George Springer 2021 Outlook: Blue Jays Betting, Fantasy Baseball Tips
George Springer 2021 Outlook, Blue Jays Bet: George Springer has officially moved to the great white beyond. No, not heaven, but close — Toronto (well, technically Buffalo for 2021 but nevermind that). We’re looking at Springer’s signing and
Springer moves from one potent lineup to another with his departure from the former World Series-champion Houston Astros to his new home with the Toronto Blue Jays.
George Springer 2021 Outlook: MLB Betting, Fantasy Baseball Tips
Springer signed a six-year, $150 million dollar deal that will essentially last him the rest of his career. The 31-year old outfielder entered free agency for the first time in his career and made sure to cash out.
This move is not only economically wise, but also great for his legacy! The Blue Jays are entering a renaissance period. They are aching for a return to relevance after a half-decade of mediocrity and are chock-full of young talent that will be discussed throughout this piece.
George Springer: 2020 Review
George Springer’s 2020 season was incredible, yet par-for-the-course. Springer did not have a career year in this COVID-shortened season, but the numbers he put up were more than enough to earn the contract he did. Springer produced 14 home runs, 37 runs, 32 RBI, a .265/.359/.540 (AVG/OBP/SLG) slash line and the lowest strikeout rate of his career (17.1%).
What’s most tantalizing with Springer here is that his numbers SHOULD have been even better! According to Statcast, his expected batting average (.294) and slugging percentage (.570) were higher than his actual.
Now, these numbers should always be taken with a grain of salt and considered more descriptive than predictive. The expected rates just suggest that Springer hit the ball very well.
George Springer: 2021 Fantasy Outlook
Springer’s 2021 season should be full of production assuming he is at full strength. He is at the peak of his powers with his highest career wRC+ seasons coming since 2019. While Springer is not getting any younger at age 31, rest assured that an MLB player can still be effective in their 30s. This misnomer needs to be dismissed among fantasy players who disregard “older” players in drafts when in reality, it is guys like Springer who can help win your leagues.
Is he less motivated after signing a massive deal? Maybe! We are not George Springer and do not have a direct Being John Malkovich-esque look into his psyche, but as far as fantasy is considered, he should be fine even if with a slight underperformance thanks to the offense surrounding him.
The Blue Jays have legitimate All-Star — and, not to speak too soon, but possibly Hall-of-Fame — talent — among their hitters. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette were top-10 prospects, respectively, while Vladito was the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball just two years ago. They possess an elite pedigree and have already proven ready at the MLB-level.
Cavan Biggio, the lesser of the name-brand trio by default, is also extremely valuable to any lineup and has proven above-average through his first two MLB seasons.
Going beyond the recognizable talent, Toronto is home to Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Rowdy Tellez, and Randal Grichuk. All are skilled hitters who round out the lineup nicely and provide back-end protection for the offense as a whole.
No man is left out to dry in the lineup at full strength. Even the catcher duo of Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk should prove valuable given Jansen’s untapped skill set and Kirk’s flashes in 2020.
Springer should be in for as good of a year as he has in the past or even better with this blossoming team. There could even be a little Easter egg if his stolen bases return. Springer’s sprint speed is still in the upper percentiles, and now he’s playing for an organization that might not be as analytically inclined as the Astros.
However, the Blue Jays do not have much of precedent over the past few seasons running wild (outside of Jonathan Villar last year), but that is likely due to their lineups playing so power-heavy. Springer has not stolen more than 6 bases since 2016 and only once has hit double digits (16 in 2015).
He’s probably just not a good base-stealer even though he is fast. Getting caught stealing 31 times in 79 career attempts is usually indicative of that.
Nevertheless, if he can rack up 8-10 steals this season to complement the rest of his production — whew, that is enough to turn heads and display second-round value in a 12-team standard draft.
Fair warning: Though Springer has not missed *too* much time with injury throughout his career, he is notably injury-prone and did deal with a back issue as recently as 2019. Getting older does not help anyone’s case for health and playing the field certainly does not help. If the Blue Jays can afford to DH him more often than he has throughout his career (just 3 DH appearances in 2020), then there should be little-to-no worry.
Blue Jays Win Total Bet?
There will be plenty of deserved pessimism with the Blue Jays even with their recent additions of Springer and Kirby Yates. They have not won 90 games since 2015 and have been losers (below .500) since 2017.
At the moment, it is hard to find a bettable line for the Blue Jays, but assuming that it is going to be over .500 — say 83 or 84 wins (in a 162-game season) — there is reason to bet the over.
The market will not make this line egregious. Median outcomes are typically what is at play, and we want to project that the natural progression of the Jays’ young core along with their offseason additions will push them beyond average territory from their recent state of dismay.
The biggest anchor for this Toronto team is its starting pitching. They have a great No. 1 starter in Hyun Jin Ryu, but his past is riddled with health issues, and he’ll turn 34 years old during the 2021 MLB season.
Robbie Ray is just a project at this point. Nate Pearson‘s arm could fall off at any moment with how fast he throws. Plus, he wasn’t effective last year and has had trouble racking up strikeouts his last few go-arounds in the minors.
Tanner Roark is an innings eater at best. While Stripling is a bounce-back candidate, he endured an AWFUL 2020.
There are plenty of holes in this rotation, and outside of an outside addition or fluke improvements from multiple arms, it is hard to envision this team winning on the back of its starting pitching.
Luckily, the addition of Yates strengthens the back end of a bullpen containing quality pieces in Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis. Tyler Chatwood could help as well in long relief.
If the line has the Blue Jays around .500 or slightly higher, smash that Over. If it is closer to the high-80s in wins, the Under or passing altogether ight be best. Toronto’s offense can only do so much.
Blue Jays AL East Division Win Bet?
Toronto stands at +450 to win their division according to BetMGM. While I do not believe that the Jays are the best team in the AL East, this bet is not the worst to make given that season-long injuries can take their toll on just about anybody.
The Tampa Bay and New York Yankees are better-constructed with their teams as a whole, but the Yankees have proven fragile, and the Rays just traded their ace Blake Snell and are cheap. Tampa has the farm system and developmental strength, but their team could end up with a World Series hangover.
The Blue Jays bet is not the strongest given that they have not won the division since 2015, but I’d take it over any of the other teams in this division. Stranger things have happened, and they are still looking to buy.
Blue Jays World Series Futures Bet?
BetMGM has the Blue Jays currently at +3000 to win the World Series.
While I believe that this team should outproduce their regular season win-total and perform nicely for fantasy purposes, there is no way I’d put money on them to win it all. They are arguably not a top-three team in their own division, and while there is longshot appeal with the number, it just is not worth throwing money onto unless you’re the most optimistic fan.
Maybe next year, though.
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