Blue Jays’ AL East Chances Double After 8-1 Run

Don’t look now, but here come the Blue Jays.

Basically given up for dead on the 2017 AL East betting odds as recently as a week ago, Toronto is moving its way back into contention.

A 3-game sweep of Cincinnati earlier this week at home improved the Jays to 8-1 in their last 9 games and pulled them to within a game of .500 at 26-27. They’re also just 5.5 games out of first place in the AL East, and their chances of winning the division have doubled from 18:1 to 9:1 in the past 8 days.

AL East Betting Odds

  • Red Sox +110
  • Yankees +140
  • Blue Jays +900
  • Orioles +1000
  • Rays: +1500
    (Odds as of June 1, 2017, and subject to change)

The Jays’ hot run has coincided with a slump by the Orioles, who have dropped behind Toronto into 4th on the AL East odds at +1000. Boston has gone 8-2 in its last 10 games to improve to 29-23 and sit 2 games behind the Yankees for first in the division, earning the Red Sox the +110 favourite’s role. New York (30-20 through 50 games) pays +140.

Toronto’s turnaround has been keyed by the returns of injured stars such as Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and JA Happ. Just as importantly, however, the Jays are finally hitting home runs again. Toronto hit the second-most round trippers in MLB in May, led by 9 bombs from a resurgent Jose Bautista.

The Blue Jays’ starting pitching also enjoyed a great month, but they continue to put a lot of stress on the bullpen. Toronto ranks 23rd in baseball in quality starts (6+ innings allowing 3 earned runs or less), leaving a lot of innings for the relievers to soak up.

It would help a lot to get Aaron Sanchez back to anchor the rotation, but it’s anybody’s guess when the 2016 American League ERA leader will be back.

Regardless, things look a lot better in Blue Jays Land on June 1 than they did on May 1. Another decent month and we’ll have another fun summer of meaningful baseball to watch in Canada.