Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association finally struck a deal late last week, and baseball is officially back.
BREAKING: Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, sources tell ESPN. While it still needs to be ratified by both parties, that is expected to be a formality, and when it is:
Baseball is back.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2022
The players had been locked out since December 2nd 2021, but that all changed on Thursday. Two major rule changes – or rules that are actually being re-implemented, are nine-inning double headers and the removal of the “ghost runner” on second base in extra innings.
The designated hitter is also being adopted by the National League, meaning pitchers will no longer be required to hit.
When things looked gloomy for baseball just under two weeks ago, I wrote about BetOnline’s odds for when baseball will be played again, and I touched on the Red Sox team odds heading into 2022:
From a Boston perspective, the Red Sox are looking to build off of a strong 2021 campaign where they played all the way through into the ALCS. Here are their odds to win the World Series, the American League, and the AL East from BetOnline:
Red Sox Odds
World Series Champions +2000
AL Pennant +1000
AL East +325
They are the fourth most likely team to win the East, behind the Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays. I think there is some value here in betting them at +325. The division is stacked, but the Red Sox are definitely in that mix.
From a team perspective, the Red Sox are in a good place. From an individual perspective – things are a little bit different.
Boston has “contenders” if you will, for the Cy Young, MVP, and Rookie of the Year – but they’re mostly long shots. Here are where three Sox stand for each award, according to BetOnline.ag:
American League MVP Winner
Shoehei Ohtani +350
Mike Trout +350
Vladamir Guererro Jr. +400
Aaron Judge +1400
Wander Franco +1800
Rafael Devers +2000
Devers has the fifth highest odds to win AL MVP according to BetOnline. These are pretty good, considering who he is behind. I think he’ll make a giant leap in 2022 – but it remains to be seen if he can contend with the best of them.
American League Cy Young Winner
Gerrit Cole +450
Shane Bieber +750
Robbie Ray +900
Lucas Giolito +1200
Sean Manaea +1200
Dylan Cease +1400
Lance McCullers Jr. +1600
Justin Verlander +1600
Frankie Montas +1600
Shane McClanahan +1600
Chris Sale +1800
This is where the long shots start to come in. Chris Sale has the 11th shortest odds to win the American League Cy Young. This is quite the drop off for the 7-time All Star – who used to the the cream of the crop as far as pitchers go.
Sale is certainly someone who would take this personally, so hopefully he can use this as motivation to be lights out in 2022.
2022 American League Rookie of the Year
Bobby Witt Jr. +300
Spencer Torkelson +400
Adley Rutschman +450
Shane Baz +700
Julio Rodriquez +1000
Jeremy Pena +1000
Riley Greene +1200
Joe Ryan +2000
Vidal Brujan +2200
Reid Detmers +2200
Triston Casas +2800
Rookie first baseman Triston Casas is 10th most likely rookie to win ROTY – which will be hard to do if he doesn’t make the opening day roster. It will be tough for him to crack the lineup early on, but if he can get in there and make a difference when they need it, he could make the leap to being a top rookie sooner rather than later.
Regardless of if the Sox win any of these awards – baseball is back, and although I’m usually a critic of America’s past time, this is something to be excited about.
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