The Red Sox have a 55% chance to make the playoffs and a 6.5% chance to repeat as World Series champions according to Baseball Prospectus' preseason playoff odds.
It might sound like a low number to some given what happened last year, but unless you're the Dodgers (91%) it doesn't get that much better. The Tigers are the top team in the American League at 68%, with the Rays topping the East at 61%. Not all that surprising with the Red Sox having seemingly taken a step back, with Tampa Bay actually managing to hold onto all their important pieces for the year.
Still think it's low? Baseball Prospectus bases the playoff odds on their preseason depth charts, which can be found here for those of you who subscribe. They include some fairly negative projections for a fair few Red Sox players, particularly based off their 2013 campaigns. That's not too surprising, honestly, as the Red Sox put their money on players bouncing back from rough seasons last year, meaning that all those who did have poor numbers in recent years to drag those projections down. Add in the nature of projections to drag teams away from the extremes, and you have an 85-win Red Sox playoff team.
Of note, B-Pro is not impressed with New York's offseason additions, pegging the Yankees to finish barely over .500, with only a 30.8% chance to make the postseason. Meanwhile the Orioles are expected to finally fall back into the AL East basement they called home for so long, though at 15.9% their odds of making the playoffs are the best of any of the fifth-place teams.
All-in-all, the picture painted is about what we might expect from the American League in the coming year. The East is going to be as tough as ever, perhaps even more than usual. The Central will once again be a one-team show with only a wild card threat or two coming in behind the Tigers. Really only the West is surprising, with the Angels predicted to finish first in a four-team race (albeit with Seattle a clear fourth).
Of course, all this will go out the window pretty quickly when the season actually gets underway. Projections mean little once games are actually being played.