It's been feast or famine lately for the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. In 2011 they appeared to be cruising to a title when a 7-20 September skid scuttled those plans. In the 2012 campaign they finished in last place, only to rebound and win the World Series in 2013, their third title since 2004. Following the ultimate success were back-to-back ultimate failures, last-place finishes in 2014 and 2015. Dave Dombrowski was brought in to run the team from Detroit, where the Tigers had won four straight AL Central titles from 2011-14 under his tutelage.
Someone who believes success starts and ends with quality pitching, Dombrowski made several off-season moves to bolster Boston's starting rotation and bullpen and the result of those improvements saw the Red Sox could emulate their 2013 campaign and go from last to first in one year.
Best Boston Red Sox Betting Lines
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Boston Red Sox Regular Season Schedule
The Boston Red Sox regular season schedule can be found here and in the tight, highly competitive American League East Division, Boston figures to do as well.
The Red Sox pitching staff jumped from 13th overall in the AL in earned-run average in 2015 to tied for third in 2016.
David Price was brought in to be the staff ace and won 17 games. Rick Porcello, like Price previously a member of new Boston director of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski's Detroit Tigers, turned in a career year in 2016 and won the AL Cy Young Award. Steven Wright added another 13 wins
Boston Red Sox Regular Season Standings
These are the Boston Red Sox regular season standings and after two years in the American League East Division basement, the Red Sox moved up the ladder to the top of the division in 2016.
When Dave Dombrowski was in charge of the Detroit Tigers, his team was often done in by a suspect bullpen but that won't be a problem with the Red Sox. Like many teams in the AL East, the Red Sox are loaded with talented relievers and when the rotation turns in a quality start and hands the ball off to the bullpen with a lead, it should be game over.
Boston Red Sox betting tips
There was a long-held belief that the World Series drought that saw the Boston Red Sox go winless in the Fall Classic between 1919-2003 was caused by the Curse of the Bambino, the result of the club's foolhardy decision to sell the contract of Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees.
Those who prefer to base their rational in logic rather than the supernatural pointed instead to the Fenway Park effect as being the cause of Boston's dilemma. Playing in the ballpark with the smallest field area in Major League Baseball, the Red Sox would build a team tailored for Fenway Park's odd and quirky dimensions, loading up on right-handed bats capable of tattooing the 37-foot Green Monster in left field with baseballs, even when analytics showed that lefty hitters prospered at Fenway.
It made the Red Sox one of the toughest home teams to beat but on the road, they weren't nearly as ferocious.
The BoSox can bash the baseball
As is always the case in Boston, the Red Sox can hit the baseball. In 2016 they were first in the American League in runs scored, hits, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.
There isn't a player in the Red Sox batting order whose bat doesn't possess the potential to rate as an above average Major League hitter. In the tiny bandbox that is Fenway Park, a hitter's worth is often overvalued but Boston will score runs. Of that there is no dobut. You don't see a lot of 2-1 games at Fenway.
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If you're looking for a good futures bet on the Boston Red Sox, look no further than shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
The Red Sox have been experimenting with Bogaerts in the power spots of their batting order, convinced like most baseball people that soon enough, this budding star is going to go off as a Major League home run hitter. He's already a very good player and the feeling is the sky's limit in terms of Bogaerts' potential.