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Red Sox AL Pennant Odds Tumble to +2100 after Losing Streak; Will Boston Even Make the Playoffs?

Wide shot of Fenway Park in Boston
The Boston Red Sox chances of repeating as World Series champs are fading. Photo by Wax8 (wikimedia commons) [CC License].”
  • Boston started the second half 9-6 in their first 15 games
  • But then the Red Sox went on an eight-game losing streak
  • The Red Sox are now just 24-37 against teams with a winning record this season

The Boston Red Sox endured and eight-game losing streak last week that saw them get swept by the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. Their odds to win the American League Pennant have tumbled to +2100, on average, and to +1800 at Bovada.

Is there value betting the Red Sox right now or is this team more likely to miss the playoffs entirely?

 2019 American League Pennant Odds

Team Odds at Bovada*
Houston Astros +110
New York Yankees +200
Cleveland Indians +750
Minnesota Twins +750
Tampa Bay Rays +1400
Boston Red Sox +1800
Oakland Athletics +2000
Texas Rangers +6600
Los Angeles Angels +10000

*Odds as of Aug. 10, 2019.

Red Sox Slump Is Discouraging

It really felt like the Red Sox were heading in the right direction when they started 9-6 after the All-Star break. It was a continuation of some strong play as they had won their final four games before the break too.

However, they lost eight in a row to the two teams they’re trying to catch in the American League East and that stung. The Red Sox are not out of by any means but it really feels like this team just doesn’t have the same fire in their belly that they did a season ago.

The Red Sox pitching continues to be a mess as the staff is posting a 5.32 ERA since the All-Star break, which ranks 24th. They’re actually second in runs scored since the break, which you would think balance out the pitching, but the issue is that those numbers are inflated.

They had 16 runs against the Angels last night, 17 against Baltimore, 19 in a game versus the Yankees. They’re averaging 4.7 runs per game otherwise in the second half. Their offense just isn’t consistent enough right now and their pitching is just consistently bad. That’s not a recipe for success.

Red Sox Struggle Against Winning Teams

One of the main reasons to bet against the Red Sox is because they haven’t played well against the top teams. They have an excellent 38-19 record against teams with a losing record – including 12-5 in their last 17 games. They’re just 24-37 against teams with a winning record.

That has to be a primary concern as the Red Sox have six games left against the hapless Baltimore Orioles and three more against the Toronto Blue Jays, but they’ll also have Yankees, Rays, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies.

Too Much Work To Do

The Red Sox just don’t have last year’s magic and they appear to be fading. Boosting the spirits with a trade deadline move could have helped but they didn’t get that second wind. Instead, they had the wind knocked out of them when the Yankees and Rays swept them.

The other concern here is the Red Sox have to not only beat a number of good teams once they get to the playoffs – something they haven’t been good at – they’ll also have to leapfrog a couple of good teams to get in.

Right now, they’re in fourth place in the Wild Card standings, so they’ll need to get ahead of at least two of the Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins/Cleveland Indians (whoever doesn’t win the division), and the Rays.

It’s too tall an order for a team that’s basically been playing .500 baseball this season. Don’t bet Boston to win the 2019 American League Pennant.

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