Blue Jays: Nothing but contenders left in the schedule

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 18: J.A. Happ /

The Blue Jays are 5.0 games back of the second Wild Card spot entering their series with the Twins. Of their 38 games left, they’re almost all against contenders.

The Blue Jays got to enjoy a much needed day off on Monday after having been swept by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field over the weekend. There were a few chances for victory in Chicago, but unfortunately the Jays are heading to Tampa Bay on a three game losing streak, which hurts a little more because of the blown save in their most recent game.

Still, the club and many parts of the fan base still believe in this team, despite being 5.0 games back of the second Wild Card spot with just 38 games remaining in their schedule. It’s a tall order indeed, as they currently need to  leapfrog seven teams in order to make up the deficit, which is much more difficult than making up five games.

However, the Blue Jays have one thing working in their favour, and that’s the competition they’ll be facing over the final six weeks of the schedule. The 2nd Wild Card spot is currently occupied by the 64-60 Minnesota Twins, who the Jays will host in Toronto after their three game set with the Rays. Of course, the Jays are trying to chase down the Rays as well, and are just 1.0 game back of their AL East counterpart. With a series win, they could be tied or ahead of the Rays by the time Thursday’s schedule has concluded.

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After Tampa and Minnesota, the Blue Jays will host the Red Sox at home for three games, head to Baltimore for four games, and then back to Fenway park for three more with the Red Sox. They get a small break from the competition at the beginning of their home stand on Sept 8th, welcoming the Tigers for a three game set, their only games left against non-contenders. They’ll get the Orioles for three more at home after that.

Rounding out the season, they’ll play four games in Minnesota, before another six game home stand, hosting the Royals and the Yankees. Finally, they’ll finish the 2017 schedule with six games on the road against the Red Sox and Yankees.

While it’s great that they’ll have so many chances to make a move on the likes of Tampa, Baltimore, Minnesota, and KC, it’s not terribly helpful that they’ve gotta play the Yankees and Red Sox so much in the final six weeks, both of whom are currently in a playoff position. The Red Sox are a near lock to win the AL East crown, and should be a serious contender for the World Series this year. The jury is still out on the Yankees, but their young talent has kept them in a playoff position all season long, so they’re no slouch.

In order to leapfrog the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and Tampa Bay Rays, they’re going to need to have a red hot run to finish the month, and quite a bit of help from the list of teams above.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility, and at least they have a chance to make their own destiny to a certain extent, but it’s going to be a difficult finish to the season for these Blue Jays.

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