An easy schedule awaits the Toronto Blue Jays for the rest of August
[Writer’s note: the records mentioned below are all based on the standings prior to last night’s games. I have a newborn baby, who deserves the greater part of my attention. Sorry, MLB.]
At the risk of sounding arrogant, the Toronto Blue Jays have a relatively easy schedule to close out the month of August. They will face five sub-par teams over their next 12 games to cap a month where they’ve already gone 12-3. By simply splitting these games, they’ll finish August with a very healthy record of 18-9 and boast a competitive record of 71-60 on the season.
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Based on last season’s standings, a final record of 88-74 should be enough to secure the Jays the last Wild Card spot in the American League. Of course, they have their eyes set on the American League East-leading New York Yankees right now, who sit only half a game ahead of them in the standings.
What makes the schedule so easy? The competition.
The Jays face only two teams above .500 for the rest of the month, and these are teams who are just barely holding onto winning records: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (60-57) and the Texas Rangers (59-57). Anaheim has been caught in a deep dive over the past few weeks, shedding a late-July lead in the American League Central division to now find itself outside the playoff picture by half a game.
Jul 11, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) at bat against the Kansas City Royals during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Anaheim has gone 3-7 in its last 10 games whereas Texas, who still trails the Angels by one game in the Central division, has gone 6-4 in its last 10 games while riding a four-game winning streak. The Jays, of course, are 8-2 in their last 10 games and hope to keep up a torrent pace that has seen them rocket up the standings over the last two weeks.
Toronto will get things started tonight on the road against the league-worst Philadelphia Phillies (46-72), who’s home record (27-29) is barely better than the Jays’ road record (25-31). Having said this, everything is relative and it should be noted Toronto comes into the series red hot while Philadelphia looks to end a three-game losing streak. It should be a fun one.
Aug 8, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price (14) pitches in the second inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
After Philadelphia, the Jays visit Anaheim and Texas for a pair of three-game series. Both teams, as mentioned, are trailing the Jays in the standings so these should be some fun and intense games to watch. Anaheim boasts a home record of 36-23, which doesn’t reflect their recent struggles, while Texas is a surprisingly mediocre 26-29 at home.
The Jays don’t return home until the final weekend of August where they play host to the Detroit Tigers (56-61). It’s been a disappointing season for the Tigers, who will be forced to watch former teammate David Price enjoy himself on the opposite side of the field.
Finally, the Jays close out the month with a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians (54-62) – a series that actually stretches into the first two days of September. By this point, we should have a good sense if the Jays’ playoff hopes for this season are real and Cleveland would be an ideal team to face with all that pressure on the line. Their road record of 30-28 masks a team that has gradually wilted from the high of a surprise 2013 playoff appearance to the basement of the Central division in 2015.
That’s five different teams over the next 12 days for three straight series on the road and two at home. I can’t wait for things to get started!
What do you think? Will the rest of the month be tougher than suggested here? Are the Jays poised to continue a super hot August? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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