Blue Jays: Can the 2016 Team Top 1985 Team’s 99 Wins?

Aug 20, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

With 38 games remaining in the Toronto Blue Jays schedule, can this team break the franchise record for most wins in a single season?

Now that the Toronto Blue Jays have 70 wins in the bag — a feat they accomplished in just 123 games, faster than any season since 1993 — it’s fair to wonder just how far they can take this thing.

They’ve got 38 games remaining; nine in August, 27 in September, and two more in October. In theory, that’s plenty for Toronto to get the 29 wins needed to tie their all-time single season wins record set in 1985.

So, they’ve still got an outside chance of turning 2016 into their best season of all time, but that doesn’t leave much room for error. Realistically, though, they’ve got a great shot of making their 40th season one of their five best ever in terms of total wins.

More from Tip of the Tower

Last fall, the Blue Jays closed out their glorious season with 93 wins, claiming the American League East title and effectively ending their playoff futility streak. Let’s look at how those Jays fared in the portion of the season that our 2016 Blue Jays currently have left to play.

The ’15 Jays won five of their last seven games in August to end the month 74-57, before winning 18 of their 27 September contests. They finished it off with only one victory in their final four October regular season matchups, deciding to rest their starters and trying (unsuccessfully) to get Mark Buehrle to 200 innings pitched for his 15th consecutive season. So, they won 24 of their last 38 games, good enough for a win percentage of 63.15 percent.

Now, 24 wins tacked on to the end of this season would mean a final tally of 94 wins, one win more than in 2015. That would unseat last year’s campaign as the fifth-best single season wins total in franchise history, behind 1985 (99 wins), 1987 and 1992 (96 wins each), and 1993 (95 wins).

Finishing this month with 75 wins, which would top 2015 by one, is certainly not out of the question. Nor is doing even better than that, with a pair of home series against the last place Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins preceding a road trip to take on the Baltimore Orioles.

If Toronto can win a good portion of their 10 games against the last place Tampa Bay Rays and Angels in September, and if they can continue to dominate the Yankees in the seven games they play against the Bronx Bombers, and if they steal a win or two in Seattle buoyed by their British Columbian fan base, then they’ll be in good shape when it comes to the more important divisional games against Boston and Baltimore.

Toronto plays Boston four times in September and twice more in October, and faces Baltimore for three games in September, plus three at the end of August. Those promise to be nail biters, but, on the bright side, Boston and Baltimore have seven more games against one another coming up, too.

You might even find yourself rooting for one of those teams over the other, in order to benefit Toronto in the standings. Don’t let the normally-unthinkable possibility of cheering for the Red Sox or Orioles scare you — that’s what pennant races are all about. However, if you find the condition lasting for more than one day, consult a physician.

All this adds up to the Jays having a great chance to make a second consecutive appearance in the postseason (84 percent, according to, and they may even close out October with more wins than last year.

Getting to this level of wins was not an easy feat for early Jays teams, and in more recent years they haven’t often reached it either.

The franchise’s first winning season came in 1983, when they finished with a record of 89-73. It wasn’t much, but it set in motion a series of 11 consecutive winning seasons. They didn’t win more than 90 games until the franchise’s ninth year, in 1985.

And they didn’t limp past the milestone either. They blew past it, posting 99 wins – a franchise record that still stands.

More from Toronto Blue Jays

In a tie for second place on the Blue Jays’ list of most wins in a single season is the first World Series year, 1992, and 1987, when they went 96-66. Some younger fans might be shocked to learn that despite being 30 games over .500 and having a better record than three of the four teams that actually did make it to the playoffs, the ’87 Jays failed to earn a playoff berth. Toronto finished two games behind Detroit and was lumped in with the MLB’s 22 other non-postseason squads, even though they won nine of their 12 meetings with the eventual World Series champion Minnesota Twins that year, finishing with 11 more wins.

Joe Carter’s 1993 World Series-winning homer couldn’t have taken place without the 95-win season that came before it, which ranks fourth all time for the franchise.

In fifth place, for the time being, is the 93 wins posted by Toronto last season.

This year’s team seems poised to surpass that mark. But, if they don’t, at least they already have more wins than the 2004 Blue Jays (not to mention 1977-1981).

Next: Who would you have as your all-time Blue Jays shortstop?

What’s your prediction for the remainder of the Blue Jays season? How many wins do you they they’ll end up with? Let us know in the comments section below.