The Blue Jays may have started playing better before the All-Star break, but they’re in for a tough schedule to finish out the 2019 season.
It’s never going to be easy being the Blue Jays as long as they share a division with the Yankees and the Red Sox, but the 2nd half of the 2019 calendar may be particularly difficult for the rebuilding young team.
It was encouraging to see the Jays start to play much better baseball over the last month or so beore the All-Star break (they were 8-9 from July 20th until the break). and there are plenty of reasons for fans to be excited about the future of this team. That said, it might not matter if they’re playing better or not, as they have a very difficult schedule ahead of them for the rest of the season.
The Blue Jays were 34-57 in the first half, and I don’t think it’s out of the question that they’ll improve on that .374 winning percentage. That said, they could take some serious steps forward in their development and still struggle to add to the win column.
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They’ll start the second half on the road against the Yankees (.648), who they’ll play for a total of 13 games in their last 71. They also have 13 games against the Tampa Bay Rays (.571), including seven games at “the Trop”. They also have seven games left against the Red Sox (.544), who are a better team than their record shows and should turn it on in the second half.
They have three games against the Astros (.633), and the same against the Dodgers (.652), Atlanta Braves (.593), Cleveland Indians (.568), and the Texas Rangers (.533).
In theory, they get a break against four of their remaining opponents, but we’ll see how it works out. They have 10 games left against the Orioles (.303), but they went 4-5 against them in the first half. They went 2-2 against the Tigers (.329), 3-1 against the Royals (.330), and they have six games left against Seattle, who they haven’t played yet this season.
It also doesn’t help that the Blue Jays have just 33 home games remaining compared to 38 on the road either. That said, their winning percentage was .375 at home compared to .372 on the road in the first half, so perhaps that’s not an important factor.
We knew that the Blue Jays were signing up for what could be a long season by entering a full-on rebuild, and while the young team has looked much better of late, don’t count on huge improvements in their record the second half. The schedule is not going to be easy.