It’s been a long time since Blue Jays fans were this optimistic about Opening Day. Their team is loaded with several young stars and players in their prime. They come off a 91-win season in the competitive AL East.
The Blue Jays begin the 2022 season on April 8, at home against the Texas Rangers. embarking on what many expect to be a season of championship contention. It’s not just fans who have wide-eyed optimism for the Jays. Oddsmakers peg the team as one of the favorites to win the American League pennant.
Toronto is an exciting team to look at for your sports betting strategy this year. The roster has multiple players who are worth betting on for futures, and the team could reach several milestones.
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Player Futures: Vlad, Bo, & Matt Chapman
The Jays’ lineup is as potent as the team has had since the Robbie Alomar/John Olerud days. Last season, the team was one of four in the AL to average at least five runs per game. They might push to score 900 runs this year with the addition of third baseman Matt Chapman, and a healthy George Springer, who was limited to 78 games in 2021.
Here are three bets (with the best odds currently available) to look at for Toronto Blue Jays player futures:
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Most regular season hits:
- Bo Bichette – Most regular season runs scored:
- Matt Chapman – Most regular season RBIs: 201.00
Guerrero will play almost every day, and he’s a batting title contender. Expect close to 200 hits from him. And if he has a great season, that means Bo Bichette will touch home plate a lot. Last year Dante Bichette’s kid scored 121 runs and led the AL in hits with 191.
Finally, Chapman will hit fifth or maybe sixth, which means he’ll bat often with Bichette, Guerrero, Springer, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on base. That means RBI opportunities.
If you prefer, you could go with Springer for the home run title and/or RBI title. As we enter the season, he’s not listed on BetMGM Ontario, FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario, or Caesars Sportsbook Ontario for odds on either statistical leadership category, but if you think Springer is going to have a resurgent season like I do, wait to see his name to appear and make a wager on him.
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A Word About The MVP And The Blue Jays
What’s the downside of having 4-5 players on the same team who could have an MVP season? They will siphon votes from their teammates and make it increasingly difficult for a Blue Jay to win the honor. I’d stay away from the MVP market for Toronto, for that reason, and also because LA Angels stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout still exist.
But there is another awards market you should consider…
Alek Manoah And The Cy Young Award
When we last saw Alek Manoah he was finishing up his 2021 season with four outstanding starts where he allowed 13 hits in 26.2 IP, with 35 K’s and a 1.69 ERA. The tall righty finished eighth in Rookie of the Year voting, but he deserved a better fate. His rookie season was not only superb, it was historic.
Since the division era began in 1969, Manoah is one of 10 pitchers to post an ERA+ over 130 and a K/IP rate of at least 1.0 in his rookie season. Others on that list include Dwight Gooden, Walker Buehler, Jose Fernandez, and Hideo Nomo. It’s rare company, and even though he was limited to 111.2 innings last season, Manoah will be thrust into the role of Toronto’s ace.
I believe he’s ready for it, and wouldn’t be a bad longshot for the AL Cy Young Award. The best odds available for Manoah to win the AL Cy Young are at . That’s worth a $20 bet.
Best Bets For The Toronto Blue Jays
Each of the three sportsbooks surveyed for this article list the Blue Jays as the favorites to win the AL East. Last season, Toronto finished fourth, but it won 91 games. Every sportsbook has Toronto as a heavy favorite to at least make the playoffs.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky