After roaring back into the wild card hunt, Blue Jays suddenly collapse – losing 3 straight and dropping to 2 games back in the race
Toronto had won 18 of 22 games. But after being the hottest team in the majors for a month, they've dropped 2 straight to the lowly Twins – critical NY Yankees' series on deck.
What a difference a week makes.
Last weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays were the darlings of major league baseball. They'd not only made up a whopping 5 games in the American League wild card race, they leaped over four other teams into a presumptive playoff spot.
Last Sunday night, Toronto was +1.5 games up up in the standings, with the Yankees on the outside, looking in. Now, six days later – it's the Blue Jays who are -2 games out of the wild card race. It's hammer time.
A month ago, we called it. Here at POINSTSPREADS.CA, we noted the Blue Jays were primed to make a serious move in the playoff race. When September began, the Blue Jays were behind Boston, NY Yankees, and Oakland. Even Seattle was neck a neck with Toronto. Their task appeared almost insurmountable. We pointed out the Blue Jays had to play at the top of their game and beat up on all those teams to have any shot of making the playoffs. And that's precisely what happened, until this week's incomprehensible crash and burn.
Toronto had previously won 18 of 22 games. Then, they lost 2/3 to division-winning Tampa Bay – no shame in that. But then, the Blue Jays traveled to mediocre Minnesota, where they've now lost 2 straight with 2 more games to play. And both of those losses to the Twins were ugly – 7-2 and 3-1. There's no excuse such lackluster performances with the Blue Jays' season on the line.
Here's a look at the AL wild card standings as of Saturday night:
Toronto will have their chance this coming week. They play 3 games against the NY Yankees. It will be critical to win at least 2 of 3. Then, the Blue Jays close with 3 games against horrible Baltimore – where they should win the series. If either of those scenarios don't happen, Toronto's season will be over.
The real wild card team in this wild card race could very well be Seattle. The Mariners have won 6 straight and have leapt back into the race, when they'd been written off back in mid-summer.
What would happen if there's a tie for a wild-card spot? With Seattle-Toronto- NY Yankees, and possibly even Boston in a jammed-up standings, here are a few scenarios:
— If the Mariners tie with the Yankees for the second wild-card spot, the Mariners and Yankees would play Game 163 Monday, Oct. 4, in New York. The Yankees would host because they took the season series against the Mariners, winning five of the seven games.
— If the Mariners tie with the Blue Jays for the second wild-card spot, the Mariners and Blue Jays would play Game 163 Oct. 4 in Seattle. The Mariners get home-field advantage in that scenario because they beat the Blue Jays in four of their six games this season.
The winner of Game 163 would then travel to the No. 1 wild-card team to play Oct. 5.
Want to take it a step further?
There has never been a three-way tie in MLB history, but it is still a possibility in this AL race.
Here are the scenarios if there is a three-way tie: (It’s a little complicated. Stay with us here.)
Note: Each of the three teams would choose/receive an A, B and C designation*.
— Club A hosts Club B on Monday, Oct. 4.
— Club C then travels to the winner of the A-B game to play Oct. 5. (Exact dates could change.) The winner of that game advances to play on the road against the No. 1 wild-card team in the single-elimination wild-card game.
(*The A-B-C designations are determined by the winning percentages among the tied teams, and those won’t get fully sorted out until next week because the Yankees still have series to play against the Red Sox and Blue Jays.)
There are more scenarios if there is a four-way tie for the wild card, but that’s much less likely at this point.
A three-way tie? Game 163? At this point, those don’t seem all that far-fetched.
Of course, the way to avoid all this is for TORONTO TO WIN GAMES.
Just hang in there. Toronto's playoff fortunes hang in the balance.
Now, every game is critical.