Streaking Jays (06/24/13)

By John Ewing

How have the Blue Jays' odds changed since the beginning of their winning streak? Can Toronto contend for the AL East and the Wild Card?

The Blue Jays have won 11 games in a row, which ties a team record. Toronto now finds itself 5 games behind the AL East leading Red Sox and 3 games out of the Wild Card.

On May 4th the Jays were 10-21, since then the club has went 28-15. The Blue Jays have won 15 out of their last 18 games outscoring opponents 102-52.

A big reason for Toronto’s recent success has been their bullpen. On the year the bullpen has allowed 3.5 runs per nine innings. In the last 30 days, Casey Janssen, Steven Delabar, Neil Wagner, Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup have pitched 58.1 innings while giving up just 1.4 runs per nine innings (BaseballProspectus.com). Those same relievers have a 65:16 strikeout to walk ratio over the same time frame. While the numbers on the season for the bullpen are about average, they have thrown a league leading 267.1 innings. Quantity of innings pitched plus the recent performance has propelled the club to success.

Anatomy of the streak

  • During current win streak Toronto has outscored opponents 70-27.
  • The Jays have swept 3 consecutive series, first time since 1998.
  • Record of teams swept prior to facing Toronto: Texas (38-27), Colorado (37-33), Baltimore (42-31).
  • Toronto got above .500 for the first time all season with the 10th win on Saturday.

Blue Jays vs. Heat

The odds of Toronto winning 11 games in a row against the Rangers, Rockies, and Orioles were 1 in 2,500. Those were the same odds of the Miami Heat winning 23 games in a row. If Toronto manages to sweep the Rays, their next opponent, the winning streak would be at 14 games. The odds of the Blue Jays winning 14 games in a row are 1 in 20,000; far greater than the odds of the Heat winning 27 games in a row, which were 1 in 5,000.

Bettors love streaky teams

How have the odds changed for Toronto to win the World Series, AL Pennant, and AL East? Odds courtesy of Bovada.lv.

To Win Odds Prior to streak Odds After 11th Win
World Series 40/1 12/1
AL Pennant 16/1 13/2
AL East 15/1 5/2

Rankings and Projections

Prior to the streak Toronto was 14th in our Power Rankings, last in the AL East. Currently they are 9th in our most recent rankings, 2nd in the AL East behind Boston.

According to our MLB Season Projections on June 11th, prior to the start of the winning streak, Toronto was projected to go 78-84. Now the Jays are projected to finish 84-78, a six game increase is astounding.

On the horizon

Question: Now that Toronto is back in contention, can the club continue to win?

Answer: Jose Reyes may return to the team Thursday after being placed on the 60 day DL with an ankle injury. Reyes’ return paired with Brett Lawrie, coming off the DL in the next two weeks, could power the Blue Jays to the top of the AL East where many pundits predicted they would be at the beginning of the season.