You’ve heard it a million times. The Toronto Blue Jays would have been a lot more competitive the last 20 years if they weren’t in the AL East. Heck they might even have some playoff appearances during that time.
But fortunately baseball has done some evolving the last few years and there’s somewhat parity in every division.
So with this new competitiveness I’m going to try to guess how competitive the Jays would be in all the other divisions. They’ll be the 6th team in every division.
There was a time when the Blue Jays would finish 4th in the AL East and have a better record than the AL Central champion. But the Central isn’t quite the joke it used to be. The Tigers are as legit a powerhouse as baseballs ever seen, the Indians are coming off a 92 win season and the Royals just won 86 games. The Twins have signed Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes but my guess is they and the White Sox would still be the divisions punching bag in 2014. I’m also pretty confident in giving the Jays the season series against the Royals. The extra wins would definitely make the Jays more competitive for a wild card spot. It’s obviously a lot easier than the AL East with 4 teams in your way but with the Tigers and Indians the Jays wouldn’t exactly waltz into a playoff spot.
The Jays would get to beat up on the Astros! Those extra wins would be a huge help in fighting for a wildcard spot and the division. But all those extra wins would not guarantee you more wins than the A’s, Rangers and Angels. And the Jays have had their trouble against the Mariners over the years.
The Braves and Nationals are the only threat with the Mets, Phillies and Marlins all being punching bags. This post is going to get repetitive real fast because those extra wins would give the Jays a better chance to compete for the division and wild card spot. It would be a lot easier than the AL East but with the Braves and Nationals the playoffs are no lock.
The Jays could beat up on the Brewers and the Cubs but the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds are all powerhouses. So again extra wins but no guarantee they make the playoffs.
This is always the most unpredictable division. Every year only 1 or 2 of the teams is good and everybody else sucks. And by good I mean better than all the other joke teams in the division. I will say I think the Dodgers are good enough to compete anywhere but that’s really only one threat. So unless the Jays had a prolonged bad stretch during the season I would love their chances of either winning the division or taking a wild card spot with all those extra wins.
The AL East is still by far the hardest division in baseball. But with baseball becoming more competitive everywhere Blue Jays fans singing the AL East blues should look around because it might not be as easy to say “if they were just another division” as it used to be.