Blue Jays: Great betting value to win the World Series in 2021
According to most sports book, the Toronto Blue Jays are valued at 31 to 1 to take home the commissioners trophy in 2021.
I think this value is within the realm of reason. If the season were to be played 31 times over, there is good reason to believe they could make a few miracle runs. Perhaps the sports books think lowly of the Blue Jays chances of bolstering the roster this offseason considering the fact that the World Series odds for the Jays has been relatively stagnant since midseason in 2020 when it bounced between +3000 and +3500.
Given the Blue Jays ties to just about every free agent, I find it highly unlikely that they don’t objectively improve in some manner, thus making the current odds desirable for bettors in terms of its value.
Some of the teams valued higher than the Jays make absolutely no sense. I’m going to break down a couple of the clubs that in my view, are incorrectly valued ahead of the Jays.
1. Cincinnati Reds
I’m not an expert oddsmaker, but I’m not sure what world the Cincinnati Reds should be ranked ahead of the Jays. On the sports book, the Reds are valued at 21 to 1 to win it all. Sorry Reds fans, but your team is completely cash strapped by last offseason’s two 4 year, $64m contracts given to Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos.
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To add insult to injury, both of these modest contracts have been underwhelming to this point with Castellanos and Moustakas posting a mediocre 102 and 108 OPS+, respectively.
Not to mention, they are expected to lose their Cy Young man, Trevor Bauer in free agency and are imminently shopping their other two top starters Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo to shed salary. On top of all that, the Cincinnati Reds offence was abysmal last year, posting a terrible team OPS+ of 87 and ranking dead last in batting average.
With all that said, I’m not sure how a team who solely got around on pitching last season ranks 12th out of all the 30 teams in their chances to take home the world series when most of their top pitchers won’t even be rostered in 2021. If they were to lose all three of their top starters in Bauer, Gray and Castillo as has been rumoured, then I do not see this Reds club winning more than 70-75 games next year.
2. Cleveland Indians
Another team that shouldn’t be valued ahead of the Jays is the Indians who are 19 to 1 to win it all as per the book. The Indians do have decent roster as it stands but they are also another team that looks to start its rebuild phase. In the past few years, they have been perennial sellers and it doesn’t appear that the Indians have any intention to keep Francisco Lindor for opening day.
In addition to the Lindor trade rumours, their second best position player in Jose Ramirez has also been talked about as a trade chip. I don’t think a shoestring budget team that hasn’t been past the second round since 2016 and is subtracting should be valued inside the top 10 to win the world series. The odds are less than desirable for the Indians to win it all this year.
So why the disrespect from the oddsmakers?
There is an argument to be made that the reason the Jays are valued so disrespectfully (relatively speaking) is because the oddsmakers don’t think a club in a Canadian market will be able to add significantly to the roster. After all, the odds have been stagnant since midseason in 2020 which is an indicator that the oddsmakers may think the Jays will not improve a ton.
In the offseason preceding the 2013 season, the Jays claimed the throne as favourites to win the championship (7.5/1) as soon as they acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle through trades with the Mets and Marlins. Furthermore, the odds would presumably go up this offseason if the Jays significantly bolster the roster which is widely expected across the industry.
So if you’re like me and believe the Jays will significantly improve at some point in this offseason, then there is no reason that their odds shouldn’t be at least higher than it was throughout the second half of 2020 when it teetered between +3000 and +3500.
If you are a betting man, hammer the Jays to win the world series now as this will probably be the most desirable odds a bettor can get the Jays at throughout this offseason.