Now, three weeks into the 2022 regular season, Toronto is meeting all the high expectations set for them and remain in first place in the AL East
Tuesday night's thrilling comeback win shows this Toronto Blue Jays lineup might be something truly special.
Down 5-2 to the division rival Boston Red Sox in the bottom of the 9th, Toronto rallied and scored three runs, including George Springer's game-tying homer, and then won it on Raimel Tapia's sacrifice fly in the 10th. Blue Jay win. They're now 12-6 and sitting comfortably in first place.
A Long Season Ahead
It's a long season ahead, of course. But this Blue Jays' season has started off about as well as possible. They've defeated tough competition (Houston, New York, Boston) and look solid up and down the lineup. It's great to see this team meeting, and in some ways exceeding the high expectations that were set for Toronto, which closed as betting favourites at Spreads.ca to win the AL championship.
Indeed, the Blue Jays entered the 2022 season with expectations as high as the CN Tower. They're a solid World Series contender. But, before we start dreaming of possibilities that are still six months away, there is much work to be done.
For their part, the Canadian club has been "in" every game they’ve played. Even the six loses were by respectable margins. More than that, Toronto is actually leading the American League in some key categories, which is a really encouraging because they haven’t even begun to get hot yet as one of the best batting lineups in baseball.
Scoring is Down, Blue Jays Making Adjustments
Offense and scoring has been down all around baseball this season, as there haven’t been as many runs scored. However, if you look at the Blue Jays, they are leading in several offensive categories -- including:
-- AB with 572,
-- Hits with 145,
-- HRs with 25,
-- SLG pct. with.430, and
-- Total bases with 246.
-- 2nd in team BA at .253.
-- 2nd in HBP (8) and SF (7).
-- 3rd in OPS: .738.
The fact that they are leading in these categories is no surprise, really. We knew they’d hit – with power – and we knew they’d score runs, even though we're not seeing as many high-scoring games.
Pitching Consistency the Goal
On the pitching side, the Blue Jays lead the AL in Wins with 12, which makes sense because they are the only team in the AL with 12 wins. Beyond that, they lead the league in Saves with 9 -- 8 of which belong to Jordan Romano. They are 3rd with 150.1 IP and BB with 44.
Toronto is 7-3 in their last 10 games. That’s ideal baseball, winning more than two-thirds of their games. But, the fact is that we know there's even more in the tank. Once the bats start performing where they are expected and the pitching can develop some more consistency, this team is going to be scary good.