- The Boston Red Sox are off to a horrendous 6-13 start in 2019
- Their average World Series odds are now +970 after opening the season at +640
- Is there any reason to bet the Red Sox at this price?
The Boston Red Sox are in trouble. Big trouble. Fresh off a two-game sweep at the hands of their arch rivals, the defending champs have lost four of their last five, and are tied for the fewest wins in the entire American League (6). Their average World Series odds have been lengthened to +970.
2019 World Series Odds
|Team||2019 World Series Odds|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+700|
|New York Yankees||+750|
|Boston Red Sox||+1100|
*Odds taken on 04/18/19.
They’ve already lost 13 times in 2019 and are on pace to have one of the most pitiful seasons ever by a defending World Series champion.
Boston Has Been Historically Bad
The Red Sox have allowed an MLB worst 119 runs and their -42 run differential is the worst ever through 19 games by a team that won the championship the previous year. Sure, there’s still 143 games remaining, but the advanced metrics are troubling. The Red Sox rank 27th according to Wins Above Replacement, and no team in baseball has gotten worse production from their starting rotation.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the worst Red Sox starting ERA through 18 games ever. The previous mark was 6.96, set in 1931. After another stinker from Sale, the rotation ERA stands at 7.18.
— John Tomase (@jtomase) April 17, 2019
As bad as the pitching has been, the offense hasn’t exactly been lighting the league on fire. Boston ranks 18th in total offense, 20th in slugging, and 21st in on-base percentage. They’ve scored the fourth fewest runs in the AL and no player on the team has an individual WAR above 0.7.
While Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, and Jackie Bradley Jr are all performing below expectation, the biggest concern has to be the performance of Chris Sale.
“This sucks. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I flat out stink right now.” Chris Sale, moments ago.
— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) April 17, 2019
Boston’s $145 Million dollar ace is off to the worst start of his career, posting an 8.50 ERA and 1.56 WHIP through four starts. His K/9 is 50% lower than it was a season ago, and his velocity has plummeted.
Chris Sale four-seam fastball velocity: 2018, 95.7; today, 91.8.
Two-seamer: 2018, 93.1; today, 90.7.
— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) April 9, 2019
Sale did manage to touch 97 mph regularly in his most recent start, but it still didn’t prevent the Yankees from tagging him with four runs in just five innings.
Stay Clear of the Red Sox for Now
While regression from their championship season a year ago was inevitable, there are too many red flags to back the Red Sox to repeat at their current price. One team to keep an eye on, however, is the Rays. The darlings of the analytical community are at it again in 2019, leading the majors in WAR among pitching staffs, and ranking second in offense.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 18, 2019
Dating back to 2018, Tampa Bay is 18-2-2 in its last 22 series, and their +1300 average World Series odds look pretty juicy right now.