Red Sox are favorites to win AL pennant, according to Las Vegas

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According to vegasinsider.com, one of the most famous sites of sports gambling, the Red Sox are the favorites to win the World Series behind the Chicago Cubs.

After two last-place finishes, professional gamblers of vegasinsider.com think that the Red Sox have what it takes to win the American League pennant. Their odds are 9/1, only behind the Chicago Cubs’ 6/1. The Astros are second in the American League to the Red Sox, with 12/1.

This shouldn’t come off as a surprise, since the Red Sox have made significant upgrades in what were their weakest areas, with the addition of David Price, Carson Smith and Craig Kimbrel. The Cubs have also improved their already excellent young roster, with the addition of Jason Heyward, John Lackey and Ben Zobrist. After all, the Cubs made it to the NLCS even though they were outdueled by an extremely talented Mets’ rotation.

However, we always have to take these numbers with a grain of salt. Last year the odds of the Red Sox winning the World Series were at 12/1 and the projection of total wins was 85.5. The Royals and Mets’ odds were 30/1, if you were wondering, and the last time Boston won it wall their odds were 28/1.

A Cubs/Red Sox World Series wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, since both teams have been called the “winners” of the offseason so far, and after Theo Epstein’s departure from Boston, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that winning the October Classic against his former team is in his most intense dreams. He has been a class act since he left, but similar to Lackey, it easy to imagine how he feels about the Red Sox front office.

A meeting between both teams almost happened back in 2003. As we all painfully remember, the Red Sox and Yankees faced each other in the 2003 ALCS, with Boston having a 5-2 lead entering the eight inning. Pedro Martinez gave up a single to Derek Jeter and a double to Bernie Williams, forcing Sox manager Grady Little to visit the mound. Martinez convinced Little that he could still pitch, but he eventually surrendered back-to-back doubles to Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada to send the game to extra innings. Long story short, Tim Wakefield gave up a series-clinching home run to Aaron Boone in the 11th inning, sending the Yankees to the World Series when Boston was only six outs away of doing it. But the Red Sox humiliated the Yankees the year after and have won the World Series three times since then.

Two days before Game 7 of the ALCS, the Cubs were facing the Florida Marlins with a 3-2 series-lead. The Cubs scored first on the first inning and managed to enter the 8th with a 3-0 lead. Mark Prior was pitching a gem for the Cubs, allowing only three hits and retiring the last eight batters up to that point. Marlins’ Juan Pierre hit a double to end that streak, and was followed by an intense at-bat from Luis Castillo. Castillo hit a high foul ball to left field and Cubs outfielder Moises Alou followed it to the stands to catch it, but a fan (Steve Bartman) did it first. The Cubs couldn’t get a fan-interference call and everything went downhill from there. The Marlins ended up winning that game 7-3, sending them to the World Series and eventually beat the Yankees.

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Now, almost 13 years later, both teams are with the possibility of facing each other in the October Classic. Both of them have a young talented core, but maybe the Cubs would take the edge because of their rotation. It would still be an incredible World Series, if the Red Sox can live up to their expectations entering next year. There are a lot of ifs facing this team but if all of them turn into yeses, they have a really good chance of being the best team of the American League.

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