The Boston Red Sox regained their lead in the American League East on Wednesday night with a win over the Seattle Mariners. It wasn’t easy, as the Red Sox needed 15 inning to pick up the victory. Stephen Drew drove in the game-winning run with the bases loaded to lift Boston, 5-4.
The win comes on the same day in which the Red Sox made, perhaps, the biggest deal of the trade deadline. They acquired Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox in a three-team deal, losing infielder Jose Iglesias and three prospects in the trade.
Boston hopes that Peavy will bolster their rotation. The Red Sox starters have been good when healthy, but the club is looking to replace Clay Buchholz, who might not return until September. In 13 starts this season, Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. While he has struggled at times, the 32-year-old finished 2012 with a 3.37 ERA.
If Peavy can perform close to like he did last year, the Red Sox will have improved their chances of winning their third title in the past decade. Does the deal for Peavy make Boston the favorites to win the World Series?
According to oddsmakers, a few teams still have a better shot of winning the 2013 title. Bovada.lv has set the Red Sox betting odds at 8/1, putting them second in the American League to the Detroit Tigers, who are at 6/1. The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers lead the National League with 7/1 odds. The St. Louis Cardinals are also ahead of the Red Sox at 15/2.
Despite what the odds say, Boston may have the best chance to win it all. They have been atop the AL East for most of the season and currently hold the best record in the American League. The Red Sox have remained consistent with one of the best offenses in baseball, and might be the most well-balanced club with an improved pitching staff.
While the Red Sox added reinforcements at the trade deadline, much of their competition stood pat. The New York Yankees added Alfonso Soriano, but they still have one of the worst offenses in the majors. The Texas Rangers didn’t add the bat that they needed, and could lose Nelson Cruz to a season-long suspension.
If Boston is able to maintain the No.1 record in the AL, they will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. With all of those games at Fenway Park, it might be hard for any team to stop the Red Sox from going all the way.