Blue Jays’ 2021 World Series odds improve after adding Springer
The Toronto Blue Jays broke open their piggy bank on Tuesday when they signed center fielder George Springer to a six-year, $150 million contract, the largest deal in franchise history. Oddsmakers took notice almost immediately, dropping the Blue Jays’ odds to win the World Series from +4000 to +3300, and eventually down to +3000, where it currently rests. We’ll dive into the World Series market now and see if Toronto is a decent wager.
World Series 2021
Tue, November 2 2021, 11:00 PM
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees
San Diego Padres
Chicago White Sox
New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays
Springer brings impact bat and glove
Springer hit 20 or more homers in four straight seasons with the Houston Astros prior to the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, where he led his team with 14 longballs. The three-time All-Star has always stepped his game up in the postseason, as he ranks sixth all-time in slugging percentage (.546) in playoff games.
Springer injects another talented bat into a lineup that already included shortstop Bo Bichette, third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and outfielders Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez.
The career .270 hitter also brings a desperately-needed ‘plus’ glove to the outfield for the Blue Jays. Springer accounted for six defensive runs saved (DRS) in center field last season, good for fifth at his position. Toronto center fielders accounted for minus-7 DRS in 2020, tied for fifth-worst in the majors.
Bettors not concerned by bad Brantley rumors
Various social media reports had the Blue Jays signing Michael Brantley to a three-year deal on Wednesday, but those rumors were quickly shot down by the team.
Blue Jays official refutes my earlier tweet on source re: 3 yr deal. “The team remains interested in Michael Brantley but there is no deal currently in place.”— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) January 20, 2021
Hours later, the Astros finalized a two-year, $32 million deal with their other star outfielder. Apparently unfazed, bettors continued to knock down Toronto’s World Series odds from +3300 to +3000.
AL East seems ripe for the picking
The New York Yankees are the -200 favorites to win the AL East in 2021. Though they managed to re-sign All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu, they are still struggling to retain starting pitchers. Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton are both still free agents, and J.A. Happ has left for the Minnesota Twins.
There are a lot of ‘question marks’ in the Bombers’ projected rotation, aside from Gerrit Cole. Add in their powerful but fragile lineup led by Aaron Judge, and the Yankees look like a shaky favorite.
The Tampa Bay Rays are second-choice at +350, but their trading away Blake Snell this offseason was not a move that inspired confidence.
Taking the Blue Jays to win the AL East at +450 seems like a wise wager at a nice price. Toronto has a capable lineup following the addition of Springer, an ace starter in Hyun-Jin Ryu, a promising pitching prospect in Nate Pearson, and several rotation pieces like Robbie Ray capable of bounce-back years. The Blue Jays also have the assets after years of rebuilding to seek whatever help they might need on the trade market this season.
The World Series might still be a year or two away for this franchise, but believers might want to sprinkle a little something on Toronto in this market just in case.