- Boston has the best average odds to win the World Series thanks to their torrid offense
- Can the Red Sox set the Major League record for most wins in a season?
- Do the Yankees still have a chance of winning the AL East?
What a difference a month can make. Back in July, many baseball fans wondered if the Red Sox could catch the Yankees in the AL East. Now, just four weeks later, many of the same fans are wondering if they can catch the legendary 2001 Mariners for the best single-season record in Major League history.
Boston is on pace to win 113 games and, according to many bookmakers, their fourth World Series title since 2004. The Red Sox’s recent 25-6 stretch since July 2nd has given them the shortest average odds to win the 2018 World Series at +380. Boston is now available as short as +300 and as long as +400.
The secret to their success has been outstanding offense. The Red Sox lead the American League in batting average, onbase percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, runs, hits, doubles, total bases, and RBI.
Boston has been getting contributions up and down their line-up, but the real story has been the breakout campaign of JD Martinez, who could become just the 15th player in Major League history to win the Triple Crown. The 30-year-old slugger is currently hitting .331 with 35 home runs and 99 RBI, and is on pace to set career-high marks in all three categories.
If Martinez fails to win the Triple Crown it will probably be because of teammate Mookie Betts, who is leading all AL hitters with a .347 batting average. The three-time All-Star hit for the cycle on Thursday night against the Blue Jays and is batting .375 over the last seven days.
Major League Run Differential Leaders
|Boston Red Sox||+196|
|New York Yankees||+138|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+99|
As impressive as Boston’s offense has been this year, their pitching has been nearly as good. The Red Sox rank second in the American League in ERA, quality starts, runs, and earned runs, and are third in strikeouts.
The Red Sox rank second in the American League in ERA, quality starts, runs, and earned runs, and are third in strikeouts.
Leading the way has been Chris Sale, who could finally earn his first Cy Young award in 2018 after finishing in the top five in balloting on five other occasions. The towering southpaw is 11-4 with a minuscule 2.04 ERA, and leads the AL with 207 Ks. Sale has been on the DL with left shoulder inflammation, but he appears ready to start again this Sunday.
Boston’s biggest competition is likely to come from Houston, whose average odds to win the World Series sit at +430. The Astros have gone just 9-8 since the All-Star break and hold a slim 4.5 game lead over the hard-charging A’s in the AL West.
Top 5 World Series Contenders
|Boston Red Sox||+380|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+600|
|New York Yankees||+730|
Houston is still heavily favored to win its division, but the club has been ravaged by injuries over the last month. 2017 AL MVP Jose Altuve has been out since July 28th with right knee discomfort, All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa has been on the 10-day DL with a back ailment, and starting catcher Brian McCann is still two weeks away from returning to game action.
Their collective absence has caused the Astros’ offense to hit the skids. Houston is batting just .226 since the All-Star break and has scored three runs or less in four of its past six games. Things won’t get much easier in the weeks ahead as they take on a string of playoff contenders in the Mariners, Rockies, and A’s.