Blue Jays: With 50 games left, fate is in their own hands

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 8: Josh Donaldson
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 8: Josh Donaldson /

The Blue Jays are just 4.0 games back of the 2nd Wild Card spot as play closed on Tuesday night. While it’s still a long shot that they’ll leapfrog six teams to get there, their upcoming schedule puts their fate in their own hands.

Just when it feels like the Blue Jays are completely out of the playoff picture, they go ahead and makes things interesting with a win against the Yankees on Tuesday night. With the victory, they trail the 2nd Wild Card spot by just one four games with exactly 50 remaining in their schedule.

Just yesterday, I wrote an article talking about the Wild Card picture and how the Blue Jays have an uphill battle to get back in a playoff spot. It’s not that 4.0 games is insurmountable, it’s that they have to leapfrog six teams in order to get to the current Wild Card holders, the Yankees, Royals, and Rays (the Rays pulled into a tie after Tuesday’s scheduled games).

Having traded arms like Francisco Liriano and Joe Smith, the Blue Jays signalled at the deadline that they acknowledged their slim playoff hopes. That scenario remains, however, the chances have improved, albeit only slightly.

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If there is one sliver of hope for Blue Jays fans to hang on to, it’s that they’re scheduled to play against many of those teams they’re working to catch. In August they have two games remaining with the Yankees in this series, seven against the Tampa Bay Rays, and three a piece against the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. The only other games they’ll play this month are against the NL’s Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs.

They close out the month by opening a four game set against the Baltimore Orioles, and they’ll hook up for another three games the following week. The Jays also see the Red Sox again in September for six games, the Yankees for six, and the Twins and Royals for a three game set each. They only games missing from that list is a trio of games in Detroit with the Tigers.

Note: The above tweet is a little dated, but it’s relevant and awesome, so that’s more important. 

As things currently stand, the Rays and Royals are tied for that 2nd Wild Card spot, followed by Seattle (0.5), Baltimore (1.0), Minnesota (1.5), Los Angeles (2.5), and Texas (4.0), with the Blue Jays tied with the Rangers at 53-59. Of their 50 remaining games, 41 of them are against the teams listed above, versus the AL East leading Red Sox, or the first Wild Card holders, the Yankees.

It’s a tall order to be sure, but a hot streak from the Blue Jays would not only add to their win column, but also take down those they’re directly chasing. At the very least, they’ll have a chance to make a serious dent in the standings with their own schedule, which definitely keeps things interesting.

Next: Jays have a budding star in first rounder, Nate Pearson