The Toronto Blue Jays fell off in a big way over the last week, losing five of six games to drop to third in the American League East, trailing the teams they struggled against the past two series — the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays.
In Ontario sports betting, Toronto has fallen to the fifth favorite among World Series contenders at +1000 and are also +300 to finish the season atop the AL East, trailing the Yankees, who are now -200 at FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario.
Only one of the Blue Jays' last six games eclipsed 10 runs, a 6-5 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday. The pitching staff was fine but not great over the week. The pitching was decent, but it was unable to help an offense that put up run totals of five, five, three, three, two and zero runs.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remains stuck on seven home runs for the season, tied with George Springer for the team lead, but both are now a far cry from league leader Aaron Judge of the Yankees, who has 12. Guerrero has also seen his batting average drop to .280 for the season with a rough last couple of weeks.
Guerrero came into the season as a favorite to win the home run title and contend in the AL MVP race.
If Toronto is to get back to winning ball games on the back of a strong, opportunistic offense, Guerrero will have to lead the way. For a team that counted on innings with high-scoring outbursts through the first month of the year, the Jays have struggled to even put up those kinds of numbers over the course of an entire game. It wasted a solid week from the pitching staff.
Updated World Series Odds
Jays Pitching Was Solid
On the plus side, Hyun Jin Ryu has returned to the rotation from injury and pitched well in a win over the Rays. Not only is Ryu one of the team's most experienced starters. but it also allows Ross Stripling to return to the bullpen. He can be solid in relief for more than an inning or two.
Jose Berrios has been on and off in his starts all year and that continued. Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman keep doing their part and delivering solid, inning-eating performances. Yusei Kikuchi has been below average, but with even a bit of run support he would have been able to grab a win last week.
For a team that should be all offense, all the time, the Toronto Blue Jays have really let their pitching staff down with a cold streak from almost every offensive star. Losing five of six games that they all could have won stings, especially against division rivals.
Odds for Division, World Series Climb
Understandably, the Jays have seen their odds to win the division on FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario go up. The team breaking out of the slump seems inevitable but wasting the solid pitching performances is not something Ontario sports bettors like seeing from their team.
Moving forward the Jays have a comfy schedule over the next week with six home games, three against the 16-19 Seattle Mariners and three against the 9-26 Cincinnati Reds. Two home series with a day off in between against two teams with losing records is a great spot for the Blue Jays to get back on track.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, looking to become the first Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup since 1993, lost in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series over the weekend. Toronto sports fans could use some good news going forward from the Jays.