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Red Sox World Series Odds Hardly Affected by 1-3 Start

Boston RF Mookie Betts
Reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts saw his Red Sox drop three of four in Seattle to start the year. Sportsbooks aren't panicking. Should Boston fans be? Photo by Arturo Pardavila III (flickr) CC License.
  • The Boston Red Sox are the defending World Series champions
  • The Red Sox opened the season 1-3 and have a -10 run differential
  • Matt Barnes received the first save opportunity of the season and appears to be the replacement for Craig Kimbrel

The Red Sox rough start to the 2019 MLB season was met by a collective yawn from the folks at Bovada.

Boston is 1-3 and sits last in the American League East after their opening series against the Seattle Mariners.

Despite the stumble out of the gate, the markets have stayed almost the same, as you can see in our 2019 World Series Odds tracker and in the most recent odds from Bovada.

2019 World Series Odds

Odds to win 2019 World Series Odds at Bovada
New York Yankees +600
Houston Astros +650
Los Angeles Dodgers +650
Boston Red Sox +700
Philadelphia Phillies +750

*odds taken 4/1

Here’s the case why oddsmakers are correct to ignore the slow start.

American League Contenders All Started Slow

The Red Sox started 1-3 out of the gate, but so did the Houston Astros, while the New York Yankees are 1-2 after dropping a series to the Orioles.  The three top contenders in the American League are all off to slow starts.

While Boston lost their games on the road to a rebuilding Mariners team, New York’s opening-series loss to what could be a historically bad Baltimore Orioles team (at home) looks much worse.

But really, you can’t derive anything from a three or four-game sample size when the season is played over 162 games.

Matt Barnes Reason For Optimism

Telling you Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are great or a pitching staff led by Chris Sale and David Price will eventually rebound isn’t very much help. You know those things.

The area that may have flown under the radar, however, is the answer to the question everyone in Beantown: who will replace Craig Kimbrel as the closer?

Matt Barnes got the Red Sox’ only save opportunity and handled it easily, striking out two without allowing a base runner. Forget any chatter about the wins and losses, the biggest takeaway from the Seattle series is that Boston may have found a ninth-inning solution in-house.

With elite offense and defense, plus starting pitching that will improve, having an answer at the end of the bullpen does a great deal to round out the roster.

While manager Alex Cora is remaining coy on the subject, it’s Matt Barnes’ job for the near future.  The fact that Cora also has Ryan Brasier at his disposal only gives more reason to be optimistic about the Red Sox considering they have two elite arms at the back of their bullpen.

They should shrug off the slow start, and oddsmakers are right not to be offering extra value on the champs after one bad weekend.

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