Two more series in the books and two more series wins for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays finished a three-game set in Boston with two wins, and then duplicated that in Houston against the Astros, losing the third game in extra innings. Toronto is now 10-6 overall, good for a tie at the top of the AL East with the New York Yankees, who won their last three games. Toronto has yet to lose a series this season, with a 2-2 split with the Yankees being the worst result.
Seeing the Blue Jays and Yankees at the top of the division certainly comes as no surprise to Ontario sports betting oddsmakers, who had both teams as the favorites to win the division.
They remain at the top of the odds board at DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario with Toronto currently +115 to win the division, ahead of the Yankees at +200. The two teams also both remain among the three shortest odds to win the World Series with Toronto at +750 (they were +850 a week ago) and New York at +950, trailing only the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Ontario iGaming market went live on on April 4, just before the start of the MLB season.
Updated World Series Odds
|⭐ Los Angeles Dodgers||+450|
|⭐ Toronto Blue Jays||+750|
|⭐ New York Yankees||+900|
|⭐ New York Mets||+900|
|⭐ Houston Astros||+1100|
|⭐ Atlanta Braves||+1100|
Offense Continues Hitting HRs
To no one’s surprise, the Blue Jays are making hay with the long ball, leading the league with 22 home runs as this potent offense continues to terrorize opposing pitchers just as they did last year. Where they could improve is in total runs, as the home runs have too often been of the solo or two-run variety. Despite the home runs, Toronto is just 14th in the league with 66 runs. Getting runners on base to maximize opportunities is something that will be crucial moving forward.
Another predictable note for Toronto is that the man leading the offense is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He leads the team with a .351 batting average, 20 hits, five homers, 12 RBIs and also leads in most other offensive stats. He has been helped offensively by 27-year-old Santiago Espinal, who appears to be having a breakout season at the plate, with two home runs in the past week and eight RBIs.
Espinal and catcher Zack Collins have been strong offensively, helping Toronto withstand the absence of Teoscar Hernandez and the slow offensive start from Bo Bichette. Bichette continued his struggles and has a .217 batting average. As soon as he starts consistently getting on base like he did last year the offensive totals of the team overall will jump, especially with Guerrero behind him in the batting order.
Pitching Starts to Improve for Jays
Pitching showed some improvement over the last two series, an expected bump after a shortened training camp. Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman led the way yet again, with Manoah winning his third straight game to start the season and Gausman fanning eight batters in a win over Boston earlier in the week.
Jose Berrios seems to have shaken off his bad season-opening performance and got his first win of the year over Boston, allowing eight hits but only one run in a 6-1 victory. The team is ranked in the middle of the pack in most pitching statistics, which should be good enough to get wins with the offense it has.
The top three in the rotation will consistently give the Jays good starts and Yusei Kikuchi has flashed upside, but also shown the ability to struggle in the fourth spot. With Hyun-Jun Ryu still on the injured list, Ross Stripling has been starting games and seems more than capable of filling that fifth role on an interim basis.
No Days Off for Jays
Toronto continues its busy stretch of 20 straight days with a game this week. It has a full week of home games against the two teams they just played, starting with a four-game set with the Red Sox and then finishing it with three games against the Astros.
If the Blue Jays can get more runners on base to turn those solo home runs into multi-run bombs they should easily be able to win a couple more series this week, but they have proven they have the depth and firepower on offense to compete in games even when relying solely on the long ball.
With the pitching solidifying and with Bichette likely to break out of his slump at any moment, look for the Jays to keep themselves at the top of the AL East with the Yankees and to remain a favorite on Ontario sports betting apps to win the World Series.