Late in the 2019 season, the Blue Jays farm system started paying handsome dividends. Second generation players Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio both put up big-time numbers with Biggio leading the team in OPS (.793). Bo Bichette joined the party and Lourdes Gurriel was showing extremely promising signs before injuries cut his season short.
Toronto finished 21st in starter’s ERA (5.25) last season but the bullpen had a more respectable 4.79 ERA. The Blue Jays also have some promising arms who could improve in their bullpen and pitchers such as Jacob Waguespack and Trent Thornton who might move out of the rotation and into a relief role.
The Blue Jays appear to be embracing a potential youth movement, as they parted ways with veteran Justin Smoak. They replaced him with a younger veteran in Travis Shaw, and will look to solidify their rough starting pitching with Hyun-Jin Ryu, who led MLB with a 2.32 ERA last season. They’ll look to Ken Giles to solidify their closer role and should expect some exciting offensive numbers from the top of their lineup, although they don’t necessarily have the depth necessary to compete in the AL East.
Even in a shortened season, the Blue Jays are true longshots to win their division, the AL pennant, or a World Series title. Toronto has been assigned +10000 odds to win the World Series at DraftKings Sportsbook, so a $10 bet would profit $1,000 in the unlikely event this young group wins it all. The Blue Jays are being given +5000 odds to win the AL and +2700 odds to win the AL East.
The Blue Jays team win total sits at 27.5 for the shortened season. Oddsmakers at DK are given bettors -120 odds on the Over and -105 odds on the Under, indicating they believe this young group can win close to 30 games in a 60-game season.
Blue Jays odds
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
Blue Jays betting breakdown
2019 Record: 67-95
Key losses: 1B Justin Smoak, RP Ryan Tepera, IF Richard Urena, RP Derek Law (Rangers), C Luke Maile (Pirates), LP Clayton Richard
Key additions: LP Hyun-Jin Ryu, IF Travis Shaw, 2B Tanner Roark, 2B Joe Panik, RP A.J. Cole, RP Anthony Bass
1. SS Bo Bichette (R)
2. 2B Cavan Biggio (L)
3. LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr (R)
4. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R)
5. 1B Travis Shaw (L)
6. RF Teoscar Hernandez (R)
7. CF Randal Grichuk (R)
8. DH Rowdy Tellez (L)
9. C Danny Jansen (R)
Projected rotation: LP Hyun-Jin Ryu, RP Tanner Roark, RP Chase Anderson, RP Matt Shoemaker, RP Trent Thornton, *RP Shun Yamaguchi
Projected closer: RP Ken Giles
Bullpen strengths: Jacob Waguespack appeared in 16 games and started 13 of them going 5-5 with a 4.38 ERA and could be used more often in the bullpen this season. He could be utilized as an innings eater relief man to anchor a crowded situation in the pen. Trent Thornton and Shun Yamaguchi may also be used in similar roles.
Bullpen weaknesses: The Jays bullpen has a lot of options but some are young who might be used for shorter stints. Sean Reid-Foley has only appeared in 16 games with a 4.71 ERA. Yennsy Diaz is another young arm who might be called upon more often for short relief despite appearing in only one game in 2019.
Key stats from 2019
- New signee Hyun-Jin Ryu led the Majors with a 2.32 ERA in 2019.
- Guerroro made a splash in his rookie season hitting .272 ERA with 15 HR and 69 RBIs.
- Cavan Biggio led the team last season with a .793 OPS.
- Justin Smoak was the only batter in the Blue Jays top 10 in BA who was 30 years old or older. (Smoak is now on the Brewers). Gurriel, Guerrero, Biggio were three of the top four and all under the age of 25.