JAYS FROM THE COUCH WANTS TO MAKE YOUR START TO THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS SEASON A LITTLE MORE INTERESTING WITH SOME WILD PROP BETS
Opening Day is upon us! Today is the day in the MLB where just about every fan has hopes of their team making the playoffs this October. To make things a bit more interesting to the start of the season for Toronto Blue Jays fan, why not make some picks on some ridiculous preseason prop bets. Now I’m not a bookie at all, you can’t bet real money on these. But if you like, you can send me your over under projections on Twitter @Spenred, and I will announce a winner of this contest at the end of the year.
DISCLAIMER– This is not a gambling site, nor should it be taken as advice for one. So, with that said, let’s get right into it –
Over/under Joe Biagini 7.5 saves
This one got a lot more interesting with the news that Roberto Osuna will mill time at the start of the season, making Biagini the primary closer to start the season. Picking the over also means you’re probably projecting Grilli to have a subpar season, pick the under and you’re seeing Biagini as primarily a middle inning reliever. I’m taking the over on this one.
Last year this race was actually pretty close. Josh Donaldson had 37 home runs, while the struggling Smoak had 34 runs batted in. Smoak will probably see some increased time at 1B this year, but as we know Donaldson struggled down the stretch last year hitting three in the month of September. With the increased playing time it’s hard to see Smoak getting less than 40RBI’s this season, Donaldson might easily have over 40 home runs this season, but the likelihood of that is much slimmer. I’m taking Smoak more RBI’s.
Devon Travis over/under 120 games played this year?
The start of the season makes this tough as well, but as of right now Travis will start the year for the Blue Jays at 2B. I see big things out of Travis this season, as the becomes the Blue Jays permanent option at the leadoff position. I’m taking over 120 games, by a large margin.
Who will pitch more innings this year? Stroman or Sanchez?
This battle of who is the Blue Jays ace is kinda fun, and it’s a competition that benefits all Blue Jays fan. Sanchez won’t be on an innings limit this year, and will be pitching deep into games most starts. Stroman last year pitched 204 innings, and with an impressive WBC he should get over the 200 innings hump yet again. This is a really tough call, but I think I’m picking Stroman by a slight margin to take this one.
Over/under Kevin Pillar .325OBP
Pillar has been a pretty frustrating AB these past two season, sporting a .303OBP, 4.1% BB percentage last season. The offseason signs show Pillar has a new approach at the plate, with a new approach it would be obvious that he would go over that mark. .325OBP is around league average last year, and that seems achievable for Pillar. I’m picking the over.
Marco Estrada WAR over/under 1.5
Estrada is a very good pitcher, and will take the mound today against the Orioles. Last year he had his best season to date, even if he doesn’t perform to the same level 1.5 is a pretty steep drop from his 3WAR last season. I’m going over.
Over/under Roberto Osuna throw 2.5 pitches over =>100mph
This one is really tough. 2.5 doesn’t seem like a lot, but Osuna only threw 1 pitch last season 100mph or more. With an injury to start the season, Osuna might have to work his velocity back from injury. I’m taking the under.
Justin Smoak K% over/under 26.5%
Last season, Smoak finished his 341 plate appearances with a 32.8% strike out percentage. With more playing time, hopefully Smoak can settle in a bit more and control his strike out rate. Despite more playing time, I’m not too positive Smoak will have some sort of breakout season at the plate this year. I’m taking the over.
Russell Martin over/under 8.5 opposite field home runs
Martin finished the season with 20 home runs last season, seven of them to the opposite field. With his career high in HR’s being 23 (his first year in Toronto), it’s tough to imagine Martin getting an insane increase in home runs this season. I think he gets eight, so I’m going under.
Jason Grilli over/under 76.5 LOB%
Grilli’s final season numbers don’t give you a full story of what his season was like last year. With his 17 IP with Atlanta, he had a 5.29 ERA, 4.44 FIP, and a 69.9% LOB%. When he pitched in Toronto, Grilli fist pumped his way to a 3.64ERA, 4.29FIP, and 84.2% LOB%. 76.5% is around last year’s league average for relievers. Depending on how you project Grilli doing this season, I personally think this will be pretty close, but ultimately I see him LOB% dropping. I’m taking the under.
Jose Bautista over/under 0.91 BB/K
Last year, was a year to forget for Bautista. Despite his poor season he still finished with a 0.84 BB/K. Without Edwin behind him, pitchers will probably be pitching around Bautista a bit more this season. I’m going over on this one.
John Gibbons ejections over/under 6.5
Gibbons had a stretch last year where he basically missed four games with a ton of ejections. With the crazy replay reviews seen during the Yankees and Rays game yesterday, I could see a very angry Gibby this season. At the same time life is good for Gibbons right now, with a contract extension already signed he might be a bit more at ease. I’m going happy Gibby, under.
John Gibbons replays overturned over/under 40.5%
Last season, the Blue Jays John Gibbons reviewed 55 plays and 20 of them were overturned, 36.36% in total. The previous two season, the Blue Jays have posted similar replay review challenge success rate. This one is tough, I’m going under.
Blue Jays over/under 84.5 wins
The AL East is going to be very competitive this year, the rotation is one of the strongest in the American League, the bullpen has become a strength, and the lineup still looks good. The depth at SP is an issue, but come October, I fully expect the Blue Jays to see post season baseball again. They could win 86 games this year, I’m going over.
Josh Donaldson over/under 3.5 place in MVP voting
If the Blue Jays hope to be successful this year, they will need to get big production out of their best player, Donaldson. Mike Trout has never finished lower than second in MVP voting, so I automatically pencil him in. Players like Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts, multiple players on the Astors could make a case, maybe even Miguel Cabrera has a huge season at the plate. The competition is stacked, with basically two spots to potentially claim. The odds are stacked against Donaldson, I’m going under.
Again if you would like to participate in these over/under feel free to send me your projections on Twitter (@Spenred), or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll take them down and announce a winner at then end of the season, along with updates along the way.
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Keith Allison- UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Spencer Redmond is a Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. His loves in life are the NBA, MLB, Stats, and his dog Parker.