The Toronto Blue Jays are 17-4 in August – the second best record in all of baseball behind the Chicago Cubs (18-4)
This might strike you as an odd question at first.
After all, with a current record of 70-55, the Toronto Blue Jays have the look of a good team, but they don’t necessarily have the look of a great team and this might be asking too much from them. The Kansas City Royals (77-48) and the St. Louis Cardinals (80-45) are the two teams best positioned to reach 100 wins; they’re both great teams.
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If you focus on the Jays’ record since the all-star break, however, things begin to look a bit different. The Jays have gone 25-9 over this stretch, which suddenly puts them in the same conversation as the Royals (25-14) and the Cardinals (24-12). This translates into a winning percentage of 0.735.
That sounds great, no? It gets even better.
Toronto boasts a record of 17-4 in August, which is good for a winning percentage of .810. It would be easy to dismiss this record as a fluke or the result of good luck, but it’s important to remember that 12 of these wins have come against teams fighting the Jays for a playoff spot: the Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and now Texas Rangers. Toronto has only lost twice against these teams in August – the Yankees took two of three games from the Jays at the Rogers Centre earlier this month – suggesting this is indeed no fluke.
Aug 25, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna (54) reacts after recording the final out against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Following the major acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, the Jays are riding a ton momentum right now and it’s this that might push them past the magical 100-win mark. Whether they’re up early or down late, the Jays are finding different ways to win ball games these days. Last night it was a short single and an error in the top of the ninth inning that saw them brush past the Rangers 6-5. Who knows how they’ll win today’s matchup.
To finish with 100 wins, the Jays need to go 30-7 over the remainder of the season. This would require sustaining a winning percentage of .810 and it’s not clear if the schedule favours the Jays. They have six home series and five road series left on the season; their competition will be those teams now struggling for an American League Wild Card spot, including a pair of series against the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles, and teams below .500 but looking to play the role of spoiler like the Boston Red Sox.
Given how the team is playing right now, this goal is possible though I dare not say it’s probable. The Jays are certainly playing some great baseball these days, but this might be a goal too ambitious even for them. In other words, I wouldn’t bet on it to happen, but I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if they pulled it off either.
In any event, if you take anything away from this, it should be that the Jays are now firmly grounded in the same conversation as the Royals and the Cardinals. That’s almost the equivalent of 100 wins, no?
What are your thoughts? Is 100 wins achievable or just a lofty idea? Does it even matter? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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