The online bookmaker continues to favor the Boston Red Sox and pitcher Josh Beckett.
That is going to remain the case for a while since Boston has signed Beckett to a four-year contract extension worth $68 million. The Red Sox won their season opener in baseball offshore betting with Beckett on the mound although he did not pitch well.
Online bookmaker odds list Boston and the New York Yankees as the two favorites to win the World Series this season. The Red Sox have a strong starting pitching staff led by Beckett. "We couldn’t be more thrilled to keep Josh around,” Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said, "We were talking that he’ll be with the Red Sox for nine years when this contract is up. He’s earned it. Josh is an excellent contributor on and off the field, a big part of our team and pitching staff.” The online bookmaker noticed that the starting trio of Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey are now signed through 2014. "When you have that pitching, you don’t want to let it go away,” Epstein said, "It’s hard to acquire in free agency, it’s hard to acquire in trade, and it’s hard to draft and develop this kind of starting pitching. There’s no guarantee in baseball, but it should mean we have outstanding starting pitching for that period.”
Beckett’s contract includes a $5 million signing bonus this season, and an annual salary of $15.75 million from 2011 to 2014. The online bookmaker noted that Beckett probably could have gotten another year on the contract but he did not make it a sticking point in the negotiations. "A lot of people look at what you could lose or what you lost,” Beckett said, "I look at four years of more stability. The season gets long when you’re losing 90 games. I know we have a chance to win here every year. I look at it more as what I gained than what I potentially lost.”
Since the 2006 offshore betting baseball season only Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander have won more games than Beckett. Although he has a lot of wins, his ERA with Boston is only 4.13. He allowed five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in the opener against New York but the Red Sox rallied to win 9-7 as the slight baseball favorite at the online bookmaker.