The beginning of baseball season reminds us how popular the Boston Red Sox are in Massachusetts. Another way to measure that intense passion from Red Sox fans? The impact their bets are having on MLB odds across the US.
According to BetMGM, the Red Sox drew the most preseason bets of all MLB teams on the following wagers:
- To make the playoffs
- Total playoff odds (to make or miss)
- Over bets (78.5 wins)
- Totals bets (Over or Under)
As a result, the Red Sox are the biggest liability in all of MLB at BetMGM right now. (Liability is the amount the sportsbook can lose on the bets placed.)
To be clear: Most of the country does not think nearly this highly of the Red Sox. But, with Massachusetts online sports betting legal since March 10, Red-Sox-fans-turned-Red-Sox-bettors are flocking to their sportsbook apps in numbers that are literally skewing the national MLB betting market.
Betting on the Red Sox is wildly popular in Massachusetts
WynnBET Massachusetts has its Over/Under for the Red Sox season win total set at 78. Incredibly, 91.6% of bets have been on the Over in Massachusetts. According to the sportsbook, 83.6% of the handle has been wagered on the Over.
Optimism for the Red Sox is also illustrated in the contrast between national trends for MLB betting. In the Commonwealth, 42% of preseason betting tickets at BetMGM MA — and 41% of total handle (all money wagered) — was on Boston to win the World Series. Nationwide, those figures were 4.8% of tickets and 5.9% of handle on the Red Sox.
Elsewhere, a WynnBET spokesperson told PlayMA that the Red Sox received 40.9% of all preseason bets to win the 2023 World Series at the WynnBET MA app and the retail sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor.
Bettors in Massachusetts have also been most likely to bet on the Red Sox to win the AL East via BetMGM (31.9% of tickets sold, and 29.5% of handle on that wager). Odds are +2000 on Boston to win the division title. That means a winning $100 bet would pay $2,100, including the stake.
Where Boston ranks in MLB betting tickets
Here’s some nationwide preseason data from BetMGM MLB betting:
3 Reasons the Red Sox will improve in 2023
There are several reasons to think the Red Sox will be better in 2023 after falling into the cellar in the AL East last season.
Yoshida’s big bat will make him an All-Star
If you missed the World Baseball Classic, shame on you. One of the joys of that tournament was Masataka Yoshida, the Japanese star whom the Red Sox signed this past offseason for oodles of money. Yoshida will play left field, and in the tradition of Manny Ramírez, Mike Greenwell, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams, he will be a force at the plate.
We expect the 29-year old to use his compact left-handed swing to launch plenty of extra-base hits in his first season in the US against MLB pitching. Expect him to be an All-Star, and a Rookie of the Year award is possible.
The emergence of Triston Casas
You’d better learn how to pronounce the name of Red Sox rookie first baseman Triston Casas (it’s KOSS-Iss). While many experts are focusing on the young shortstop in New York named Anthony Volpe, don’t sleep on Casas and his chances to earn the AL Rookie of the Year award.
Casas understands the strike zone better than Volpe. He’s more of a major league-ready hitter, and his swing plays better in Fenway than Volpe’s does in cavernous Yankee Stadium.
Boston’s brain trust among best in Baseball
That creaking sound you hear in New England are the wheels of the Red Sox bandwagon straining under the weight of fans trashing the franchise the past few years. But, if there’s one thing we know about this franchise, it’s that the front office is one of the most talented in the sport.
Criticize Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom all you want over ushering Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts out of Boston. But Boston has some of the smartest people working on their roster. The analytics department and player development are elite.
Add in field manager Alex Cora, who may be the game’s best manager, and the Red Sox are never going to be bad for long. The team had a flurry of misadventure and adversity last season, yet still managed 78 wins. A jump to 90-92 wins is not unreasonable.