Toronto Blue Jays get the job done against the Texas Rangers again

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 08: Luis Rivera
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 08: Luis Rivera /

Despite Rougned Odor‘s antics against Marcus Stroman on Saturday night, the Toronto Blue Jays got the last laugh against the Texas Rangers with another series win.

The Toronto Blue Jays showed Rougned Odor and the Texas Rangers once again that those who laugh last, laugh longest.

This has been the case throughout the past five seasons with the Blue Jays and Rangers. In that time Toronto has a 30-14 record against Texas and have developed a heated rivalry, in large part due to the growing hate between members of both teams.

Blue Jays fans would have loved to see Jose Bautista in the lineup just for this series, but with the team going in a new direction it is comforting to see that some things don’t change.

For those that have not seen it, Odor decided to mock Marcus Stroman’s delayed delivery in a less than flattering way.

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Despite losing the game on Saturday night, the Blue Jays rebounded in a big way with another strong offensive game against Cole Hamels. It was also another strong performance from the starting rotation, as Jaime Garcia kept the Rangers off-balance.

This was exactly the type of start the team needed, earning their second straight series win and a respectable 6-4 record to start the season. Granted it is still early but considering how the team started last year, this should provide some optimism towards a more competitive 2018 season.

It has not been perfect as Sportsnet‘s Shi Davidi wrote in his postgame column, especially the starting rotation:

"“Gibbons believes there’s lots of upside for a rotation that’s third in the American League with 55 strikeouts but 10th in ERA at 4.85 and uncharacteristically tops in walks with 24.”"

The offence has shown it can put up runs (currently fifth in the league with 52) and home runs with 15 (second in the league). Being dependent on hitting home runs also means a higher chance of strikeouts; the Blue Jays are tied for sixth with 93 punch outs as a team, but have only drawn 34 walks (tied for 16th in the league).

Davidi had this note on what has led to the higher strikeout number for the team:

"“The contact rate on their swings is down to 72.3 per cent from 78.1 per cent last year, while their swings at pitches outside the zone, among the highest in the AL last year, is virtually identical at 29.7 per cent.”"

Pitchers will continue to pound the outside of the zone if the Blue Jays hitters continue to chase pitches there. Obviously, that means they need to force pitchers to pound the strike zone or make the most of any chances they can get, which is what they have been doing.

What will be an issue for the Blue Jays’ offence is if depth hitters like Yangervis Solarte, and Steve Pearce are not able to keep up with the strong start they’ve had.

Next: How Blackmon’s deal should be blueprint for Donaldson

What have you made about the team’s start to the season and Odor’s antics? Let us know in the comments below.