In Ontario sports betting news, the Toronto Blue Jays are taking flight at just the right moment. With a little over two months to go in the MLB season, the Blue Birds are putting together some of their best baseball yet.
The playoffs are a serious possibility. But it won’t be easy.
Toronto is in the midst of a hotly contested American League (AL) Wild Card race with just a few games separating them from the pack.
PlayCanada takes a look at how sportsbooks are reacting to the club’s recent surge.
Blue Jays experience noticeable Ontario sports betting line movement
The Jays sit at 58-46, hold one of three AL Wild Card playoff spots and have been playing some of their best baseball to date. Nonetheless, 2022 as a whole, has been a disappointment thus far. Toronto’s goal was never the playoffs.
Sportsbooks had Jays’ fans planning a World Series parade prior to this year’s opening pitch. But after sputtering out of the gates, that seems like a distant memory.
Toronto’s line movement as World Series favourites is quite noticeable:
BetMGM: 10.00 to 13.00 European odds, +900 to +1200 American (From second-best odds to sixth)
BetRivers: 9.75 to 14.00, +875 to +1400 (From second-best odds to sixth)
Caesars: 11.00 to 16.00, +1000 to +1500 (From third-best odds to sixth)
Jays to focus on Wild Card race
Today, the American League East crown seems too far gone. The New York Yankees are 10-plus games ahead, have slugger Aaron Judge playing MVP-calibre baseball and show no signs of slowing down.
But the postseason is still viable for Canada’s only MLB team. In fact, the Blue Birds are in control when it comes to the Wild Card race.
Under current MLB rules, each league (American and National) advance three teams to the playoffs through the wild card system. As of the publication date here’s how the AL Wild Card shapes up:
- Blue Jays: 58 – 46
- Seattle Mariners: 57-49
- Tampa Bay Rays: 55-49
Talented Jays should prevail in Wild Card race
Put bluntly: the Wild Card race is Toronto’s to lose. Of the contending teams, the Jays unanimously hold the best odds of the bunch. Toronto is also the most talented.
Consider that the Jays most recently fielded six MLB All-Stars – including two starters. That number tied the Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves for the most league-wide.
It’s almost comical to think a team of Toronto’s calibre is struggling for its postseason life. Yet that is where the Blue Jays stand currently.
Interestingly enough, with odds slipping, this same sentiment is exactly what makes the Jays such an enticing wager. If the club can ever get it fully together then its line-up has devastating power. Sportsbooks aren’t ruling out Toronto seriously contending for the AL East either. They have the consensus third-best odds across all major operators.
Blue Jays American League odds (outright winner):
- BetMGM: 7.00 European odds, +600 American
- BetRivers: 7.50, +650
- bet365 Canada: 7.75, +675
- Caesars: 7.50, +650
- DraftKings: 6.50, +550
Jays rally following firing of Montoyo
Luckily, things have been clicking of late in Ontario’s capital. The turning point seemingly came via the firing of manager Charlie Montoyo on July 13. At the time the squad sat at 46-42 and were fourth in the AL East.
However, since Montoyo’s removal, the roster has gone 12-4 and put together its second-longest winning streak of the year.
Baseball is habitually considered one of the more difficult sports leagues to win. Of the four major sports leagues, baseball allows the fewest clubs to the postseason. Fewer teams, means fewer opportunities. So often it is simply a matter of getting to the playoffs. Hence, sportsbooks may have dropped the Jays’ World Series odds but its AL East chances are very much respected still.
Blue Jays add Whitt Merrfield, at trade deadline
For its part, Toronto has retooled its roster at the trade deadline for the final push. Tuesday’s trade deadline (Aug.2) wasn’t spectacular. But it proved fruitful.
The club added some relief help by acquiring right-handed pitchers Zach Pop (Brampton, Ont.) and Anthony Bass.
Two-time All-Star, Whitt Merrfield, was also added to the mix (although there is some concern over his vaccination status).
Throw in Toronto’s solid play of late and its all-star studs and one can see how the Jays remain dangerous. That is, even if their record doesn’t entirely indicate it.
The Jays’ regular season wraps up Oct.5.