Blue Jays Betting Trends: How Spring News Is Shaping Odds

Blue Jays Betting Trends: How Spring News Is Shaping Odds
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

It has been interesting to watch how Ontario sports betting on the Toronto Blue Jays has been evolving, as the March 28 opener in Tampa Bay against the Rays fast approaches.

At BetMGM, the Jays opened at 17.00 to win the World Series (in decimal odds). Now they are at 21.00. The Los Angeles Dodgers have the shortest odds there, at 4.60, followed by the Atlanta Braves (6.50), New York Yankees (9.00), Houston Astros (9.50), Texas Rangers (12.00), Baltimore Orioles (14.00) and Philadelphia Phillies (15.00). Toronto is next, with the same odds as the Seattle Mariners.

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Most Bet Teams For 2024 World Series

The Dodgers and Orioles are seeing the most betting activity so far – the Dodgers have garnered 14% of tickets with the Ontario sportsbook app operator and 19.5% of the handle. The Orioles have drawn 10.4% of tickets and 10.7% of the handle. The Jays are seeing just 2.9% and 2.2%, respectively.

The negative storylines for the Jays coming out of spring training begin and end with injuries. Four of their starting pitchers made 31 starts last season. It’s rare that you see that level of pitching health. However, it hasn’t been a good start on that front in 2024.

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Injuries Have Impact On Blue Jays Odds

Kevin Gausman (generating the most betting action at BetMGM Ontario Sportsbook to win the AL Cy Young, with the highest ticket percentage at 12.3% and highest handle at 12.9%) is still working his way back from a shoulder issue. He was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday, according to Sportsnet. 

Starter Alek Manoah also has a shoulder issue, and according to Sportsnet doesn’t have a timetable for when he’ll start throwing from the mound again.

Now this morning’s news – Jose Berrios was named Opening Day starter, and he has had a solid spring (1.38 ERA, nine strikeouts so far). However, closer Jordan Romano has right elbow inflammation and Erik Swanson has right forearm tightness. According to Sportsnet, Romano is getting an anti-inflammatory injection and will be sidelined for three days, and Swanson is going to dial back the workouts. 

You wonder if their pitching luck has run out. Joey Votto, earmarked for the Hall of Fame when he retires, signed a minor-league contract, trying to make the big club. His home run in his first at-bat on Sunday against the Phillies is a feel-good story. 

So is the play of free agent signee Justin Turner. Broadcaster Buck Martinez said on a Sportsnet radio interview that Turner’s impact has been “dramatic”, considering his presence in the lineup and contributions in the clubhouse, especially when he talks hitting with the younger guys. Martinez calls Turner, who has a World Series ring, an “alpha-dog”.     

The Toronto-born Votto is 40 and Turner is 39. But their combined hitting wisdom, along with coach Don Mattingly, might be immeasurable for Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Daulton Varsho, among others. The Jays struggled with runners on scoring position last season and Mattingly was promoted to offensive coordinator to help address that.

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Which Version of Guerrero Will We See?

The big question in Toronto revolves around what version of Guerrero Jr. will show up this season – the MVP-calibre version from 2021 (48 HRs, 111 RBIs) or the one that has regressed the past two seasons (66th in MLB last season in slugging percentage, at .444). 

Customers at MLB betting sites like Guerrero Jr., who is getting the highest ticket percentage of bets at BetMGM (13.0%) to win AL MVP. Guerrero is the biggest liability there.

The 2024 Blue Jays regular season schedule starts with a rough stretch. A four-game set in St. Petersburg against the Rays is followed by three games in Houston against the Astros, then three in New York against the Yankees. The home opener in Toronto is April 8 against the Seattle Mariners. All of those teams are among the best in the American League, and the Yankees and Astros are legitimate World Series contenders.

We’re willing to bet on an improved season for Guerrero Jr., and Bichette will hit. Bichette is generating the highest ticket percentage, at 34.5%, and the highest handle percentage, at 29.4%, at BetMGM to lead the league in hits. Varsho has had a good spring (.364 over 14 games).

But oddsmakers clearly see issues with the lineup. 

At DraftKings Ontario Sportsbook, bettors like the Orioles to win the American League pennant (6.50 odds, 32% of handle and 23% of bets), followed by the Yankees (5.75, 31% and 36%), Astros (5.00, 10% and 10%), Mariners (10.00, 6% and 4%), then the Jays (10.50, 5% and 3%).



Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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