- The Red Sox have had the best odds to win the World Series most of the offseason
- Not only do they trail the Yankees now, but they’re third behind the Astros in the latest update
- Is this the time to pounce on Boston?
All offseason long, the list of World Series favorites in the AL has been the same: the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, and the Houston Astros.
For a long time, the order was Boston, Houston and New York.
Then it was New York, Boston and Houston.
Now the Red Sox are third. And with all of the hardships the city of Boston has had to struggle through the last few years, they must be insulted.
But with their fall to third in World Series odds, is this the best time to bet the Red Sox?
2019 World Series Odds
|Team||World Series Odds at Bovada|
|New York Yankees||+600|
|Boston Red Sox||+750|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+800|
*Odds taken March 24; follow the link in the table to see odds for all 30 teams
Online sports betting sites definitely see the World Series heading back to the American League this year.
Houston and Boston have won the last two. The Yankees haven’t made it there since 2009.
With New York being a little short for my liking, let’s analyze which of the other two offers more value right now.
Red Sox vs Astros Offense
FanGraphs believes that both teams have high ceilings offensively, but one’s lows are worse than the other’s.
Going off of their projected WAR, expect typically strong years from JD Martinez and Mookie Betts. Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. will be solid, too.
Projected WAR for Red Sox Starting Lineup
|Jackie Bradley Jr.||CF||3.0|
|Christian Vazquez/Sandy Leon||C||0.7|
While the Astros don’t have the higher-end numbers the Red Sox do, they’re more solid top-to-bottom.
FanGraphs is also expecting a big season out of Kyle Tucker, who isn’t included in this starting nine. If he performs up to their standards, it would improve their outfield outlook.
Projected WAR for Astros Starting Lineup
|George Springer/Josh Reddick||LF||2.8|
|Michael Brantley/Tyler White||DH||2.4|
|Michael Brantley/Tony Kemp||2B||1.9|
|Robinson Chirinos/Max Stass||C||2.2|
If Tucker has the impact they’re expecting, it’ll bump the least productive of Brantley, Kemp, White and Gurriel from the lineup.
Red Sox vs Astros Pitching
Both teams have formidable starting rotations, but the Red Sox are deeper than the Astros. Houston has the better bullpen though.
Red Sox vs Astros: Head-to-Head Pitcher WAR
|Chris Sale – 6.6||SP1||Justin Verlander – 5.3|
|David Price – 3.9||SP2||Gerritt Cole – 4.4|
|Rick Porcello – 2.6||SP3||Colin McHugh – 2.6|
|Nathan Eovaldi – 2.7||SP4||Wade Miley – 1.0|
|Eduardo Rodriguez – 2.3||SP5||Brad Peacock – 1.6|
Chris Sale is the more formidable ace of the two teams, but Justin Verlander and Gerritt Cole are the better one-two punch.
Right now, the back end of the Astros’ rotation is in flux, and may be figured out on the fly.
Red Sox rotation not yet set but Cora doesn't have a problem with Sale/Price back to back, but doesn't like E-Rod/Price because of changeups.
— Maureen Mullen (@MaureenaMullen) March 23, 2019
But of course, there’s the ever-looking status of Dallas Keuchel. If he were to return to Houston, their rotation becomes better than Boston’s.
How the hell is Dallas Keuchel still a free agent? There’s something very wrong with baseball.
— Adam Black (@atomsapple) March 22, 2019
The Red Sox have their starting five locked in.
Who’s the Best World Series Bet?
Houston should win the AL West, while the Red Sox should be the top Wild Card team, if they don’t win the AL East. Both are making the playoffs.
At this point, one isn’t a runaway favorite over the other. They’ll likely be neck-and-neck the whole season.
The Red Sox have the easier start to the season, so they’re worth your money now. Their odds will likely shorten after the first month.
The Astros have a more difficult opening month, and could see their odds fade a bit. If that happens, jump on them. It could be the best price you get them at all year.