MLB Odds: Red Sox have Recovered After Brutal Start
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 5/26/2011
The Boston Red Sox began the 2011 Major League Baseball season with six straight losses. Halfway through April, one of the favorites to win the World Series was 2-10, and a little bit of panic was creeping into Beantown. Sure, everyone assumed the Sox would turn it around eventually. But 2-10? This was not the plan.
As far as betting on Boston was concerned, well, let’s hope you avoided it, because when you combine a good team on paper with a bad record, you get the recipe for big losses. At Bodog, we had heavy action on the Red Sox at the start of the season. Not surprisingly, that action subsided as many of our players decided to take a wait-and-see approach.
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Flash forward to the present and Boston is feeling a lot better about its baseball team. As of Thursday morning (prior to an afternoon game with the Tigers) the Red Sox were 25-12 since that 2-10 start (27-22 overall) and stood just a half-game back of the Yankees for first place in the AL East. Fortunately for Terry Francona, no other team in the division had really taken advantage of his crew’s early struggles.
Betting on the Red Sox has predictably picked up since the turnaround, and though they’ve still been a losing wager overall, they’re quickly climbing out of the deep hole they dug for both themselves and their backers in April.
On Wednesday, Boston defeated the Indians, 14-2, in Cleveland. Even better for the Sox than a victory over baseball’s best team to that point, the star of the game was outfielder Carl Crawford, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.
Crawford signed a seven-year, $142 million free agent contract in the offseason, but got off to a dreadful start, hitting .155 in April with just one home run and six RBI.
“I definitely feel better than what I did before,” said Crawford. “I don’t really want to dissect it too much because I think that’s what got me in trouble in the beginning, trying to give every little detail about what’s wrong with my swing. I don’t really know. It just feels better now, that’s all I can tell you.”
The Red Sox will need Crawford to be swinging the bat well if they hope to make noise come the fall. We’re giving Boston 5/1 odds to win the World Series, with only Philadelphia (3/1) at a lower number.
The Yankees, meanwhile, are at 7/1, and although their record (27-21) might not look too impressive, there’s something to be said for their run differential, which at +51 is second to only the Indians. New York opens a nine-game road trip in Seattle on Friday, followed by visits to Oakland and Anaheim.
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