Boston Red Sox Rotation Problems

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On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox learned that starting pitcher Lucas Giolito was likely done for the season with an elbow injury. Giolito signed with the Red Sox this off-season for two years and $38.5 million after making 33 starts for three different teams in 2023.

The Boston rotation now consists of Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford, Brayan Bello, Tanner Houck, and pray for rain. Pivetta started 16 games last year, Crawford has just eight wins in 36 career starts, Bello was decent last year with 12 wins in 28 starts, and Houck has just 15 wins in four seasons with Boston.

The Red Sox offense has the potential to be really good in 2024. But this pitching rotation has Massachusetts online sportsbooks picking them to finish last in the American League East, paying +1600 to win the division. A Red Sox American League pennant pays +2200, the ninth-shortest odds in the A.L.

Two-time Cy Young winner Blake Snell is available, as is Jordan Montgomery. Do the Red Sox accept their fate before the season even begins, or do they make a run at the division with one of the best free agents on the market?

Ronald Acuna Jr. Resting Until Opening Day

Anytime your star has an MRI, you hold your breath. But in the case of Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves fans can resume breathing. He does have irritation in the meniscus of his right knee, but all that is required is rest. He is expected to be ready by Braves Opening Day at the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Braves and Phillies are predicted to finish first and second in the National League East this season, with the Braves leading the way at Pennsylvania online sportsbooks at -240. The Phillies are +310, well ahead of the distant New York Mets at +1100.

Despite the spring training setback for Acuna, still has him as the favorite to win the National League MVP award, paying +500. Phillies star Bryce Harper is fourth in N.L. betting at +1000. Acuna was the unanimous MVP in the National League last season. Harper won the award in 2015 and 2021.

Justin Verlander to Begin Season on IL

Baseball online sportsbooks have the Houston Astros as the favorite to win the American League Championship Series for the fifth time since 2017. A bet on Houston pays +400, and if you wager on them to win the World Series, you get +800.

Justin Verlander was on three of those A.L. championship teams, and the future Hall of Famer enters the 2024 season with 257 career wins to go along with 17 wins in the postseason. Regular season win No. 258 will have to wait, as he is going to start the season on the injured list because of a shoulder injury.

This isn’t a new injury. But with Opening Day just three weeks away, the Astros say he won’t have enough time to properly ramp up for Major League starting duty. 

“Would I like to be out there for Opening Day? Absolutely. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. Am I excited about the way I feel right now? Also yes.”

If Verlander gets to 140 innings pitched in 2024, a $35 million option for 2025 vests. The Mets, who traded Verlander last August, would be responsible for half of it ($17.5 million).

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