With just over 6 weeks left in the regular season, the Blue Jays hoist a 67-55 record heading into this weekend’s series against the Cincinnati Reds (63-59) at home. This proves to be another big series, for both teams mind you, as the Jays and Reds are both either holding or tied for third and final Wild Card spot.
So what can we expect from the Jays? One would hope that you can at least steal 2 of 3 from a feisty Cincy squad, but if they walk away with one win this weekend, are we really that surprised?
This seems to be the storyline of the year for the blue birds, as they can’t seem to put any substantial win streaks together. With the Jays’ longest win streak at 6 games, it seems like they can’t find a rhythm for anything longer. Every time they put together 4 or 5 wins, it’s immediately met with 3 or 4 losses, thus keeping them at a win percentage of .549.
For a team with World Series hopes, this simply won’t cut it and it all boils down to, you guessed it, our bats.
With Jose Bautista being honored and raised into the dome’s ‘Level of Excellence’ social media was littered with comments suggesting that we should ‘sign him for the rest of the season so we can get some offense’ or something like that. While these are coming from disgruntled fans, they do have a point. Toronto ranks amongst the worst teams with running in scoring position (RISP) which contradicts our overall offense placing us in the top 10.
If the bats can’t figure out how to cash in runners when it matters, it will be the reason the Jays don’t play in October.
There’s a lot of fingers to point, whether it’s a disappointing season from newly acquired Dalton Varsho, or star outfielder George Springer who has stayed relatively healthy but has swung the bat horribly. Vladdy Jr. has and should take a lot of the heat where his discipline and lack of power have been a point of major concern, especially for the cornerstone of the Jays organization. Since his MVP snub a couple years ago, he has been down in OPS, AVG, Hits, Homers, basically every category except for strikeouts.
Just something to monitor for the face of the franchise.
So will the Blue Jays actually secure the third and final Wild Card slot? Let’s be realistic, it is highly unlikely catching Houston. There might be more of a chance seeing Tampa slip due to injuries and the drama surrounding Wander. The fact of the matter is, what you see with this Jays squad is what you get; an okay offense that leaves ducks on the pond like no other with an incredible bullpen. Without their pitching staff in general, the Jays record would look a lot different.
If we keep playing .500 baseball, we could see the surging Mariners, who are firing on all cylinders, to claim a Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays, with the roster as it is constructed, simply can’t afford missing the playoffs. And if the Jays somehow end up matching up with M’s in October, well, we all remember what happened last year.
Touring stand-up comic with Yuk Yuk’s. Host of the ‘Down By Two’ Podcast and ‘DB2 Bets.’ Take him on the over.