Red Sox

Latest 2019 World Series odds should give Red Sox motivation ahead of new season

Latest 2019 World Series odds should give Red Sox motivation ahead of new season

If the Boston Red Sox needed any motivation ahead of the 2019 MLB season, the oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook certainly have provided it.

The Red Sox are the defending champions, but they are not the favorites to win in 2019. Instead, two of the teams they beat in the American League playoffs en route to winning the 2018 World Series are ahead of them on the latest betting odds.

The New York Yankees are the favorites, with the Houston Astros coming in right behind them.

Here are the teams with the best odds to win the 2019 World Series, according to the Westgate.

New York Yankees: 5-1
Houston  Astros: 6-1
Boston Red Sox: 7-1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 7-1
Cleveland Indians: 10-1

These odds show just how competitive the AL should be in 2019. The Red Sox (108), Astros (103) and Yankees (100) were the only teams in baseball to win 100-plus games last year, and it wouldn't be shocking if all three did it again this season.

The Red Sox have returned nearly their entire roster from last year's championship. The Astros also kept most of their top players and the Yankees made a few additions, most notably starting pitcher James Paxton.

Still, it seems like the Red Sox aren't getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers entering 2019. Veteran closer Craig Kimbrel was the only impactful departure, and the team's young core, headlined by reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi should continue to improve. 

These betting lines are pretty fluid, however, so if the Red Sox get off to a hot start in Seattle, Oakland and Arizona to begin the season, it wouldn't be surprising to see them rocket to the top of the MLB futures odds.

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Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Since returning from the IL in late May, Brock Holt has been playing well.

In fact, that's an understatement. He has been red-hot.

In 14 games since returning to the lineup, Holt is hitting .396. He also clubbed his first homer of the season at Camden Yards on Friday night. Throughout this streak, Holt has been wearing a patch on his left arm to honor one of his teammates, and he believes that the patch is helping him to hit better.

“Dustin Pedroia right here,” he said to NESN's Guerin Austin about the patch (as transcribed by Lauren Campbell). “Little shoutout. I’ve been wearing it ever since he went back home. We’re always thinking about him. I’m obviously thinking about him. It actually might be the reason I’m doing so well is I’ve got a little bit of him with me. He’s part of our team still, no matter where he’s at.”

Pedroia was moved to the 60-day IL after suffering yet another setback in his return from a knee injury. He elected to stop rehabbing the injury to take time off. The team's long-time second baseman and former AL MVP has played in just nine games since the start of the 2018 season as he has been plagued by the malady.

It's nice to see Holt honor Pedroia, and it's also nice to see the bat come around again for Holt. He could once again prove to be a valuable piece for the Red Sox as the lefthanded part of the second base platoon and a utility option who can give other players days off.

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Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

The Boston Red Sox will look to make it a clean sweep against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. They took the first two games of their three-game series by a combined score of 20-4 and will turn to their third straight lefty starter on Sunday in Brian Johnson.

Johnson has been sidelined since early April with an elbow injury, so his return to the rotation could provide a spark for the Sox. Last season as a spot starter, Johnson had a 4-3 record and a 4.15 ERA in 13 games as a starter. He was a solid fill-in at the back of the rotation, and that's something that the Red Sox have lacked in the absence of Nathan Eovaldi

Johnson's ERA this season isn't pretty (12.71), but that largely stems from a disastrous 1 1/3 inning outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he gave up seven earned runs. That was just before he was put on the IL, so he may have been dealing with the injury in that outing.

The Red Sox lineup looks pretty normal for Johnson's start. The only major notes are that J.D. Martinez will play left field while Andrew Benintendi sits. Eduardo Nunez will get the nod at DH while Marco Hernandez gets the nod at second base over the hot-hitting Brock Holt.

Here are the lineups for today's game at Camden Yards with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

BOSTON RED SOX 
Mookie Betts, RF
Christian Vazquez, C
J.D. Martinez, LF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Michael Chavis, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Eduardo Nunez, DH
Marco Hernandez, 2B
--
Brian Johnson, LHP (1-0, 12.71 ERA)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Hanser Alberto, 3B
Trey Mancini, RF
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, DH
Anthony Santander, LF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Chris Davis, 1B
Keon Broxton, CF
Richie Martin, SS
--
John Means, LHP (6-4, 2.60 ERA) 

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