The Blue Jays are 3 games out of a wild card spot, and made up 2 games this past weekend – now, it's time to make a bigger move. The next three games versus rival NY Yankees will be critical.
Last Friday, we noted the Toronto Blue Jays were 5 games back in the American League wild card race. We also wrote that the Jays absolutely had to play at the top of their game and stay red hot this coming week to have any shot of making the playoffs.
Well, since that column (READ HERE) Toronto has won 3 straight. Better yet, they've defeated two of the obstacle teams in their way – Oakland and NY Yankees, both still ahead of the Jays in the wild card standings. Today, the Jays played splendid baseball, defeating the Yanks 8-0.
We're now into the final full month of the 2021 MLB regular season. The Blue Jays have no shot to win the AL East. Tampa Bay probably has that spot locked up, especially given how well they are playing. However, they're still in contention for a wild card.
Here's a look at the AL wild card standings as of Tuesday:
The Blue Jays still have three games this week against the New York Yankees. A realistic goal would be to win 2/3 of those reaming games, resulting in a 3/4 series win.
Toronto was facing stiff competition from Oakland and Seattle. Last week, both teams were ahead of the Blue Jays. But Toronto is now ahead of both and on the outside looking in at both the Yankees and Red Sox. Unfortunately, Toronto has no games left versus Boston, so it's crunch time versus the Yanks.
What really does help the Blue Jays the rest of the way is a very easy schedule. In fact, 14 of their remaining 26 games are versus Baltimore and Minnesota. They absolutely must win a majority of those games.
No doubt, the talent is there with the Blue Jays. Not only has the pitching been spectacular at times, Toronto's run-differential is far superior to any team in the wild card race, including the Yankees and Red Sox. They're now at +136, which is equal to the division-leading Chicago White Sox.
So, with a powerhouse offense and four above-average starting pitchers, Toronto will be a headache for opposing teams down the stretch. Winners of 8 of their last 10 games, they are getting hot at the perfect time.