So, how does it look for the Jays?
If the Blue Jays are going to make an improbable playoff run, step one will be to take advantage of their upcoming series with the New York Yankees, which gets underway tonight. The Yankees occupy the first Wild Card position, with a 59-51 record. Granted, sweeping the Yankees may not make a dent in their deficit, but taking down one of the leaders certainly helps the cause.
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The Blue Jays were soft sellers at this year’s deadline, and based on the support from the fan base you would think that they’re still in contention, which obviously motivates the front office to keep them interested. Fan Graphs gives them a 4.9% chance of making the postseason, with 4.6% in the Wild Card, and just a 0.3% chance of catching the Red Sox for the division lead.
As we’ve already stated, the chances are pretty slim for the Blue Jays to get back there, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they found a way to make things interesting. With the addition of the second Wild Card spot, it really does keep teams in the hunt far longer than ever before.
The Yankees look strong and added some significant pieces before the non-waiver deadline, and the Royals (57-53) have a strong core with a history of success, with the additional motivation of knowing that their window is closing. Outside of the two Wild Card leaders and maybe the Rays, I’m not sure there are many teams to bet on to go to the postseason, but baseball has a way of surprising us.
Still, it’s a tall order for the Blue Jays to make a comeback in 2017, simply because of the volume of teams they need to leap frog.