Don’t believe the hype when it comes to the 2015 Boston Red Sox. Casual bettors and attentive spectators will note that recent Red Sox seasons have been from worst to first and back to worst again. After the team spent big money on high priced free agents like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, the Red Sox quickly became a popular choice to complete the pattern and go back to their winning ways by finishing first again this year. Vegas seems to agree with most Sports Handicappers giving them the fifth best World Series odds at 12-1. So what’s the problem, you ask? Here’s three to consider just for starters:
- Clay Buchholz – is the Red Sox Opening Day Starter. Really?! This is the team that has continuously trotted out the likes of Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Josh Beckett, and Jon Lester as Opening Day Starters. Now they’re going to a guy that was 8-11 with 5.34 ERA last year. Sure, he’s thrown a no-hitter and had some success in the past, but he’s got breakdown written all over him, and when you consider the other choices: Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Joe Kelly, and Justin Masterson; it’s Opening Day Starter by default and that’s not a good thing.
- A Collection of Talent – rather than a team. Mashers like Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Pablo Sandoval should make for some impressive run production. However, it looks more like a men’s slow pitch softball lineup than a professional baseball team. The lineup is heavy on the right side and lacking with any real base running ability.
- No Relief in Sight – from the bullpen that is. As bad as the starting rotation may be, the bullpen doesn’t look a whole lot better. Now that Koji Uehara, the 40-year old closer will start the year on the DL, it’s not looking like even the closer spot is locked up.
The four teams ahead of the Red Sox in most sports books: the Nationals, Angels, Dodgers, and Cardinals all look like much safer bets. The smarter money may actually be on the White Sox instead at 20-1 they have a stud starting on Opening Day with Chris Sale and a young stud in the lineup with Jose Abreu. Also, you know the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals can’t possibly keep up their proliferation atop the A.L. Central.