|Too much early love for Blue Jays||| Print ||
Written by Jim Mancari (Contact & Archive) on February 28, 2013
Based on the early Las Vegas odds, the Toronto Blue Jays will cruise to an easy AL East division title, fly through the playoffs and hoist the 2013 World Series trophy in eight months.
But hold on just a minute.
Sure, the Blue Jays significantly improved their roster. Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle came over in a blockbuster deal with the Miami Marlins, and 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey was acquired in a trade with the New York Mets.
While all these players are extremely talented, the Mets and Marlins were the teams bringing up the rear in the NL East. If these players couldn't help those teams win, why should things be any different with their new team?
The other core members of the Blue Jays, like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero, formed a more competitive team than the Mets and Marlins. But still, that doesn't mean the Blue Jays should be the favorites.
Just look at the AL East. The New York Yankees lost a few major players, but they are always a factor in the division. The Tampa Rays still have a tremendous pitching staff even after losing James Shields to the Kansas City Royals. And the Baltimore Orioles are coming off a playoff berth.
That's just the division. It's strange to see the Blue Jays ahead of the reigning AL champion Detroit Tigers and significantly improved Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
It was a certainty that the Blue Jays' odds to win the World Series would increase this offseason after the roster overhaul. But so many question marks exist with the new roster.
How will Reyes adjust to the astroturf? His game is all about speed, but that surface may make him weary of injury, causing him to limit his main strength.
Dickey settled in nicely with the Mets the past three seasons, but how will he adjust to his new surroundings? Now that he's the reigning Cy Young award winner, will that added pressure finally make him crack under the pressure? And will his success translate to the AL?
Of course, there's the issue of whether Johnson will stay healthy. He's only made 30-plus starts twice in his seven seasons as a starter.
Bautista hit 27 home runs in just 92 games last season, but he suffered a wrist injury that ended his season early. He says he's healthy, but that could be a lingering injury for a slugger like him.
Encarnacion was a player with middling power his entire career before bashing 42 home runs last season. To think he'll repeat that production is a lofty expectation.So with all these questions in clear sight, the Blue Jays will have to overcome lengthy odds to win the World Series this season. The realistic odds and the Las Vegas odds are way off at this point.