After coming back from 3 games down against the Yankees in the ALCS 2 years ago, hopes were high for the Redsox to take the division last season but they came up short. The 2006 AL East is slated to go down to the wire once again. No matter who takes the division though, the Redsox should be a good team to back this season, especially at Fenway.
Boston has been a solid home bet over the last 3 seasons as they have gone 162-81. But they haven't been nearly as effective on the road. Vegas has been successful in bating bettors with eye-pleasing lines when the Sox have been away from Bean Town.
For example, if Curt Schilling is on the hill at home with a -240 line, most bettors will only wager a small amount where as if he's pitching away from Fenway with a -123 line, bettors are more likely to load up in this case. You need to try to avoid this trap as bookmakers will take small defeats at home because they'll get their money back when these upper echelon teams fall on the road. In looking at personnel, Josh Beckett will add another Cy Young quality pitcher to an aging but solid staff. He has had post season experience pitching in big games with the Marlins and already has a World Series ring at just 25 years of age. He could put them over the top in the AL East this season. Second baseman Mark Loretta who is coming over from San Diego figures to be a solid contributor hitting in the number two slot.
With Ortiz and Ramirez hitting behind him, the Redsox appear to be stacked. Loretta has a .365 career on base percentage. If he matches that Boston's potent offense may reach career highs in runs scored. Things are looking good anyway, as Renteria scored 100 runs in a down year last season hitting ahead of Ortiz and Ramirez.
Boston is expecting more production out of Loretta. .
By: Jimmy Boyd