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Toronto Blue Jays in Playoff Hunt? Payout Odds Great for Gamblers

Written by:
Ean Lamb
Published on:
Sep/11/2008
Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays opened the season as 40 to 1 long shots. At times during the 2008 Major League Baseball season, the Blue Jays odds were much longer than that.

Suddenly, the Blue Jays have come out of nowhere to top the New York Yankees in the competitive American League East. They sit 9 ½ games behind the leading Tampa Bay Rays, another surprise team of the season.

But only five teams in the American League have a better record than the Jays. Two of them are unfortunately in the AL East.

Tampa Bay's 14-inning, 4-2 win over Boston late last night means the Jays still trail the Red Sox by seven games in the wild-card race.

There is reason to be optimistic. The Toronto Blue Jays ended a 10 game win streak to the Chicago White Sox last night. Chicago is one of the teams that is ahead of Toronto in the standings.

It comes down to this: If the Jays do not win tonight's series closer, they will pack in the season, writes Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star.

Toronto plans to start all of A.J. Burnett, Jesse Litsch and Roy Halladay on short rest in the upcoming series at Fenway if they take three of four here. Big if.

"To stay alive, you have to think you have to win (tonight's game)," manager Cito Gaston said. "You have to win it to probably do what we want to do over in Boston as far as how we want to set up our rotation. If you don't win it, you might think differently about doing that."

The chances of the Toronto Blue Jays making the playoffs remain improbable at best, the Vancouver Sun points out. Then again, the odds do not exactly favour 10-game winning streaks, which Toronto achieved Tuesday by sweeping a split doubleheader with the Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox.

On Thursday night, Toronto was a huge -190 favorite to beat the White Sox and perhaps start another win streak. Sports Interaction - Canada's leading online sports book - was offering this line with Shaun Marcum slated to start.

Already the Boston papers are warning of that Toronto Blue Jays train.

Just in case you've been too busy filling out playoff ticket applications to catch the Red Sox and their ALDS opponent, something potentially crushing is beginning to pop its head out of the sand, sparking what should amount to at least a smidge of concern in Boston baseball fans.

Normally a 10-game winning streak from a team still 8½ games out of first place, seven in the wild card, would be filed under "Too Little, Too Late".

But consider the seven games remaining on the docket between Boston and Toronto, four this weekend at Fenway (including Saturday's doubleheader), three next weekend north of the Border (not to mention next week's series in Tampa, where the Sox are 0-6 this season), and the Jays are at the very least thinking of the damage they can do to Boston's division chances.

At most ... well, we're not quite there yet.

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