Five Toronto Blue Jays Bets To Consider Ahead Of The 2022-23 MLB Season

Written By Matthew Lomon on March 27, 2023 - Last Updated on March 29, 2023
Toronto Blue Jays Alek Manoah

The pitch clock to MLB Opening Day is winding down. Get set on the mound and in the batter’s box with trusted Ontario sportsbooks before time expires on Thursday.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who start their 2022-23 campaign in St. Louis against the Cardinals, are looking to avenge last season’s bitter end by finally making the leap to elite status; something this current group of core players has yet to accomplish despite immense talent and a bloated payroll.

But after a serious roster overhaul saw fan favourites jettisoned out and a group of underrated veterans brought in, a clear message was sent: the time to win is now.

Okay (okay), Blue Jays (Blue Jays) bettors, let’s play ball.

Bet #1: Blue Jays to win the World Series

Headlined by the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros (+625 to repeat) and yearly title threats in the New York Yankees (+850), Toronto’s path to the Fall Classic will be arduous.

Luckily, the Blue Jays are one of a handful of teams around the league that feature a high-end rotation, shutdown bullpen, and batting order with a nightmarish power-speed combination.

Ontario sportsbooks clearly share this observation, as the Blue Jays currently own the seventh-best World Series odds league-wide. And while the team is by no means an underdog, odds reaching as high as +1400 on BetMGM, Unibet, and BetRivers, present incredible value.

Last year’s highly anticipated Blue Jays blockbuster bombed at the box office. But with a new director at the helm and several key roles recast, this year’s feature film has a real shot to silence the critics.

Bet #2: Blue Jays to win the American League pennant

If the Jays were to win the World Series, they would first have to win the American League Championship Series. In wake of such a transcendent discovery, it only makes logical sense to double-down.

Right now, the best AL pennant odds (+700) can be found on Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet. At this number, the Jays have the third-best odds, once again, trailing Houston (+310) and New York (+370). Interestingly, three of the top-five teams favoured to win the American League play in the Toronto’s division (AL East). As it stands, the Tampa Bay Rays round out the top five at +1200 on PointsBet.

The Blue Jays are 2-5 all-time in the ALCS, but those two victories led to back-to-back World Series titles in 92′-93.’ In that case, history suggests that if the Jays are able to win the ALCS, the double-down bet at +1400 and +700, respectively, is more than just a pipe dream.

Bet #3: Alek Manoah to record the most regular season wins

For big-league starting pitchers, the ingredient list for success looks something like this:

  • Durability
  • Tenaciousness
  • Mental fortitude
  • Consistent run support
  • Luck

Fortunately, for Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah, his pantry is fully stocked. On top of his strong internal and external support system, Manoah is sitting pretty in a wide open battle for the most regular season wins. Presently, the 6’6″ right-hander shares the third-best odds (+2500 on BetMGM) with six different starting pitchers, behind perennial Cy Young favourites, Gerrit Cole (+1600) and Justin Verlander (+1800).

Over his first two seasons in the bigs, Manoah has started 51 games, registering a 25-9 win-loss record (.735-win percentage). In those 51 starts, he has pitched at least five innings (minimum inning requirement for a win) 47 times, including in all 31 of his starts in 2022. The West Virginia product finished with a 2.24 earned run average, which is almost two runs below the average run support he received each start (4.20).

Although brief, his already impressive résumé checks all the boxes. Now, just like any bettor, all Manoah needs is luck on his side.

Bet #4: Bo Bichette to lead the league in hits

Coming off consecutive seasons leading the American League in hits, Bo Bichette is ready to claim the overall title. The leading candidate from the AL sits third league-wide, tailing favourite Trea Turner (+600) and Canadian Freddie Freeman (+1000). For Bichette’s best odds (+1100), turn to Unibet and BetRivers.

Arguably, no player in baseball stands to benefit from the Rogers Centre renovations more than Bichette. The shortstop’s penchant for using the whole field plays particularly well with the new, hitter-friendly power alley in right-centre field. Elite bat control and contact skills allow the 2021 All-Star to fend off tough pitches and drive the ball despite deep counts.

Despite sporting a .290 batting average with 24 home runs and 93 runs batted in, Bichette’s 2022 was labeled a disappointment. If leading the AL in hits is disappointing, being +1100 to win the whole thing is a gift.

Bet #5: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to win American League MVP

Perhaps the most predictable of the five bets, it was only a matter of time before Vladimir Guerrero Jr. heard his name. The 2021 AL MVP runner-up owns the sixth-best odds (+1400 on BetRivers) to take home the trophy in 2023. For context, the next closest Blue Jay is the aforementioned Bo Bichette, who sits at +7000 on FanDuel.

At the moment, the top three favourites in terms of odds have all won an MVP award before:

  1. Shohei Ohtani (+225)
  2. Aaron Judge (+700)
  3. Mike Trout (+800)

While the number four and five candidates, like Guerrero Jr., are both under 25-years old:

  1. Julio Rodriguez (+900)
  2. Yordan Alvarez (+1200)

The task will be tall for the Montreal native, but he possesses just as much raw talent as any superstar on this short-list. To have a shot at becoming the third player in team history to win MVP honours, Guerrero Jr. will not only need to recapture the success of his phenomenal 2021 campaign, he’ll have to exceed it.

Two years ago, Shohei Ohtani did things never before seen on the baseball field. Last year, Aaron Judge broke Roger Maris’ AL home run record. This year, who knows what Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might do.

Photo by Gerald Herbert / AP
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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