Ever since they last won the World Series in 1993, the Toronto Blue Jays have hardly been considered favourites to win again – a curse that seemed to haunt all of Toronto’s teams for years. However, after a number of high-profile player acquisitions this off-season, bookmakers have finally put the odds in favour of the Blue Jays taking the World Series, exactly 20 years after their last victory.
The Blue Jays have focused many of their offseason trades on rebuilding their pitching team from starters to relievers to closers. They started by acquiring young pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the Kansas City Royals, hoping to cash in on a good young arm. This was followed up with the addition of relief pitcher Esmil Rogers from the Cleveland Indians to put a new face in the bullpen. But the major acquisitions came as part of a blockbuster deal the Jays made with the Miami Marlins in November when the team acquired all-star pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson. This was rounded out in the week before Christmas with the signing of Cy Young Award winning pitcher R.A. Dickey – completing a lineup sports bettors say will be one of the strongest pitching teams in the MLB this season.
The Jays have added star shortstop Jose Reyes to the infield, along with Emilio Bonifacio who is competent at playing in several infield positions. The team has also put two a competent player behind home plate in signing catcher Josh Thole as part of the same deal with the New York Mets that brought Dickey onboard.
Toronto has been one of the most active teams in the MLB during the offseason, and sports bettors have recognized that fact. Before the signing of Dickey and Thole, Toronto had 10 in 1 odds of capturing the World Series for the 2013 season trailing only a few teams in the race for baseball’s coveted trophy. However, with the latest additions to the team, sportsbetting site Bovada.lv has put the odds in favour of the Jays winning the World Series this season. If they pull it off, it will be 20 years after their 1993 championship team finished a back to back victory.
The Blue Jays potential follows the Grey Cup victory of the Toronto Argonauts, which gave some athletic pride back to the city. It also comes at a time when Toronto’s most popular – yet pitiful – team the Toronto Maple Leafs remained sidelined in the ongoing NHL lockout, making the Jays potential all the more important for a city missing its favourite pastimes.