The Toronto Blue Jays had one of their most disappointing weeks of the season last week, losing consecutive three-game series to the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.
Toronto is falling further behind the powerhouse New York Yankees in the American League East standings — the rough week dropped the Blue Jays to a tie for third in a very tough division.
Going into the season, the Blue Jays were neck-and-neck with the Yankees as favorites for the division and were also among the favorites for the World Series with odds shorter than +1000 for Ontario sports gambling.
The Jays’ odds to win the division have expectedly cratered, checking in now at +1000 at Ontario sportsbooks. They still have odds at +1100 to win the World Series, one of the top six teams at most sportsbooks.
The Yankees, meanwhile, have opened an 11-game lead in the AL East and are now tied as the favorite to win the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at +450 on BetMGM Ontario.
The Blue Jays' odds to win the division have also fallen on Ontario betting apps.
Pitching was the Blue Jays’ downfall for much of the week, as they just couldn’t keep opponents from crossing home plate. In six games, Toronto’s best game was allowing four runs. The team allowed 39 runs across those six games, including a 10-3 loss to the Brewers to end the week.
The offense kept pace, scoring 38 times, which would usually be enough for a great week. But with such a dismal effort on the mound, the Jays (40-32) walked away trailing the Yankees by a season-high 12.5 games. They now also have to leapfrog the Tampa Bay Rays (also 40-32) and Boston Red Sox (42-31) to even get to second in the AL East.
The regulated Ontario online casino and sports betting markets went live on April 4, just before the start of the MLB regular season.
Updated World Series Odds
Kikuchi Struggles for Jays
Yusei Kikuchi had the most struggles on the mound, getting yanked shortly into the third inning in his start on Saturday. The one bright spot from the game was 23-year-old prospect Max Castillo’s strong performance in long relief, giving the Blue Jays an additional option to bring into the rotation if need be.
Alek Manoah, of course, won one of the two games for Toronto, bringing his record to 9-2 with another quality start. Kevin Gausman also bounced back with a good start in an extra-innings loss to Chicago. Those two remain the strongest options on staff with Ross Stripling performing well filling in as a starter and Jose Berrios struggling to find consistency.
Offensively the Blue Jays are rolling. George Springer missed much of the week with a minor injury but returned on the weekend and the Jays kept pace without him, putting up nine runs in back-to-back wins. Alejandro Kirk had a great week, providing offensive pop from the catcher position, and is now up to 10 home runs on the year. He also has 31 RBI, one of seven Blue Jays to eclipse the 30-RBI mark.
Matt Chapman has also been strong at the plate and is also at 10 home runs after a solid week. Vladimir Guerrero still leads the team in most offensive categories despite not registering a home run last week. He has 17 on the season and leads the team with 43 RBI.
The real key for this offense is the depth. Even without Guerrero bashing home runs, the Jays still were able to put up runs. Teoscar Hernandez has gotten back into a rhythm after an early season injury and Bo Bichette is in form as well. He started the year poorly but is now second on the team with 39 RBI and leads the team with 76 hits.
If they can all keep rolling they won’t need the pitching to be great, just a bit better than they were the last week.
The Week Ahead for the Jays
Looking forward, the Blue Jays couldn’t ask for a better situation to right the ship.
The two teams that passed them in the division this week happen to be their two opponents, with a three-game homestand against Boston followed by a five-game series at home against the Rays with a doubleheader on Saturday.
With all three teams grouped tightly in the standings, this is a perfect opportunity for Toronto to jump both teams and improve their odds for fans looking to bet on sports in Ontario.