Blue Jays spike playoff chances with deadline acquisitions


With the additions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, we know the Toronto Blue Jays have dramatically increased their playoff chances. In a tweet this morning from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, citing the ever-addictive Playoff Odds page from FanGraphs, we learn this new playoff likelihood down to the decimal. 

Despite being tied with Baltimore in the AL East Standings, FanGraphs gives the Blue Jays a 16.1% chance of winning the division, trumping the 4.1% odds handed to the Orioles. The Blue Jays also have a 32.8% chance of winning a Wild Card spot, but here’s the number that grabbed my hopeful heart: A 9.0% chance of winning the AL Championship and advancing to the World Series.

The Blue Jays pessimists (those exist!?) will bemoan the 50-50 shot at a 50-50 Wild Card game, but consider what the past two decades have brought the city of Toronto. If you stumble starving out of the desert, you gratefully take the water and bread first given to you. You don’t request the finest cut of steak, medium-rare.

Also on Jays Journal: Price deal made possible by draft strategy

Baltimore could very well make move ahead of the deadline later today, and the deep pockets of the New York Yankees aren’t likely to stand pat. Toronto’s playoff odds will take a slight hit from these additions as divisional rosters strengthen, but the question remains: Were the additions worth these odds of playoff ball?

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Well, just because a question exists, it doesn’t make it a good one. Injuries can strike, balls can bounce over gloves and opponents can catch fire within the limited number of games remaining. In a market like St. Louis, these trades are a failure without a playoff appearance. In Toronto, to some extent, there’s a success in trying. Finally trying, after years of 80% effort.

With another game gained on the New York Yankees (now 6.0 GB), the 13 remaining games between the clubs are monumental. Those will be playoff baseball. As I said yesterday, taking eight or nine of those 13 games changes the season and leapfrogs the Blue Jays past New York.

Let us be damned if we’re too proud for the Wild Card spot, too, which currently sits just 2.0 games out of reach. Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Texas and Tampa Bay are all log-jammed within four games of the Minnesota Twins, but you can argue quite convincingly that Toronto has the strongest roster of the group.  By some distance, at that.

This roster is too talented to fall off a cliff, too talented to spiral out of a race entirely (knock on wood). The Blue Jays chances should grow, but little else matters until that number reaches 100% on the final day. Playoff baseball, a tale told through Canadian folklore, could make it’s long-overdue return to Toronto.

Next: Blue Jays rumors: AA still shopping?

More from Jays Journal