Somehow, the two 91-71 and 92-70 seasons put up by the Toronto Blue Jays have been very disappointing.
While the 2022 campaign saw the Blue Jays eventually land second in the heated AL East, it yielded yet another ALWC knockout: this time to the tune of a 2-0 letdown against the Seattle Mariners.
That said, after going 46-42 under Charlie Montoyo, Toronto flew up the standings under John Schneider with a 46-28 record to close the regular season.
It was a grand effort, and one that Canadian baseball fans will be hoping gets replicated in 2023. The leading odds in sport betting Canada has to offer certainly hold Toronto among the frontrunners for the World Series.
How Did the Blue Jays Do in the Offseason?
Looking to the upcoming MLB season, the Toronto Blue Jays needed pitching depth and to level up the outfield defence, which it appears to have done.
In came Chris Bassitt, Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Belt, Chad Green, Daulton Varsho, and Seattle’s breakout star, Erik Swanson.
Sending Silver Slugger-winner Teoscar Hernández to the Mariners raised eyebrows, as did sending away Lourdes Gurriel Jr, but both were important moves to change the ethos of the team.
Even with these high-profile outgoings, Toronto is stacked with talent in all areas, and now, it’s got a much more defence-minded setup which should, ultimately, make the Blue Jays better suited to a deep run in the playoffs.
Few would doubt the Blue Jays landing a postseason spot, and becoming more difficult to beat with an upgrade in the pitching department will – bar significant injuries or a complete collapse – enhance the team’s outlook.
On the field, a much more assured defensive approach can be expected, but this isn’t to say that the offence’s wings will be clipped.
There’s plenty of punch left for the Blue Jays after finishing with the fourth-best runs scored average in the overall standings (4.8), but the near-average 4.2 runs allowed should be shortened thanks to the team’s offseason moves.
Will the Toronto Blue Jays Win the 2023 World Series?
In the MLB odds, the Toronto Blue Jays are out at +1000 to win the 2023 World Series, putting Canada’s baseball club seventh in the rankings.
Ahead of the Blue Jays are the +550 Houston Astros, the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and New York Yankees at +750, and then the San Diego Padres at +850.
It’s clear that the oddsmakers haven’t yet landed on a clear favourite, with the baseball season being extremely arduous even before the pressure of the postseason arrives.
Importantly, the AL East race is seen as being a close battle, with the Blue Jays at +188 to take the crown for the first time since 2015 and the Yankees just ahead at +110.
In stark contrast to the odds, the preseason power rankings have the Blue Jays firmly in fourth, only behind the Braves, Astros, and Padres, while the Yankees sit in seventh.
Looking at what’s been added and how it will, on paper, realign the team, it’s tough to argue against a higher standing in the rankings to where the odds place the Blue Jays.
Given the run that they went on to end the 2022 regular season and the moves that addressed the most apparent areas of need, the Blue Jays should have shorter odds than +1000 to win the 2023 World Series.
Just pointing out that Yusei Kikuchi has a 0.00 ERA this spring 🔥 pic.twitter.com/DPrfOkkAQ1— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 13, 2023
So, coming into the new season, we should expect to see a more defensively resolute Blue Jays team that still boasts top-ten scoring power and can go further into the postseason than in the last two years.
*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*
FIRST PUBLISHED: 15th March 2023