All eyes are on Major League Baseball in the summer.
This gives the sport plenty of attention from both a viewership and a betting standpoint. There are, of course, other events to bet on throughout the summer but there's less competition compared to when all the Big 4 North American major sports are going and you have to prioritize what to spend your bankroll on.
For Toronto fans, that gives you plenty of time to indulge in baseball and familiarize yourself with how to bet on the Blue Jays, which we will walk you through below.
How to bet on the Blue Jays
There are many betting markets available to you when the Blue Jays play, which is nearly every day over a six-month stretch. You can wager on whether the Blue Jays will win or lose, how many runs they will score, or whether a player will go deep. And that’s just to start.
You will be presented with literally hundreds of more options at sportsbooks like NorthStar Bets every game. It will give you a good opportunity to find a betting market you feel confident wagering on regardless of if you want to stay away from the actual outcome of the contest.
|Blue Jays 2023 futures markets||Betting odds|
|Vladdy to win AL MVP||+1,400|
|Jays to win World Series||+1,300|
|Alek Manoah to win Cy Young||+1,300|
|Jays to win AL East||+190|
MLB odds as of 10:35 a.m. on 03/28/23.
Clicked linked odds above to add selection to your betslip.
No matchup is the same in any sport and that’s especially true in baseball. That's because the quality of the starting pitcher holds so much weight in determining the odds. The opponent, ballpark, and health of the roster are among the other areas that should factor into who and what you elect to bet on.
We’ll take a look at the common markets and offer strategies on how to find the best value when betting on the Blue Jays.
Let’s start with the moneyline, which is one of the most straightforward ways to make a bet. You simply wager on which team you think will win with no strings attached. That’s a moneyline bet.
Selecting the Blue Jays to beat the Oakland A's wouldn’t be even, though, since there are major discrepancies between the quality of the teams. Each club, as a result, is assigned a set of odds that determines its price and probability of winning.
The Blue Jays will be listed as either a favourite or underdog for every game they play. The favourite will have a minus (-) sign before its odds. The underdog, meanwhile, will be denoted with a plus (+) marker.
In the Jays and A's example, Toronto would likely be a heavy favourite nearly every time the teams met. Even more so if it was at home with one of its better pitchers on the mound.
Assuming you believe the Blue Jays will win that hypothetical game, you now have to decide whether it is worth taking them on the moneyline. Let’s figure that out.
How to bet on the Blue Jays moneyline
Remember that odds will change greatly depending on who the starting pitcher is but for this matchup we are going to select Alek Manoah as Toronto’s starter, which would make the Blue Jays a heavy favourite against nearly any pitcher the A's deployed.
Here’s a quick example of how those odds would be presented.
Blue Jays (-240) vs. A's (+195)
Those odds tell you what your potential earnings would be if you won your bet and the implied probability of each team’s chances of winning that contest, both things that are important when determining which team to bet on.
Upsets happen in baseball every night, so you need to determine if that’s a price you are willing to pay to back the Blue Jays even though you’ve established you believe they will win. The short answer to that should be no because the risk outweighs the reward when it comes to betting on the Blue Jays moneyline.
Why? Because upsets happen and spending $240 to win $100 is not a great return on investment.
But since you don’t believe the A's will win, they don’t make a great play either despite having a strong ROI. That doesn’t mean you don’t have any options to bet on the outcome of the game. It just means that the moneyline isn’t the right bet for you.
We'll provide a couple of other moneyline examples since Toronto isn't going to be a heavy favourite like that every game.
In an even pitching matchup against a comparable team like the New York Yankees, the odds would be more similar. The favourite could come down to which team is at home. On the road against Max Scherzer and the New York Mets, Toronto would certainly be an underdog. Let’s look at each example.
Red Sox (+115) at Blue Jays (-110)
Blue Jays (+130) at Red Sox (-120)
Blue Jays (+160) at Mets (-155)
The Blue Jays could be a good play in all three of those scenarios. At -155, the Mets are already creeping into low value. No matter how good Scherzer is, New York isn’t going to win every game he starts. If Toronto has a solid pitcher going, there is good value here at +160 for a strong offensive team.
Knowing when to strike and when to pass is critical to achieving success. We'll look at a way you could wager on Toronto to win that A's game in our next section, which focuses on how to bet on the Blue Jays run line.
Run line betting
The run line is like the puck line in hockey and baseball’s version of the point spread. The run line is another way to bet on a team to win but it’s different from the moneyline because of the handicap that's set. It requires a team to win or lose by a small amount.
The run line is typically 1.5 and would require the favourite to win by at least two runs. It would also give the underdog a one-run cushion. That means it could lose the game as long as it wasn’t by more than one run and you would still win your bet.
While the Blue Jays moneyline wasn’t a great play for that A's matchup, it would become a lot more appealing with a handicap set. Toronto’s odds of winning this bet would drop at -1.5, so instead of taking the team on the ML at -240, you could get the Blue Jays on the run line at around -125.
Tacking on just one extra run for Toronto to win by would nearly double your return on every $100 spent.
This would provide a significantly better return on your investment. It's wise to turn to the run line when there's little value to be found on the moneyline.
For a good club like the Blue Jays, you will likely find the run line to be the better and more profitable play when they are playing bottom-feeder teams.
You can also select to bet on alternative run lines. While the 1.5 run line reduced the juice (the cut you are paying to the sportsbook to place your wager) you’d pay on the moneyline, with the odds going from -240 to -125, you could get a favourite at plus-money odds by backing them at an even greater handicap.
If you’re confident in the Jays handling Oakland, you could take Toronto -2.5 and the odds would then change to something like +160. The Blue Jays would then have to win by three runs or more for your bet to cash.
First five innings betting
Betting on a portion of a game is popular in many sports, and very much so in baseball. This is often done by wagering on the beginning chunk of the game and is known as first five (F5) betting.
What does it mean? You wager on who you think will be in the lead after five innings. You can place a moneyline or run line bet under this scenario, and you can also wager on the total. Your bet is only tied to those first five innings, so it wouldn't matter how the game unfolds after that.
Why the first five? Because the bet, in theory, is tied to the starting pitchers. It attempts to strip out what happens later in the game when the bullpens get involved.
The starting pitchers largely determine which team is favoured. You place your pregame bets knowing who will be on the mound but you have no certainty on which pitchers will follow them in relief.
A shaky bullpen can not only waste a strong performance by the starting pitcher but it can also cost you your bet. You may love Manoah to excel in a particular matchup but even if he does, a late-game meltdown by the bullpen could prevent your bet from cashing if you backed Toronto on the moneyline.
Instead, you could elect to bet Toronto to win the first five innings while you have more certainty on who's pitching.
You could also fade teams under this scenario. If you suspect a starting pitcher is going to do poorly, you could place an F5 bet against his team. The Blue Jays were fifth in MLB in 2022 in runs per game through the first five innings.
Totals are another popular way to bet on MLB. A total number of runs that the two teams have to either go over or under will be set before each contest, and you can bet on either option. Totals are typically set around 7.5-10.5. Factors that determine it include the quality of the offences and the ballpark the game is played at.
A hitter-friendly stadium hosting a matchup between two strong offences with below-average pitchers starting is going to see a high total. It could very well exceed that 10.5 number. On the contrary, good pitchers at a park that suppresses offence will have a low total, perhaps even 6.5.
You will see totals referred to as the over/under and O/U. They all mean the same thing.
A Scherzer/Kevin Gausman matchup at the Mets’ Citi Field, a park that historically hasn’t been a great offensive environment, will see a lower total than a Blue Jays and A's game in Toronto.
How to bet on the Blue Jays O/U
Let’s say the O/U is set at 8.5 for that Blue Jays and A's game. The odds for either the over or under will be similar, but they can shade to one side. That’s the same with betting the over/under on player props, too, which we will get to in our next how to bet on the Blue Jays section.
The over might be -110 while the under comes in at +120. That's a result of how likely the outcomes are and the type of action the sportsbook is getting.
You can also bet the O/U on a team’s total as well. This number will be set lower since it only accounts for one side's production. Toronto’s team total would be set around 5.5 for that A's game.
When looking at totals, make sure to check how each team fares in that category. Many sites track a team’s over/under record. This can be a useful tool when determining which side to place your bet on.
Like the run line, you will also have the option to wager on alternative game totals as well.
Props are another way to bet and involve wagering on certain games or individual outcomes that have nothing to do with the winner or loser of the contest.
For instance, you could bet on the total number of home runs Toronto will launch in a game or how many hits the two teams will record. You can also wager on specific player outcomes, like how many strikeouts Chris Bassitt will total. There will be many more options for each game.
These props, like a game total, come with a set number that allows the bettor to either make a wager on the over or under. For pitchers, these numbers will vary quite a bit from one arm to the next.
Bassitt, for instance, would have his strikeout prop number set lower than someone like Justin Verlander. Here’s an example of how each could look:
Bassitt: over 5.5 strikeouts (-135); under 5.5 strikeouts (+105)
Verlander: over 8.5 strikeouts (+100); under 8.5 strikeouts (-115)
Paying attention to the opponent, how it fares against a right-handed pitcher versus a lefty, and its swing-and-miss tendencies are important when deciding whether to bet the over or under on strikeout props.
Total bases for position players follow the same O/U format. The number is usually set at 1.5 and you'd have the option to bet the over or under. For reference: a single counts as one total base, a double is two, a triple is three, and a home run is four. Walks do not count toward total bases.
So if you’re confident that George Springer will collect an extra-base hit at any point during a game, then you would want to wager on the over for that 1.5 total bases prop. Home run props for individual players are also popular.
Parlays and more
Parlays involve placing multiple bets on a single ticket. In order for your bet to cash, you have to correctly predict every event (known as legs). If even one event is wrong, you lose your bet.
There are many different parlays combinations you can build every night, such as picking the Blue Jays and Yankees both to win. Totals, run lines and props can be part of a parlay as well.
You can find pre-built parlays at NorthStar Bets and also create your own same-game parlay.
What we mean by that is you could make separate wagers on Jose Berrios’ strikeout prop, the Blue Jays to beat the Orioles, and for them to score a certain amount of runs. But there may already be a pre-built option to bet on all those outcomes with one wager. Or one you could build your own from scratch.
It could look something like this:
Blue Jays to win, Berrios over 7.5 strikeouts, over 8.5 total runs.
You would get plus odds on that type of bet because all three of those outcomes would have to occur in order for you to win. That would decrease your chances of winning the bet but increase your potential payout. That's why they are attractive to bettors.
There are many more ways to wager on the Blue Jays, with live betting representing another popular betting market. The futures market is also active, where you can bet on the Blue Jays to win their division, the World Series, and on individual player accomplishments, such as the MVP winner.
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