Tue 31/03/2015 - 20:58 EDT

Red Sox Are Slight Favorites To Win AL East Title

No team in baseball history has gone from worst to first to worst to first over a span of four seasons in their division but the Boston Red Sox can accomplish that by taking the AL East title this season. The Sox are +200 division favorites at Bovada.

Plan B Behind Plate

However, it hasn't been a good spring for Boston as the Sox lost highly touted young catcher Christian Vazquez to an elbow injury that could cost him his season. He has been placed on the 60-day disabled list. Vazquez, 24, appeared in six Grapefruit Leagues games this spring, last on March 20 against the Orioles as designated hitter. The right-handed batter appeared in 55 games for the Red Sox in 2014, his first career major league action, after taking over as the team’s regular catcher in July. He hit .240 (42-for-175) with nine doubles, a home run, 20 RBI, and 19 walks for Boston.

A native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, he threw out 52% of attempted base stealers (15 of 29) for the Red Sox, best in the majors among catchers with at least 50 games behind the plate and the best such mark in club history (since CS began being tracked in the AL in 1920).

The Red Sox filled Vazquez’s void on Monday when they acquired catcher Sandy Leon from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations. Ryan Hanigan, a right-handed hitter, could platoon with Leon. The move of signing Leon likely means that Sox catching prospect Blake Swihart will start in the season in Triple-A Pawtucket and continue on his development toward becoming a starting big league catcher.

in addition, closer Koji Uehara will start the season on the disabled list. After throwing 30 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday, Uehara is still having issues with his left hamstring. He hasn't taken the mound since March 14th. Manager John Farrell said, “I don't think there's anything to suggest that come next Monday, he's in our bullpen.” Uehara, 40, has pitched in three games this spring, posting an ERA of 6.00, six hits given up with three strikeouts.

Uehara was on the DL with a left hamstring strain to start the 2010 season, returning on May 5, and went on the DL 15 days later with a right forearm strain. In 2012, he went on the DL on June 10 with a right latissimus strain, and while returning from the injury in mid-July, he re-aggravated it and ended up being on the DL until Aug. 25. Farrell added Edward Mujica will fill in as Boston’s primary closer in the interim.

And The Rest ....

The Blue Jays and Orioles are +300 second favorites for the division. Toronto might have been the favorite before ace pitcher Marcus Stroman was lost for the season early on with a torn ACL suffered in a fielding drill. Toronto might have the best lineup in the American League.

The Orioles are the defending AL East champions but really added no one of note this offseason and lost big-league home run champion Nelson Cruz and solid outfielder Nick Markakis.  The Yankees (+450) and Rays (+750) are the longer shots. The Tampa rotation has been ravaged by injuries this spring.

 

Category : Sports Betting News

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