May 18-20 – Houston Astros at Blue Jays
Fresh off of what promises to be a gruelling 10-game road trip that will see the Jays travel to Oakland, Arlington and Chicago without an off-day, Toronto will be right back at it when they host the target-bearing Houston Astros.
It may be tempting for the likes of Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve to wear a little extra padding at the plate in 2020, but make no mistake. This lineup still bops. The young Blue Jays will be looking for revenge, not just for the scandal, but for what transpired late last season.
With what many would consider a full-strength lineup, the Blue Jays were no-hit by the Astros’ Justin Verlander. If the reigning Cy Young Award winner takes the mound in this series, expect Bo Bichette to be out for blood. He grounded to third in what was the final put-out in Verlander’s masterpiece.
On top of all of that, this series will be cathartic for the fans. In every road ballpark this season, the Astros can expect to hear it, and Toronto will be no exception.
June 26-28 – Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays
One can argue that this series represents the crux of the Blue Jays’ season. Right before the trade deadline, they will be playing a team with similar aspirations as them this season. These games could not only have playoff implications, but also have bearing on what direction the front office chooses to take this season in.
If the Jays are above .500 and blow the Angels out in three straight games, Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins could be swayed to try and bring in another big piece and make a run at it. If the team is hovering around .500 and loses two out of three though, it could mean stay the course and strive towards maybe sneaking in the back door as a wild card.
There will also be a storyline regarding the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and the Blue Jays’ Shun Yamaguchi. Both hail from Japan, and crossed paths as recently as 2016, when Ohtani was on the Nippon Ham Fighters and Yamaguchi was applying his trade as a member of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.