Baseball is back in Boston.
The Red Sox team plane landed back at Logan Airport late on Tuesday evening from Fort Meyers, and the ball club will open up its 2023 season from Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon. They’ll host the Orioles for a three-game series.
A fitting opponent, as Baltimore’s the only team with longer odds than Boston to win the AL East according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Take a look:
Odds to Win AL East
New York Yankees +130
Toronto Blue Jays +200
Tampa Bay Rays +270
Boston Red Sox +1800
Baltimore Orioles +2500
The Red Sox have had an interesting offseason. On one hand, they’ve lost two franchise changers (and 2018 World Series champions) in Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez, but they also locked up one of their own with the signing of Rafael Devers. Boston signed Devers, one of the best third basemen in baseball, to a 10-year, $313 million contract in January. Devers’ career year was in 2021 when he the won Silver Slugger award, was voted an MLB All-Star, hit 38 home runs and 188 RBI’s, and finished in 11th in the American Leauge MVP vote. He’s now tied to Boston through the 2034 season.
The Red Sox other major offseason splash? The signing of outfielder Masataka Yoshida from Japan. Boston signed Yosihda to a five-year, $90 million contract in December. The 29-year-old played 762 games for the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball, hitting .327 with 133 home runs and 467 RBIs over a six-year span. He was a four-time NPB All-Star, a two-time Pacific League batting champion, and led the Buffaloes to the Japan Series championship in 2022. Alongside Shohei Ohtani, Yoshida helped Japan to a World Baseball Classic title last month.
Will these moves be enough? Probably not, according to FanDuel. The Red Sox have just +310 odds to make the postseason in 2023, a win total set at just 78.5, and hold +3000 odds to win the American League, and +6000 odds to win the World Series. Oof.
It may be wise to steer clear of these team odds, but there’s a solid bet to be made on Yoshida. He has +600 odds to win AL Rookie of the Year according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and at 29 years old has all of the professional baseball experience to make an immediate impact.
While they have an aging pitching rotation and a starting shortstop who is recovering from UCL surgery, their youth movement can hopefully can spark this team on a run and give Chaim Bloom and co. a reason to make moves in late July and compete for a title again.
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