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History Isn't on Blue Jays' Side in 2016

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays finally got the monkey off their back last season by making the playoffs for the first time since 1993, but an underwhelming offseason has many questioning if they can recapture the magic from 2015. An argument can be made that the team is a candidate for regression, thanks in part to no David Price type arm at the top of their rotation, but at +1000 to win the World Series at online sportsbook Bovada, they have the third best odds in the league at going all the way.

Analyzing their World Series odds, history isn’t on Jays’ side, as only two teams over the last 20 years (5%) to lose in an ALCS or NLCS went on to win the World Series the following year.

Using history as an indicator, their chances to win the AL pennant (+550) are much better, as seven teams to lose an LCS series since 1995 went on to play in the World Series the following year (17.5%).

The AL East should get back to its hyper-competitive ways this season with the Red Sox spending their way back into the mix, and the Yankees adding the game's best closer to an already strong bullpen and baseball’s second best offense in 2015. The Jays (+170) are slightly ahead of the Red Sox, who have the second best odds to win the division at +175. In the Wild Card era teams who win their division have gone on to be repeat champs 43% of the time, but the AL East has seen lots of parity since 2010, with each team capturing a division crown.

In terms of O/U win total, Bovada has the Jays pegged at 87.5 wins. Toronto won 93 games last season, which was the first time they surpassed the 87.5 mark since 1998 when they won 88 games. The Jays have averaged 81 wins over the last five season, but only one of those seasons featured defending American League MVP Josh Donaldson — the biggest difference maker in the Jays’ lineup.

On the positive side for the Jays (and don’t be mistaken, there are lots of positives), they are returning a lineup that had 127 more runs than any other team last season, who also led the league in home runs and total bases.

Perhaps an overlooked player on the Jays’ roster who could make their offense even more potent in 2016 is Troy Tulowitzki. The oft-injured five-time all-star hit just .239 with five homers in 41 regular season games with the Jays last season, but at 31-years-old, the career .297 hitter has the potential to put up some big numbers that can add a few extra W’s to the win column for the Jays if he can stay healthy.

If everything clicks for the Blue Jays like it did down the stretch last season, then they’ll be the American League’s top team. However, they enter the season with a few red flags that they’ll need to overcome. If not, the drama surrounding Jose Bautista’s contract status, a mediocre pitching staff and the lack of a pure leadoff hitter could derail the World Series dreams of Canadian baseball fans.

Click here for our 30 Teams in 30 Days preview page.

2016 blue jays Futures Odds
MarketOdds
World Series+1000
American League Pennant+550
American League East+170
Win Totals87.5

Odds as of April 1 at Bovada

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