The Toronto Blue Jays could not have asked for a better opportunity to improve their position in the American League East standings and on the odds boards for Ontario bettors last week with four games against the Baltimore Orioles.
It was a chance for the Jays to improve their record followed by three games against the team they are trying to catch in the standings — the New York Yankees. Unfortunately for those who have backed the Jays in those games or in the division race, they were unable to take advantage, splitting the series with Baltimore 2-2 and losing the series 2-1 to the Yankees.
The Blue Jays are +900 on World Series odds board, according to BetMGM Ontario. With a playoff spot still looking like a strong possibility this is not much of a surprise and they remain in the top five favorites to win.
Where their Ontario online betting odds have shifted much more dramatically is in the race for the AL East, as the losses to the Yankees, combined with New York’s consistent success over the past month, puts the Yankees as heavy favorites to win the division at odds of -1000.
The Blue Jays are second on the Ontario betting apps, but at +850 they are a very distant second. The inconsistent performance of Toronto over the past month combined with their inability to beat the Yankees justifies the big gap between the odds for the two rivals.
Updated World Series Odds
Jays Pitching Has Letdown
Pitching was a struggle for Toronto over the two series against Baltimore and New York, requiring 11 and seven runs to take the games they managed to win against the Orioles. Giving up 12 runs to the Yankees in a 12-3 series opening loss was a definite lowlight with Ross Stripling having his worst start of the season and the bullpen also struggling.
Kevin Gausman’s strong start to the year is turning into a bit of a distant memory as he had another poor start, allowing five runs over less than three full innings in a 10-2 loss to Baltimore.
Even a home start for Cy Young candidate Alek Manoah wasn’t enough to lead the Blue Jays to victory. Previously 10-0 in his career at home, the Yankees were able to get to Manoah by getting three runs to score in the fourth inning on Sunday.
It was still a fine performance from the young ace, just not quite to the standards he has set thus far in the 2022 season. In the end, it was a 4-0 loss as the Toronto offense could not get anything going against Jameson Taillon and offered Manoah no run support at all.
Offense Just Average
The offense was fine but nothing to write home about, with a couple of big outbursts against Baltimore and a 10-run game in the series finale against New York to salvage a comeback win. Vladimir Guerrero put up three more homers over the week, bringing him to 17 on the year, but the preseason betting favorite to be the home run leader still trails Aaron Judge by eight.
Moving forward the Blue Jays have two road series against the struggling Chicago White Sox and a solid Milwaukee Brewers team. Getting out of the AL East will offer a nice break but there is certainly a bad taste in their mouths after being unable to take advantage of a great opportunity the week prior.
It has become clear that the Yankees have separated themselves as the clear class of the division and Toronto’s focus now has to shift to the push for a playoff spot and to put themselves into position to peak when the postseason comes around. At some point, beating the Yankees is going to have to be something this team is capable of or their season will end in disappointment.