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Overvalued Red Sox Looking to Progress

The Boston Red Sox have not been very good over the past couple seasons. The Sox have finished last in the American League East and had fewer than 80 wins in each of the past two seasons. Last year saw the team do a good job at hitting, but a terrible rotation held them down.

Despite their overwhelming mediocrity in recent years, the Red Sox are currently +1400 to win the World Series this season. Those are better odds than five teams who made the playoffs last season and the same as the defending champion Kansas City Royals. Though the Red Sox made some big acquisitions this offseason, they are always overvalued because the Fenway faithful will back their team no matter the lines posted.  

Boston’s rotation was hard to watch last season with the team posting the sixth-worst combined ERA in baseball. 2015 saw the Red Sox top three starters all post ERA’s over 4.40 and pitch just one complete game between them. That’s a big reason why the Boston brass decided to break the bank and sign David Price to a massive seven-year, $217 million contract in the offseason. Price is one of the top pitchers in baseball as the hurler has a career ERA of 3.09 and a WHIP of 1.13. 

The Sox also shilled out four players to acquire closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres. Kimbrel had a down year in San Diego, but the young power pitcher is only one year removed from being an All-Star and has the potential to become the best closer in baseball once again.

Boston was one of the better hitting clubs in MLB last season with the team finishing in the top 10 in most major categories at the plate. However, there are more than a few question marks in the lineup. The Sox are fielding several over-the-hill players in hopes that they can continue solid production, but a dropoff is almost inevitable for these older guys.

That’s not to say the team has an absence of high ceiling, young players. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are both under 24 and have the potential to be some of the best players at their positions in MLB.

It won't be easy for the Red Sox to surpass their win total of 86.5 being in a loaded AL East. Only once in the past four seasons have the Sox managed to win more than 86 games in a season, the year they won the World Series. Boston has averaged a merger 78.9 wins per season over the past four years, a number greatly inflated by their 97 win campaign in 2013.

Somehow the Red Sox are +600 to win the AL Pennant as of this posting. Keep in mind, this is a team that finished in a distant last place in the AL East last year and have only made the playoffs once in the past six seasons.

Can the Red Sox be good? Sure. Can they be good enough to beat the loaded Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees (let alone the quietly strong Tampa Bay Rays) in their own division, let alone the entire American League? I have a lot of doubts.

2016 Boston Red Sox Futures Odds
World Series+1400
American League Pennant+600
American League East+175
Win Totals86.5

Odds as of March 30 at Bovada