Betting On An Upcoming Red Sox Game

The new MLB season is underway, but still at such an early stage that fans of most teams can continue to dream of their side making a real splash in either the American or National Leagues, and the World Series. One of the sides expected to still be in contention once that early season optimism has faded are the Boston Red Sox, who – if they aren’t red hot favorites in the betting stakes – are certainly not rank outsiders with the bookmakers either. Their next match is against the Tampa Bay Rays, but are they a good bet to win this?

These are two pretty evenly matched sides, with both having similar odds (10 and 12/1 respectively) for the American League, but Tampa Bay are rated the favourites with the bookies for the upcoming game. A major reason for this is simply that Tampa have home advantage, and in recent times that has proven to be a decisive advantage in games between these two sides – and this is certainly something that should be remembered by any punter looking to bet on the outcome of this match. That said, no fan of the Red Sox will want to gamble on Tampa – whatever the form book and the odds say – suggesting that they may find playing at an online casino preferable to betting on this one.

Especially as these sites have so many different casino games available these days – including a number of really good slots games based around the MLB. Games like these, and the other slots at these sites, offer both impressive game bonuses, and the excellent chance of winning a payout, even if you don’t scoop the maximum cash jackpot. Furthermore you can play them on the move these days, thanks to mobile casino apps that you download to your phone, making these games either a great alternative to betting on MLB matches, or a fun way of passing the time while you wait for the next one to come along.

Celebrating 100 years of Fenway: Then & Now (1912-2012) [Infographic]

Fenway Park 1912-2012 INFOGRAPHIC - Home of the Boston Red Sox
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Lester Matches Verlander, But Sox Stumble in 3-2 Opening Loss to Tigers

Jon Lester matched Justin Verlander for most of the day, and the Red Sox even scored a couple runs off Jose Valverde.

It wasn’t enough.

Austin Jackson hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Detroit Tigers overcame Valverde’s blown save to beat the Red Sox 3-2 in Thursday’s opener. Jon Lester pitched seven solid innings, but Boston manager Bobby Valentine lost in his return to the major leagues.

Valentine replaced Terry Francona following the team’s 7-20 September slide that cost the Red Sox a playoff spot last year.

“There was a lot I saw that I liked. Lester was terrific. He did just what he needed to do,” Valentine said. “Verlander was very good. A lot of pitches on the outside corner were perfect pitches. We knew he was good and he’s still good if anyone is wondering.”

Verlander, last year’s AL MVP and Cy Young winner, was dominant for eight innings and left with a 2-0 lead. But Valverde (1-0) blew a save for the first time in 52 chances, a streak that included 49 in a row last season.

The Boston rally in the ninth, however, merely gave Detroit a chance to win it in more dramatic fashion.

With one out in the Tigers’ ninth, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila singled off Mark Melancon (0-1), and Ramon Santiago was hit by a pitch from Alfredo Aceves. Jackson followed with a sharp grounder past diving third baseman Nick Punto.

Detroit’s Prince Fielder singled his first time up for the AL Central champions and added a sacrifice fly in the eighth after Jackson tripled.

Verlander allowed two hits, walked one and struck out seven in a sparkling return to the mound at Comerica Park. But David Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly off Valverde, and Ryan Sweeney’s two-out triple off the wall in the right-field corner tied it.

Lester allowed a run and six hits. He struck out four and walked three.

“I kept my team in the game. It was kind of a grind for me today,” Lester said. “Verlander is Verlander. He’s tough. He didn’t give us a lot of opportunities today and when he did, he shut us down.”

Detroit put a runner on base in every inning but didn’t score until the seventh, when Peralta and Avila doubled with two outs. Fielder had a sacrifice fly the next inning.

Fielder, who signed a $214 million, nine-year deal with the Tigers in the offseason, pulled a 3-2 pitch past second base his first time up for a single. Detroit put its leadoff man on base four times in the first five innings, but Lester managed to induce double plays in the first and second.

Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera moved from first base to third to make room for Fielder. His day at the hot corner was uneventful until the sixth, when he lost his balance while catching Jacoby Ellsbury’s foul pop and fell into a backward somersault.

Cabrera held onto the ball and came up smiling, but Dustin Pedroia followed with a sharp grounder to third that Cabrera misplayed for an error. Verlander struck out Ortiz with two on to end that threat.

Fielder hit into a double play of his own in the sixth.

Verlander began the game by getting Ellsbury to hit a weak flyball to left in a matchup of the top two vote-getters in last year’s AL MVP race. According to STATS LLC, it was the first time the top two MVP finishers faced each other in a pitcher-batter matchup the following season since 1999 honoree Ivan Rodriguez struck out against Pedro Martinez on April 25, 2000.

Verlander allowed Ortiz’s double in the second, then retired 10 in a row. He caught Cody Ross looking in the second with a vintage breaking ball that left the Boston hitter dropping his bat and walking away even before plate umpire Dale Scott finished calling him out on strikes.

“This was the best opening day I’ve had, and hopefully that goes toward all the hard work I’ve been putting in to get off to a better start,” he said. “Long way to go, but it’s good to get that first one under your belt and have it be a good one.”

NOTES: It was Valverde’s first blown save since Sept. 2, 2010, against Minnesota. … The Tigers reported 45,027 tickets sold, an opening day record for Comerica. … The temperature at game time was 43 degrees. … Francona was at the game as an analyst for ESPN. … Detroit RHP Doug Fister will face Boston RHP Josh Beckett when the teams play again Saturday.

Red Sox Rotation Solid As the Season Kicks Off

With it being Opening Day, let’s break down the Red Sox starting rotation:

1. LHP Jon Lester

2. RHP Josh Beckett

3. RHP Clay Buchholz

4. LHP Felix Doubront

5. RHP Daniel Bard

When it comes to the top of the rotation, the Red Sox are as confident in their first three starters as any team in the American League. Lester will make his second straight Opening Day start, and he continues to display Cy Young Award promise. Beckett is a proven commodity, while Buchholz is healthy once again after missing the final three months of last season with a back injury.

Red Sox Being Careful with Ryan Sweeney’s Quad Strain

The Red Sox are being cautious about the left quad strain suffered recently by OF Ryan Sweeney.

The injury is only considered minor, but the Sox are not rushing him back because they’re counting on him early in the season while LF Carl Crawford is coming back from left wrist surgery.

Sweeney also has a history of some lower-body injuries and doesn’t want to rush back.

“I don’t want to push it because I’d rather have it be right now than during the season,” Sweeney said. “I just need to get it to where I can run and get it back to normal.”

Sweeney’s quad muscle flared in the first inning March 13 when he fielded a base hit by Miami’s Emilio Bonifacio. When he checked his swing on his first at-bat, the muscle spasmed again.

Red Sox Third of List of MLB’s Most Vaulable Teams

The National Pastime is flourishing thanks to cable companies’ desire for live baseball programming. The Red Sox as expected, are right in the mix, coming in as the 3rd most valuable team in MLB.

The average Major League Baseball team rose 16 percent in value during the past year, to an all-time high of $605 million. In 2011, revenue (net of payments to cover stadium debt) for the league’s 30 teams climbed to an average of $212 million, a 3.4 percent gain over the previous season. But operating income (in the sense of earnings before non-cash charges and interest expenses) fell 13 percent, to an average of $14 million in part due to a 5.1 percent increase in player costs (including benefits and signing bonuses for amateurs), to $3.5 billion in 2011.

Rights fees paid by cable television channels are behind the growth in team values. Aggregate cable television revenue for baseball’s 30 teams has increased to $923 million from $328 million over the past 10 years. And thanks to new television deals inked by teams like the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Texas Rangers that have yet to kick in, as well as the pending deal for the San Diego Padres and a likely rich deal that will begin in 2014 for whom ever buys the Los Angeles Dodgers, local television revenue could exceed $1.5 billion in 2015.

The top 10:

1. New York Yankees ($1.85 billion)
2. Los Angeles Dodgers ($1.4 billion)
3. Boston Red Sox ($1 billion)
3. Chicago Cubs ($1 billion)
5. Philadelphia Phillies ($723 million)
6. New York Mets ($719 million)
7. Texas Rangers ($674 million)
8. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ($656 million)
9. San Francisco Giants ($643 million)
10. Chicago White Sox ($600 million)

Role for Alfredo Aceves Remains in Limbo in Spring Training

RHP Alfredo Aceves’ role with the Red Sox remains undecided. Regardless, he prefers to be described in one word: Valuable.

Last season, Aceves was 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA in 51 relief appearances compared to 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four starts. Thus, it has been suggested that he may be more useful to the Red Sox as a reliever, especially because RHP Daniel Bard is being prepped for a move to the rotation.

Aceves also held left-handed hitters to a .190 average, and with Franklin Morales sidelined, the Red Sox’ bullpen currently lacks a proven lefty. “What are you looking for in Aceves?” Aceves said, seemingly rhetorically, when asked about the suggestion that the Red Sox may be better served with him in the bullpen.

“You say he’s valuable in the bullpen because he played in the past in the bullpen. Have you seen him as a starter? So, you will have to use the same word—valuable—for whatever role he has. So, he’s just valuable.”

Red Sox Names Jon Lester as Opening Day Starter

The Red Sox have announced their opening day starter to battle Justin Verlander.

Jon Lester – come on down.

Lester will start Opening Day for the Sox, April 5th in Detroit. New manager Bobby Valentine made the announcement Monday.

It’s not a first for Lester, who started Boston’s first game of the 2011 season in Texas. He will be the first left-hander to start on Opening Day in back-to-back years for the Red Sox since Mel Parnell started three straight openers from 1952-54.

A two-time All-Star who was selected by the Red Sox in the second round in 2002, Lester is 76-34 with a 3.53 ERA and 894 strikeouts in six seasons.