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2022 Betting odds are out and the Sox are probably underrated

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Nothing Chaim Bloom can’t fix though

Boston Red Sox Workout Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

It’s rankings and projections season. Farm systems, prospects, teams themselves, playoff odds, World Series pics. Well, we’re not quite there just yet. First MLB and the MLBPA need to reach an agreement to end the lockout. Then the offseason and free agency for major league players resumes. Then spring yraining, etc. You know the drill.

None of that has stopped oddsmakers in the betting space at SportsBetting. The first round of odds is out now and, well, they don’t believe in the Red Sox. With the caveat that I don’t gamble so I’m just loosely reading the tea leaves of these numbers, we’ll take a look at the ones concerning Boston. Let’s start with the division.

Division Projection

AL East
AL East
New York Yankees +225
Tampa Bay Rays +250
Toronto Blue Jays +250
Boston Red Sox +325
Baltimore Orioles +8000

Really? I understand the team is in flux and may or may not have Kyle Schwarber, a good Matt Barnes, or a top second baseman. But this team will bring back Chris Sale, presumably healthy and good, Tanner Houck for a full season, Bobby Dalbec who seemed to turn a corner (with Triston Casas waiting in the wings) and on and on. Rafael Devers could be an MVP candidate! The Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays are all good teams but are they really one pack with the Sox set back?

The projections for the American League pennant are about what you’d expect based on the AL East.

AL Title

AL Pennant
AL Pennant
Houston Astros +550
New York Yankees +575
Chicago White Sox +600
Tampa Bay Rays +700
Toronto Blue Jays +700
Boston Red Sox +1000
Seattle Mariners +1100
Los Angeles Angels +1200
Detroit Tigers +1800
Texas Rangers +2000
Minnesota Twins +3300
Oakland Athletics +3300
Cleveland Guardians +4000
Kansas City Royals +5000
Baltimore Orioles +12500

Here, the Astros and White Sox slot in to the top of the AL East pack and Boston is, once again, on an island between the elite teams and then, quickly, the non-contenders. The Angels are coming off a run of four consecutive 4th place finishes. They’ve finished over .500 just once since 2014 and that was in 2017 at .501. Sure they’ve got Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, but the baseball world is still waiting for the team to rise up around their stars.

If you’ve made it this far and have watched baseball in the last decade, well, the Dodgers are the favorites for the World Series.

The World Series

2022 World Series
2022 World Series
Los Angeles Dodgers +600
New York Mets +850
Atlanta Braves +950
Houston Astros +1000
New York Yankees +1200
San Diego Padres +1200
Chicago White Sox +1600
Tampa Bay Rays +1600
Toronto Blue Jays +1600
Boston Red Sox +1800
Seattle Mariners +1800
Los Angeles Angels +2000
Milwaukee Brewers +2200
San Francisco Giants +2200
St. Louis Cardinals +2200
Detroit Tigers +3300
Philadelphia Phillies +3500
Texas Rangers +4000
Cincinnati Reds +5000
Minnesota Twins +6000
Cleveland Guardians +6600
Miami Marlins +6600
Oakland Athletics +6600
Chicago Cubs +10000
Colorado Rockies +12500
Kansas City Royals +12500
Washington Nationals +12500
Baltimore Orioles +20000
Arizona Diamondbacks +25000
Pittsburgh Pirates +25000

The Red Sox are just outside the range of the White Sox, Rays, and Jays. Which really shouldn’t be surprising. The AL East has four good teams. Are the Sox really out of the pack that includes the Yankees? It may come down to the rest of the offseason plan, health, and of course, luck. But I think after seeing what Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta, and Bobby Dalbec were capable of, and Chris Sale for bursts, there’s enough to like about the Sox. Is it unrealistic to think they’re not just slightly removed from the other three but that it’ll be a four-way fight to the division? And another miserable year for the Baltimore Orioles.

It’s always a fallacy to look at the team in one year and say that because they won X games that’s predictive or a floor of performance. This team lost Eduardo Rodriguez, a stalwart of the rotation, and hasn’t really replaced him.

The Red Sox are one of the teams that could benefit the most once the lockout ends. They have money to spend. There are free agents who, depending on how much time is left before the season when the new contact is signed, could be somewhat desperate to sign and get in a year before testing the market again. There are teams that might be more likely to trade because of the same shortened offseason.

But most of all, predictions at this point are what they are: guesses. Last year’s pennant odds had a lot of teams ahead of the Red Sox who lost the ALCS 4-2 but were so very close to a World Series appearance.

2021 AL Pennant Odds...in January

AL Pennant
AL Pennant
New York Yankees +300
Chicago White Sox +475
Oakland Athletics +800
Tampa Bay Rays +800
Minnesota Twins +900
Houston Astros +1200
Toronto Blue Jays +1200
Cleveland Indians +1400
Los Angeles Angels +1600
Boston Red Sox +2000
Baltimore Orioles +5000
Seattle Mariners +6000
Detroit Tigers +6600
Kansas City Royals +6600
Texas Rangers +6600