Around the Horn: Fenway
We were in Canada last week, and we'll now end the American League East road trip at Fenway Park.
The once mighty Boston Red Sox were relegated to the basement last year, posting their worst record since 1965. They finished the 2012 regular season by going 1-9.
Boston was 16-11 in Spring training 2012, and as of writing, is 13-9 in 2013.
Boston got rid of over $105 million in contracts from last year, but added nearly $86 million in new salaries for 2013.
After losing 93 games last year, the Red Sox were busy in the offseason.
The first order of business was to replace manager Bobby Valentine. John Farrell takes over the job. Farrell comes over from the Toronto Blue Jays after putting together an unimpressive 154-170 mark in two years.
The organization also signed a two-year deal with free-agent designated hitter David Ortiz for $26 million. Ortiz missed half of 2012 with injury, but batted .318 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI's in the other half.
Other new faces include catcher David Ross, outfielder Jonny Gomes, reliever Koji Uehara, outfielder Shane Victorino, starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, and shortstop Stephen Drew.
2012 Park Factor (Park Factor compares the rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate below 1.000 favors the pitcher. Higher than 1.000 favors the hitter).
- Runs: 1.206
- HR: 1.088
- H: 1.173
- 2B: 1.494
- 3B: 1.389
- BB: 1.036
Interesting facts about Fenway: It's been the home of the Red Sox since 1912. They've sold out every home game since 2003. Interestingly though, Fenway has the fourth lowest seating capacity and second lowest in total of all MLB stadiums. As you can imagine, over a hundred year period, the facility has been the site of many other events, including football, hockey and soccer games, concerts and even religious gatherings. The stadium has gone through many changes over the last 100+ years (simply too many list here). It's one of the two remaining "classic" ballparks still in use in MLB (Wrigley is the other). Both stadiums have many obstructed view seats, due to pillars supporting the upper deck. "The Green Monster" is the nickname of the 37 foot left field wall in the park. "The Triangle" is a spot in center field where the wall comes together as a triangle, whose far corner is 130 m (420 feet) from home plate. There is one red seat in the entire stadium, and it symbolizes the longest ever home run hit at Fenway, by none other than Ted Williams back in 1946 (502 feet).
Has home field advantage been an advantage for the Red Sox over the last five years?
- 2008: 95-67 overall. 56-25 at home. 39-42 on road.
- 2009: 95-67 overall. 56-25 at home. 39-42 on road.
- 2010: 89-73 overall. 46-35 at home. 43-38 on road.
- 2011: 90-72 overall. 45-36 at home. 45-36 on road.
- 2012: 69-93 overall. 34-47 at home. 35-46 on road.
Up until last year, home field was definitely an advantage for the Red Sox.
Whether or note Boston is able to bounce back after last season's disaster, and whether or not the roster overhaul it's been through will justify the overall cost, will no doubt both be highly covered topics throughout the year.
Boston opens its first two series on the road, at New York and Toronto respectively. It then welcomes the Orioles to town on Monday, April 8th, to play a three game set over four nights.
Boston was just 5-13 vs. the Orioles in 2012, including only 2-7 at Fenway.
- Central Florida
- Teddy Covers
- October 1, 2016 - 12:00 PM
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ 4 -110 Central Florida
1* Take Central Florida (#151)
UCF went 0-12 last year. 10 of their losses came by two touchdowns or more, as they should have – George O’Leary’s final season was a complete disaster. That included a late November 44-7 home loss at the hands of East Carolina. That was then, this is now.
New UCF Coach Scott Frost has made it very clear what he wants to install for the Golden Knights. The former Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator wants Central Florida to become “The Oregon of the East”. Frost found his starting QB two weeks ago when previous starter Justin Holman got hurt. In two games behind center, frosh McKenzie Milton; a dual threat dynamo against both Maryland and FIU.
Here’s Frost’s quote:
“One of the things that drew me to the job is I knew I could run a version of our offense that was practically identical to Oregon's because we can recruit that type of player here. I don't think you could run Oregon's offense at Wisconsin; I don't know if you would get enough guys that can run well enough to do it. In Orlando, Florida, there's fast guys in high schools in every direction in close proximity that are already running systems in high school that are similar to this and should want to play in it.”
When a formerly dismal team starts to play competitive football, then starts to win, it becomes contagious – these are ‘bet-on’ teams week after week, until the markets show that they’ve caught up. Considering that UCF has covered the spread (in regulation) by double digit margins in each of the last two weeks, I’m not convinced in the slightest that the markets have caught up with their improvement.
East Carolina has faced two solid offensive teams; NC State and Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack gained more than 200 yards on the ground AND through the air against East Carolina, and could have scored far more than the 30 points that they did. Last week, Virginia Tech hung 54 on this stop unit, another balanced attack, and the defense didn’t create a turnover. Expect East Carolina to have a tough time getting stops here; bad news for any favorite.
The Pirates are coming off back-2-back physical, demoralizing losses, and they’ve yet to beat a FBS team by more than a field goal this year. A program in transition following the shocking firing of Ruffin McNeill last December has no business laying more than a field goal to a ‘bet-on’ UCF squad on Saturday. Take Central Florida.
Teddy is hitting 73% in the NFL through the first three weeks of the season, picking up right where he left off during last year's epic 56-27 (67%) campaign! And Teddy is 21-8 (74%) with his last 29 in college, making big $$ for himself and his clients RIGHT NOW! Ride the hot hand & don’t miss a single ‘right side’ winner all weekend long!