Red Sox: The odds for the 2020 season do not favor Boston
By Rick McNair
The odds are not in the Red Sox’ favor
As baseball moves forward or backward depending upon your perspective one item of note surfaces and that is betting odds. The Red Sox are not considered favorites – light or heavy – to make it to the baseball brass ring known as the World Series. The general consensus places Boston somewhere in the .500 range – a few games above or below that dividing line.
The weaknesses are apparent and visible either with the historic individual performance or on the field during summer training. If a Ryan Weber becomes somewhat of an anchor on your staff get the bilge pumps ready for the good ship Red Sox will be slowly sinking to the depths of whatever now passes for the American League.
As baseball wizard Earl Weaver once stated everything revolves around that little bump in the middle of the diamond. For the Red Sox staff, that bump is fast becoming to the team as garlic is to a vampire. It doesn’t look good, folks.
There is no mystery regarding the rotation with expectations somehow revolving around Eduardo Rodriguez becoming a latter-day Jim Devlin, who pitched every inning of every game in 1877. Even now there are issues surfacing with the closer situation as the designated closer – Brandon Workman – has been treated as a pitching pinata. Enough with the bad news since there is good news from a traditional Red Sox success story – hitting.
The lineup – sans Mookie Betts – still has depth, talent, power, and promise. This team will hit and if it is runs you like your Fenway Park cutout will see worn basepaths. The trouble will be what the offense gives the pitching will give right back.
The season is lost before it begins or is it? In just 60 games a nice hot hand on the mound or with the stick can change a disappointing scenario to a positive one. Plenty of well-worn cliches regarding not tossing the season to the winds until a few dozen games give an idea of just what type of squad 2020 will be? I may be “Mr. Negativity” but I can flip with a decent nine-game winning streak.
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The sexy pick is the New York Yankees to place ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays with Boston lagging behind the usual pitching-rich Rays. New York is not without problems nor is Tampa and the curse of COVID-19 can result in nightmares for all teams. Gone is the hamstring pull, the tender elbow, and exhaustion from counting your money – all replaced by a positive test. Success may depend upon who tests positive the least.
I should pay little attention to odds or polls especially since 2016 or even 1967. Surprises do happen, but being a realist and following this quaint game for multiple decades things do not look promising. But that does not mean curling into a fetal position since 2020 becomes a building block for 2021. The schedule is already out, free agents are lining up, and the ever-present real decision-makers – the accounting staff – are determining just who gets paid and what.
The season will be a baseball Mulligan to me. Making the payoffs will be a plus, but finding a precious nugget or two on the mound will certainly mitigate – at least a wee bit – of disappointment. Then again – anything can happen which is why lottery tickets are so popular. Maybe enough positive will happen to move those odds a bit forward for 2021?