If it’s true that the best fans are the realists, then the Toronto Blue Jays are illustrating there are ways to find betting upside with a team in a down year.
First things first, the Blue Jays have moved from an opening +7500 on the 2019 World Series odds to +300000 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In American League East division champion odds, the Blue Jays, who are 23 games under .500 at the all-star break, have now moved from an opening +4000 to +350000.
Where that upside might come into play is win totals. After their 73-89 result in 2018, oddsmakers set the over/under for the Blue Jays’ win total in 2019 at 74.5, anticipating a preference for the UNDER, which was priced at -135 with the OVER at +105. The projection seemed high following a season where the Blue Jays put up a 4.85 earned-run average and did scarcely little to upgrade their pitching staff.
At the break the Blue Jays’ 34-57 record means they would have to go 41-30 over the duration of the season – a more than 200 percentage point jump in their record – to hit the OVER. Given the team’s ERA is still 4.91 and both No. 1 starter Marcus Stroman and closer Ken Giles could be in new uniforms by the July 31 trade deadline, that seems like an unattainable goal.
Twenty-year-old rookie third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been the subject of intense interest in betting circles. Guerrero was an early +160 wager in American League rookie of the year futures, but his trials and tribulations as a rookie have led to him becoming a +300 second favorite at sports betting sites behind the Tampa Bay Rays’ Brandon Lowe (+135), an all-star second baseman.
A huge second half isn’t totally out of the realm for Guerrero, who regularly posts some of the highest exit velocities in baseball when he does get the barrel on the ball.
There were also some intriguing totals props with Guerrero of .2955 batting average, 23.5 home runs and 495.5 at-bats. After a team-mandated stay in the minors, Guerrero has a .249 average with eight home runs in 225 at-bats, underlining how tough it is for a 20-year-old player to put up numbers against major-league pitching.
The Blue Jays have given the youngster plenty of off days, so reaching the OVER on at-bats and average seems like a long shot. Hitting 16 home runs in the second half, especially as he completes exposures to MLB pitching, could be in play.
The Blue Jays resume play with a three-game series against the AL East-leading New York Yankees on Friday.