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Boston Red Sox Betting – Red Sox Looking To Bounce Back From Historic 2011 Collapse

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 3/14/2012 2:23:20 PM
boston red sox betting

For the 2011 Boston Red Sox, the addition of another American League Wild Card spot came one year too late, failing to prevent one of the historic late-season collapses in the history of the game. For the 2012 Red Sox, change is a familiar theme, and like the new postseason format the fans in Boston are hoping that this year is different than last for their home team. The clubhouse will have a different look with new manager Bobby Valentine running things, and if his early comments are any indication, it will be a complete 360 from the way that Terry Francona operated his team. Valentine isn’t a manager that is afraid to call out his players and say what is on his mind, and if nothing else, he will keep his players accountable as a legitimate MLB betting favorite.

Considering the lack of accountability down the stretch a year ago, there may not be a better starting spot for change. Closer Jonathan Papelbon became the poster boy for the Red Sox struggles, but he’s gone now and the team will look for a new closer. Former setup man Daniel Bard would be the obvious fit, but the team appears set on using him to bolster the starting rotation. That is the first of many areas where Boston should be improved, as Bard is far too big of a talent to keep from using in that closer role. Among the other 2011 roster players no longer on the team are Marco Scutaro, Tim Wakefield, and Jason Varitek, and while none of those players really hurt the club down the stretch last season, they didn’t make enough of a difference to hang on to. The Red Sox weren’t big offseason spenders with Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney the two biggest additions, a sign from management that they feel they have the pieces to contend even though they didn’t get the job done a year ago.

A big part of that is based on the team’s starting rotation, which was expected to be among the best in the AL a year ago before Clay Buchholz was lost for the sports betting season, and Jon Lackey struggled more than anybody projected. Buchholz will be back and Bard will be added to complete the team’s top-four arms, with Alfredo Aceves the most likely candidate to close out the rotation. Aceves was 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA as a reliever a year ago, and if both Jon Lester and Josh Beckett can bring their best stuff at the top, then this should be one of the best rotations in baseball.

Even with the collapse, there really was no need to make major changes to an offense that ranked first in runs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, with newcomer Adrian Gonzalez leading the way with a .338 average and 117 RBI. Jacoby Ellsbury led the team in home runs with 32, and if former MVP Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis can stay healthy then the offense should once again be among the most productive in baseball. The Red Sox once again have the pieces to be considered a legitimate championship contender in the AL. The problem is that expectations were the same a year ago, and they now have to mentally overcome the burden of that collapse as well when fighting to bounce back this sportsbook season.

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