2020 Boston Red Sox Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
Two years ago, the Boston Red Sox were World Series champions on the back of their sign-stealing scheme. They are cheaters. And it looks like this season they will pay the price. Even though I don’t expect any significant punishments from Major League Baseball, the Red Sox are likely to suffer this year due to a mix of bad karma, bad blood from other teams, and bad roster composition.
Boston was a massive disappointment last season, winning just 84 games and finishing 19 games behind New York in the East. They also produced the third-worst yield for baseball bettors last season, costing their $100-per-game backers more than $2,100 in losses. My expectations aren’t much higher for this season.
To date, the main casualty of the cheating scandal was manager Alex Cora, who was fired. Boston also traded its best player, Mookie Betts, this offseason, sending him to the Dodgers for prospects. Boston’s pitching staff has been decimated, with David Price involved in the Betts trade, Rick Porcello leaving in free agency, and Chris Sale missing the season after having Tommy John surgery.
The remnants of the Red Sox roster don’t comprise a terrible team. But this team is not going to be competing for anything of any significance this year. And given their name recognition and position as one of the most “public” teams in MLB betting, I think that they will punish bettors expecting a bounce back effort.
This looks like a rebuilding season.
Boston Red Sox 2020 Projected Lineup (updated expert MLB picks daily)
1. Andrew Benintendi – OF
2. Rafael Devers – 3B
3. Xander Bogaerts – SS
4. J.D. Martinez – DH
5. Mitch Moreland – 1B
6. Michael Chavis – 2B
7. Christian Vazquez – C
8. Jackie Bradley – OF
9. Kevin Pillar – OF
Runs weren’t a problem for the Red Sox last year. They were No. 4 in baseball with 901 runs scored and No. 10 in home runs (245). Their numbers at home dropped across the board. That makes sense since they didn’t know what pitches were coming last season.
Rafael Devers (.311/32/115) and Xander Bogaerts (.309/33/117) absolutely carried the offense and were fantastic from start to finish. They will anchor the top of the order again this year, and at ages 22 and 26, respectively, they are entering their prime. J.D. Martinez (.304/36/105) is another All-Star masher in the middle of the order.
The rest of the lineup is unsettled. Mitch Moreland has some pop but is better in a platoon situation and is just a career .250 hitter. Yet he is supposed to provide protection for Bogaerts and Martinez. Christian Vazquez was a revelation. But it is tough to expect the catcher to match last season’s performance.
All eyes will be on the outfield. Jackie Bradley and Andrew Benintendi have tantalizing physical gifts, but neither has shown any consistency. I suspect they will be the targets of ire for many Fenway Faithful this season.
The rest of the roster is projects and prospects. Boston does have one of the best farm systems in baseball, bolstered by the Betts trade and addition of Alex Verdugo. This team is still at least three years away from its youngsters being ready to compete for a title, though, and we know that’s the goal in Beantown.
Boston Red Sox 2020 Projected Rotation And Closer
1. Eduardo Rodriguez (L)
2. Nathan Eovaldi (R)
3. Martin Perez (L)
4. Ryan Weber (R)
5. Brian Johnson (L)
Closer: Brandon Workman
This right here is the main issue with the Red Sox. No realistic contender can enter the season with Eduardo Rodriguez as its No. 1 starter. I understand that he won 19 games last year and struck out 213 batters. However, I think he was pitching way over his head last season. He throws too many pitches and doesn’t work deep enough into games. Also, after logging 10 more starts and nearly 70 more inning than his previous career highs, I think the Rodriguez is an injury risk as well.
Nathan Eovaldi is terrible. And it is pretty clear by now that he’s never going to be able to harness his stuff and turn it into any type of consistent production. If you discount his fluke 14-3 season with the Yankees in 2015, we are looking at a guy with a career 32-51 record and an ERA around 4.40.
And those are the two best starters Boston has!
Martin Perez (5.12), Ryan Weber (5.09) and Brian Johnson (6.02) all had ERAs over 5.00 last year, and they are all batting practice. I won’t be surprised to see the Red Sox grab a free agent off the scrap heap (think Clay Buchholz or Andrew Cashner). Or they will simply throw some of their rookies and prospects out there for a trial by fire.
One of the worst rotations in baseball is also going to heap hefty pressure on their bullpen. Boston was No. 18 in bullpen ERA and was in the bottom 10 in runs allowed and earned runs allowed. They led the Majors with 31 blown saves and converted just 51.3% of their save opportunities.
Brandon Workman had a career year as the closer last season. He went 10-1 and had 16 saves with a 1.88 ERA. But he also blew six other save opportunities so he is hardly a sure thing at the back end.
Boston Red Sox Odds To Win The World Series
The Red Sox have been installed at 30-to-1 to win the World Series this year. I think their actual odds are closer to 50-to-1, but the Red Sox name alone will inflate the number. Boston is 14-to-1 to win the East and 15-to-1 to win the American League pennant. I think that all three of those would be sucker bets.
Boston Red Sox 2020 Predictions
NOTE: I am basing all of my predictions on my belief in an 81-game season that starts on July 1. I have absolutely no inside information about MLB’s plans for the 2020 season. However, for the sake of discussion, 81 games are what I have in mind while writing these previews.
The Red Sox are not good. They still have more than enough pop in their lineup, led by a trio of All-Stars. But Boston’s pitching is going to be a train wreck, and they are going to be playing games with softball scores all season long.
This franchise is changing gears in major ways. They have had massive turnover among the leadership, with Dave Dombrowski and Bill James departing and the firing of Cora. They hired a general manager (Brian O’Halloran) after a three-year vacancy at the post, and Chaim Bloom is now The Man. Manager Ron Roenicke is an interim hire and a placeholder.
Beyond the shakeup at the top, I expect more roster turnover as well. Boston has a lot of good, young talent. Their long-term outlook is still solid. And they are going to want to give innings and at-bats to the young players.
That long-term approach isn’t going to help them in the short-term, though. I think they will get off to an erratic start to the season, then drop into the tank, and then maybe late in the regular season find some footing and end the year with positive hopes for 2021. That’s the best-case scenario I see for this group.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports bettor and handicapper for Doc’s Sports and is considered one of the top MLB betting experts in the country. He has posted three consecutive winning MLB seasons and closed the 2019 season on a +$10,000 baseball run for his followers. Robert has beaten the books for six of seven profitable seasons on the diamond and is looking forward to another winning season for his clients. If you would like some help winning more bets in MLB this season the good news is that you can try out Ferringo’s MLB picks for free when you set up your complimentary $60 account here.
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