Christian Petersen

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  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s arrival in the major leagues is as highly anticipated as they come. So naturally, his first big league season comes with a ton of prop bets. OddsShark has you covered on all things Blue Jays and their x-factor, Vlad Jr.
By OddsShark
March 06, 2019

The American League East has two of the top contenders on the AL pennant and World Series odds this year: the defending champion Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. But to be competitive, the Toronto Blue Jays are banking on Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a rookie who many believe will eventually become one of baseball's biggest stars.

The Blue Jays are the +2500 fourth choice (bet $100 to win $2,500) on the American League East odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, behind the favored Yankees (+100), Red Sox (+125) and Tampa Bay Rays (+800). The Baltimore Orioles finished an MLB-worst 47-115 a year ago, and they are +10000 longshots to win the division.

The big question for Toronto––when will Guerrero be called up to the major leagues? You can currently bet on how many at-bats he will have this season, with the over/under total set at 495.5 on the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. odds. The Blue Jays were just 73-89 in 2018, so there will be pressure on them to win in 2019, meaning he could be on the roster much sooner than later this year.

All signs point to Guerrero starting the season in the minors, as is the case with many top prospects that are MLB-ready when spring training ends. If the Blue Jays delay Guerrero’s big league debut a few weeks, they retain control of his contract for an additional year before he reaches free agency. For a player with as much upside as Guerrero on a team that likely won’t contend this season, it would be counterproductive for the organization to feature him on the Opening Day roster. The Cubs did the same thing with Kris Bryant in 2015, despite his monstrous performance during spring training, and he went on to win the NL Rookie of the Year award unanimously.

Other props involving Guerrero feature his MLB batting average and the total home runs he will hit in the 2019 season. Last year, Guerrero hit .336 with six home runs and 16 RBI in 30 games at Triple-A Buffalo after posting a .402 batting average, 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 61 games with Double-A New Hampshire. The over/under on his batting average at the MLB level is .2955, with the total on his home runs set at 23.5.

If Guerrero can log more than 500 at-bats with the Blue Jays this season, he should be able to go over the 23.5 home runs, while the batting average is a tougher wager.

Finally, Guerrero is +160 on the odds to win AL Rookie of the Year honors, and he is a +500 longer shot to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers on March 28. If you want to bet the "No" side on either prop, you will need to pay a high price. Taking the field against Guerrero to earn AL Rookie of the Year is -200 (bet $200 to win $100) while it is -800 for him not to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day.

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