Can The Toronto Blue Jays Turn It Around

The Toronto Blue Jays have made the ALCS in each of the last two years and were widely perceived as a solid contender in a competitive American League East again this year. They may still end up that way, but right now the Blue Jays are losing games hand over fist and costing their backers major money.

Toronto is 2-11 after losing last night at home to Boston—a game where the Red Sox were forced into calling up a minor leaguer Brian Johnson for an emergency start and he faced Blue Jay ace Marco Stroman. As bad as that record is, it’s even worse for bettors—because the Jays have been favored in 10 of 13 games, they’re (-995) betting units before the season is even a month old.

Now we come to the next logical question which is this—is now the time to invest in Toronto, to buy a stock when its value is at its lowest? Toronto’s odds to win the AL East have dropped to 10-1, as the market shifts them closer to the mediocre Tampa Bay Rays, rather than the trio of contenders in Boston, New York and Baltimore. Even if you don’t want to buy on the Blue Jays to win the division, that change in the market is going to show up in moneylines on a night-to-night basis.

Last year, Toronto had the best pitching in the American League. This year, it’s a train wreck. We have to face the reality that the Blue Jays’ staff likely did catch lightning in a bottle a year ago. J.A. Happ, at the age of 33 and never more than a low-end starter, won 20 games. It’s safe to say that isn’t going to happen again.

It’s true the Toronto staff has caught some bad breaks—Happ and Aaron Sanchez, the young starter who went 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA at the tender age of 23—are both dealing with injuries. But that just means the Blue Jays won’t rank 13th in the AL in ERA all year, like they do right now. By no means does it suggest that last year’s performance is going to reassert itself.

The Blue Jay lineup has been fearsome in the success of 2015-16 and most of the big names are still there. Jose Bautista has been awful, as has Russell Martin. Troy Tulowitzki hasn’t been much better. Josh Donaldson swung the bat well, but is now on the disabled list with a calf injury. And this feared offense is 14th in the American League in runs scored.

This is going to improve, but again, it’s reasonable to ask how much. All of these players, along with designated hitter Kendry Morales and left fielder Steve Pearce, are on the wrong side of 30.

On the positive side for betting Toronto we can simply say this—no baseball team is going to keep losing at this pace and certainly not one with as many established players as the Blue Jays. The key is going to be identifying the right spots and having a good sense of where the value lies.

Toronto may be off to a poor start, but Kelso Sturgeon’s baseball releases are winning at a profit-making level. Sign up for his Best Bets Club and be in action each day from now to the final out of the World Series.