Bo Bichette Blue Jays

What Bichette's Return Means For Blue Jays

Bo Bichette is back with the Blue Jays.

After a nearly three week absence due to a knee injury, the Jays' best player has returned to the lineup. What does that mean for handicapping the Jays? And how will Bichette's return impact Toronto's playoff chances?

Blue Jays Go As Bo Goes

Bichette currently leads the American League in hits, is batting .320, and has 18 homers. He's clearly Toronto's best hitter. So, it's unsurprising the Jays are better when he's on the field:

2023 Blue Jays Results with/Without Bichette
StatusRecordWin RateUnit Profit
With Bichette60-4855.6%-.69 Units
Without Bichette9-852.9%+.22 Units

The Jays go from a 91-win team to an 86-win team with Bichette out of the lineup. The trend holds up over time, too. In the last three seasons the Jays are 241-185 with Bo in the lineup (56.6% win rate) compared to 11-12 (47.8%) without him.

When Bo was hurt this year, Toronto's profitability from a moneyline perspective didn't changed much, though, as the books clearly adjusted for his absence. Betting totals were a different story.

Toronto UNDERs Galore Without Bichette

With arguably the best pitching staff in baseball and an underperforming lineup, the Jays have been one of baseball's best UNDER teams this season. And, when Bo is out, that MLB trend only heightens:

2023 Blue Jays UNDER trends
StatusUNDER RecordWin RateUnit ProfitRuns/Game
With Bichette58-44-656.8%+9.24.55
Without Bichette11-664.7%+3.84.06

With Bichette in the lineup, the Jays average 4.55 runs per game (which would rank 15th in MLB). Without him they put up 4.06 (which would rank 27th). Bichette alone is the difference between Toronto rocking an average offense compared to one at the level of the Royals and Marlins.

The impact goes beyond just Bichette's hitting, too. While guys like Brandon Belt and George Springer stepped up in the shortstop's absence, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slumped for the entire time he was out of the lineup.

Vladdy's not having his best season, overall, but things got even worse without Bo. Guerrero Jr. hit .228 with a .646 OPS without Bo beside him in the lineup, notching just one homer during the stretch.

Are Blue Jays Playoff Locks With Bichette Back?

When Bichette went on the IL, the Blue Jays sat 1.5 games up on a playoff spot. They were 3.5 games ahead of the Mariners, too. Now, three weeks later, the Jays are on the outside looking in, behind Seattle.

However, sportsbooks seem encouraged by Bichette's return. Despite sitting a game out of the playoffs, the Blue Jays' odds to make the postseason are -200, implying a 66.67% shot. As long as Bo stays healthy for the next five weeks, oddsmakers think the Jays can squeeze into October.