want to examine the possibility of further “investment.” April and May should give me a nice read on the various question marks such as Jackie Bradley, Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz and Xander Bogaerts. That is where my focus will be as spring training and the first few months progress. Roster should be set and playing rotations in place as the team slides into mid-May. Who has slithered into the leadoff slot on a regular basis may be settled at that time or it may be a revolving door. Questions will start, hopefully, to be answered.

June and July are the solid middle of the season months for me as the weather improves and teams are starting to adjust to their circumstances. The team should have an identity and Sox fans will have an idea of who is sinking or rising above expectations.

Watching manager John Farrell in these middle months will give an indication of how he views his players and especially his pitching staff. The bullpen rotation will probably be a given. This is also the time period when serious talk of improvement will take place. Trade of the day or hour will be flying about as media and fans propose the various moves necessary to either right the ship or continue forward to the fall dance. Remember all that 2013 Cliff Lee talk? Sometimes a simple acquisition such as a Dave Roberts can have historical consequences on both the plus and minus side of the roster.

August and September is where the real season comes into focus – especially for those fortunate enough to have a contending club. What reinforcements from the minors or waiver wire? Last season it was Quintin Berry lending his speed with an August trade. The Sox have minor league talent in abundance and that could be vital to shoring up the team in the last few months. Hopefully that talent will not be there over a blown out season but as significant contributors to a title defense.

That is my own personal view and perception of what I see as an evaluation process. Everyone has their own little quirks and signals as a season goes forward. I’m sure the odds makers have a rather interesting formula for their own line setting, but “Lefty” Rosenthal has passed, so he is out of the equation. As my old friend “Butch from the Cape” would say: “You never lose money betting against the Red Sox.” Unfortunately Butch passed before that remarkable 2004 season. R.I.P Mr. Speers.

So I am betting (pun intended) that I will collect some money. In fact I’m going to say I’ll collect it before the 2014 season ends. And it is on both the 12-1 and that very attractive O/U.

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