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Taken out of context, the Red Sox have been fine over the last couple of seasons. Two successive AL East crowns and defeats in the ALDS to two, frankly, superior teams would represent a decent record for any franchise. However, coming close does not always wash in the city of Boston, with success demanded by fans regardless of the sport.
To date, the Red Sox have had a quiet offseason. One where they have had to watch hated-rivals New York Yankees snap up the brilliant Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees already had plenty of run production in their side, coming second behind the Astros in terms of runs scored last season. The Red Sox, who were the only playoff team to score less than 800 in the regular season last year, really could have done with acquiring Stanton’s big bat themselves.
However, the prayers of the Sox Nation may have been answered with the acquisition of J.D Martinez. The deal has not been officially confirmed as this is being written, but the slugger does look set to sign to a five-year, $110 million-dollar contract. Martinez hit an impressive 45 home runs last year, placing him third in MLB behind Stanton (59) and the Yankee’s other power-hitter Aaron Judge (52). It should be pointed out though, that Martinez had over 150 fewer at bats than Stanton and over 100 fewer than Judge.
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As of yet, the odds have not shifted significantly for the Red Sox with the news of Martinez’ impending arrival. The current picture looks like this:
The Red Sox odds may certainly shorten once Martinez is officially announced. However, they do look very generous, especially if you claim a betting offer through Online Sports Betting. The thing to remember is that a lot went wrong for the Red Sox last season, including the form of Rick Porcello and injury problems with David Price and Dustin Pedroia, yet they still made a decent run at the ALDS.
Price is a bona fide ace, one who should bounce back from an injury plagued season last year. If Porcello can get back to anywhere close to his 2016 Cy Young Award-winning level, then the Sox will have three fearsome starters in Price, Porcello and Chris Sale. The latter was one of the best pitchers in baseball last year, leading the MLB in strikeouts and posting a 2.90 ERA.
Of course, to make a strong case for the World Series things will have to be in top shape right across the roster. Martinez will join a batting line up brimming with young talent. The likes of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are all in their mid-twenties. They have shown glimpses of their potential talents over the last couple of season – it is time for them to take the step to the next level.
Martinez might not be the answer for every problem at Fenway Park this year. But he certainly is the kind of player to move the Red Sox in the right direction. The Yankees, Astros and Dodgers are worthy favourites to win the World Series, but there are plenty who will feel that the odds for the Red Sox should be much, much lower.
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