The Toronto Blue Jays had a very eventful week, firing manager Charlie Montoya on July 13 after a painful streak of losses, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.
This was just the latest poor series in a month-and-a-half full of bad performances, so changes were inevitable. With three straight wins to finish their four-game series against the Kansas City Royals, the Blue Jays now have wins in five of their six games heading into the All-Star break.
That’s a positive trend for Ontario sportsbooks and bettors will no doubt be looking to keep it going when the regular season resumes Friday.
Before the season starts back up, Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero, catcher Alejandro Kirk, second baseman Santiago Espinal and pitcher Alek Manoah will suit up for the American League All Star Team in the midsummer classic on Tuesday. Guerrero was a leading candidate for HR and MVP awards heading into the season.
Toronto didn’t lose as much ground in the AL playoff race as it could have during the poor stretch, as the Jays go into the All-Star break third in the division and only one game behind the Tampa Bay Rays.
As has been the case all season, the New York Yankees are well in front, 14 games ahead of the Blue Jays. Toronto can be bet at odds of +4000 to catch up to the division leaders, tempting odds on BetMGM Canada, but a bet that Ontario sports bettors are unlikely to cash in on with New York so far ahead.
More realistic are the Ontario sports betting app +2000 odds on Toronto to win the World Series as the team has the firepower to win any playoff series, it just first needs to make the playoffs.
Updated World Series Odds
Pitching Leads the Way for Jays
Toronto’s week was led by a couple of strong pitching performances from Jose Berrios, who won both of his starts and seems to be trending back up after a rough stretch to start the season, particularly in road games.
Berrios went over six innings in both of his starts, a consistency the Blue Jays need to see for the rest of the year. Manoah heads into the All-Star break off yet another sterling performance, allowing only one run over seven innings in a win over the Royals to bring his season win total to 10.
Ross Stripling had a solid outing and Max Castillo took the mound in a short performance in a thrilling extra innings win as well, but the most important start of the week may well have belonged to Kevin Gausman. Gausman had entrenched himself as the clear No. 2 starter behind Manoah before getting injured and missing a handful of starts. He returned in a 3-1 loss to the Royals, a game where he did his part but the offense didn’t help out.
Jays Stars Boost the Offense
The offense was led by Guerrero, Kirk, Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez and George Springer. One other player who has really stood out of late has been Lourdes Gurriel, who has quietly risen up the MLB batting average leaderboard and is now 10th with a .306 average. His past 15 games have been particularly strong with 23 hits and a .404 average.
Guerrero is up to 20 home runs on the year, well back of the incredible pace set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has 33. Springer trails Guerrero with 17 and Matt Chapman is also right behind them with 15 of his own.
It will be a quiet week for the Blue Jays that aren’t participating in the All-Star game, but they will be back on Friday against the Boston Red Sox. The break should give new manager John Schneider, formerly the team's bench coach, time to get used to his new role with the squad and get the Jays ready for a playoff push in the second half.