Critical Must-Win Series vs. NY Yankees Starts Tonight
The Toronto Blue Jays' season is now at stake. Any shot at making the playoffs as a wild card team hangs in the balance this week as the Blue Jays will face AL East rival New York, which is currently up 2 games in the chase for the postseason. Toronto is also just 1 game behind Boston, which faces a much easier path into the playoffs.
Here's a look at the current standings heading into Tuesday's games:
Toronto hosts the NY Yankees in a critical 3-game series to be played Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Since the Blue Jays are 2 games behind New York, ideally they will need to sweep the series to gain the advantage heading into the close of the regular season, next week. If the Blue Jays win 2 of 3 games, that still keeps them behind the Yankees by a game, which means they will need some help, or they must get in another way – possibly by Boston collapsing in its final 6 games of the season. Right now, Toronto is 1 game behind Boston. However, it should be noted the Red Sox play 3 games versus the worst team in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles. So, counting on Boston to lose ground seems like a longshot.
Fortunately, history is on the Blue Jays' side. They swept the Yankees in 4 straight games a few weeks ago. And, Toronto gets to host the Yankees at home. So, the Blue Jays do enjoy some advantages.
Unfortunately, Toronto will face the hottest team in the majors. The Yanks have won 6 straight games and are coming off a sweep of rival Boston. So, a reasonable goal seems to slow down the Yankees rather than sweep them. Let's aim for taking 2 of the 3 games, thus positioning the Blue Jays into a good spot to surpass Boston. Closing out the season, Boston must play 3 games versus the Washington Nationals. The road for the Blue Jays is somewhat easier, getting to face awful Baltimore, which likely must be swept.
So, it appears for the Blue Jays to have any shot for a wild card birth, they need to win at least 5 of their last 6 games. Winning 4 of their last 6 games might get Toronto into the post-season, but either New York or Boston would have to collapse in the final week.
The bottom line is – Toronto controls it's own destiny. It's up to the Blue Jays to beat the Yankees and the test starts tonight.
We'll be watching and cheering, and maybe even placing a bet or two. Oddsmakers like the Blue Jays' chances. Toronto is a small favourite in Game 1.
Here's the odds on tonight's game at SPREADS.CA: