The Toronto Blue Jays made one of the biggest offseason splashes in all of baseball. They signed LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year $80 million contract. Ryu was one of the most sought after free agents after leading the National League in ERA and finishing second in Cy-Young voting. Blue Jays management is serious about winning after a 95-loss season. There is plenty of young talent on the roster and now veterans have been added to the core. RHP’s Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark were signed to strengthen the rotation – a major weakness last season. The 2020 Blue Jays are shaping up to be much improved.
2020 Future Odds for the Blue Jays (FanDuel Sportsbook)
- Regular Season Wins 74.5 (over -116/Under -106)
- American League East Winners: +5000
- Win American League: +7500
- World Series Champions: +10000
The rotation this season will be vastly improved compared to a year ago. They now have a number one ace to lean on in Hyun-Jin Ryu. He was sensational for the Dodgers in 2019, putting up a 14-5 record with a league-best 2.32 ERA. Veterans Chase Anderson, Tanner Roark, and Matt Shoemaker will hold down the next three spots in the rotation. They have logged hundreds of innings in the big leagues and should be able to provide plenty of quality starts. The final rotation spot will likely go to Shun Yamaguchi, a Japanese “fork-baller” the Blue Jays signed in the offseason. After a continuous revolving door to the starting pitching position in 2019, there is a reason for optimism in 2020.
Closer Ken Giles is the biggest household name in the Blue Jays’ bullpen once again. The Jays resigned him to a one-year, $9.6 million contract after last year. He was nearly unhittable, posting a 1.87 ERA to go along with a 1.00 WHIP in his second season with the Blue Jays. After Jays, there are plenty of question marks in the Jays’ bullpen. Wilmer Font, Sam Gaviglio, Anthony Bass, Thomas Pannone, and Jordan Romano are all options out of the ‘pen as of today.
The Blue Jays are led by young stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, Lourdes Guerriel Jr, and Cavan Biggio. All of these players are uber-talented and made great strides in limited games. In 2019, the Blue Jays ranked 29th in batting average and 23rd in total runs. They will have to improve upon these marks if they plan on gaining ground in the competitive AL East. Off-season acquisition Travis Shaw will hopefully provide more production from the first base position for the Jays. With the younger talent poised to put up even better numbers this season, the Jays could take a step forward in 2020. Big things are expected from former number one prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr. in his second season.
After going 67-95 in 2019, I expect a much better all-around Blue Jays team in 2020. With their projected win total set at 74.5, I definitely think the Blue Jays can surpass this mark. The starting pitching rotation is greatly improved and loaded with veteran experience. Having a healthy rotation will be crucial for the team this season. Their roster is loaded with plenty of young talent, and their hitters are ready to take the next step. A couple of moves need to be made to strengthen their thin bullpen. While I do not expect the Jays to make the playoffs, I think they can win over 75 wins this season.
Pick: Blue Jays Over 74.5 wins in 2020