The UFC’s final pay-per-view of the year kicks off this Saturday, December 11 from Las Vegas with two championship fights. Lightweight champ Charles Oliveira defends against rising superstar Dustin Poirier while the greatest female fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes defends her bantamweight strap against Julianna Pena. We went a perfect 3-0 with our UFC 268 picks and will look to stay hot.
MLB 2022 Betting Picks: Will This Finally Be The Blue Jays’ Year?
It was a disappointing finish for the Blue Jays’ 2021 season. This team was the hottest team in baseball heading to the postseason but fell one game short of qualifying. Toronto led the majors in homeruns and got an MVP performance from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. But 2022 promises another astounding season for the young Jays. Will they get the job done this time?
Toronto finished the 2021 MLB season with a 91-71 record and had a +183 run differential. Alas, the Blue Jays fell a game short of qualifying for the final Wild Card spot thanks in part to playing in the extremely tough division, the AL East.
In fact, the division has three of the top nine MLB teams according to the 2022 World Series odds. Here is where the Toronto Blue Jays measure against its peers:
|2022 MLB World Series Odds|
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees
Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Tampa Bay Rays
Recapping the 2021 Blue Jays Season
There were a lot of ”what ifs” for the Blue Jays in the 2021 season. What if they made the postseason? What if they played at the Rogers Centre to start the year? What if George Springer and Cavan Biggio stayed healthier? Either way, Toronto missed the playoffs despite winning 91 games, which was more than what the World Series champions won (88).
The Blue Jays were fairly consistent in the season and never had a losing month. On the betting lines, Toronto finished at about break-even on the moneyline thanks to a 22-9 record to finish the season.
However, Toronto’s games went under most of the time with 93 of their 162 games either going under or pushing (68-84-9). On the run line, the Jays finished just above the winning margin with an 86-76 record.
Toronto could have done better in close games, posting a 15-15 record as opposed to 31-15 in blowouts (5+ run differences). What was surprising for the Blue Jays was the pitching. Robbie Ray became the team’s ace and led the majors in ERA, strikeouts, and WHIP. Alex Manoah also stepped up as a rookie pitcher and finished behind Ray with the second-best ERA on the team.
For the offence, the Jays were one of the most prolific teams in baseball. It was tough to match a lineup led by the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Marcus Semien, and Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays led the majors in home runs, slugging rate, and OPS.
As unlucky as Toronto was to miss the playoffs, a lot of things went right for them. The Jays may find it difficult to replicate the season that they’ve just had. But if their offence stays hot and they get consistent pitching from at least three of their starters, Toronto may just make it to the postseason.
The Other Contenders: Toronto’s Main Competition
As the odds showed, the Blue Jays have plenty of competition for the Commissioner’s Trophy. Let’s review the five biggest contenders outside of Canada (odds from SportsInteraction (SIA)):
Los Angeles Dodgers – 6.00
The Dodgers stay as favourites to win the World Series after opening as one last season. Los Angeles finished second in their division but still won 106 games. On paper, this is still the most loaded team in baseball and having the shortest odds means they are the most “dependable” to at least make the playoffs. The odds were against them to repeat so maybe a year off means they go all the way again.
Houston Astros – 8.50
The much-maligned Astros came within two games of recapturing the World Series following their cheating scandal. They are second on most betting lines behind only the Dodgers. Houston finished the 2021 regular season with the most runs and the highest batting average. If their offence can continue to dominate, Houston may find itself in its fourth World Series.
New York Yankees - 10.00
The so-called “Bronx Bombers” were anything but as New York struggled on offence for large parts of the season. It was the only playoff team to have a losing record against its division thanks mainly to suffering a plethora of injuries to its pitching staff. If this team still won 92 games despite their struggles, imagine how good the team can be with better luck in 2022.
Chicago White Sox – 11.00
The White Sox have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors and despite getting throttled by the Astros, Chicago’s upside could continue to 2022. Like the Yankees, Chicago dealt with plenty of injuries in 2021. If it can maintain its pitching while getting healthier, Chicago should contend for another World Series.
SBR’s Pick – White Sox (11.00). The White Sox have one of the biggest upsides among the top-five World Series contenders. Pitching is arguably the most important aspect of a World Series winner as Atlanta showed against Houston. Chicago is also still a young team and getting better. The same was said with Atlanta last season so Chicago can become 2022′s Atlanta Braves.
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