How would the Toronto Blue Jays have done in the ALDS?
By Reuben Gasee
Would the Blue Jays have been able to get past the Yankees in the ALDS if they had advanced?
The Toronto Blue Jays got swept in two games by the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card round, ultimately ending their hopes of being the Cinderella team of the 2020 postseason. If they did get past the Rays though, they would have been facing the New York Yankees in the ALDS in San Diego.
Let’s say the Blue Jays ended up getting past the Rays. Would they have been able to beat the Yankees in the ALDS? Right now, the Rays lead the Yankees 2-1, but would that have been the same result if it was Jays vs. Yankees?
In the regular season, the Jays and Yankees faced each other 10 times where they split the series 5-5. Seven of those games, the Jays were the home team where they went 5-2. If the Jays were to face the Yankees in the ALDS though, they would be the visiting team as the Yankees finished with a better record.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
In a best of five series, the Jays starting pitchers would most likely be Hyun Jin Ryu, Taijuan Walker, Matt Shoemaker and probably one of Chase Anderson or Robbie Ray. Meanwhile, the Yankees would lineup with Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, Deivi Garcia and Jordan Montgomery.
Game 1 most likely would have been Cole vs. Ryu and the Jays don’t necessarily hit well off the Yankees ace combining for an OPS of .608, while Yankee hitters combine for an OPS over 1.000 against Ryu.
It’s not just Ryu that the Yankees tend to do well against, they have also gotten to Shoemaker as well, who they combine to slash .326/.461/.479 against. Same goes for Walker against the Yankees which they have a slash line of .303/.459/.555 off him.
Jays hitters tend to do well against Montgomery, as they’ve combined to slash .280/.312/.485 off the lefty, although Teoscar Hernandez, arguably the Jays best hitter this season, is hitless against him with six strikeouts. Against Tanaka, Jays hitters combine for an average of just .239 and get on base at just a better clip of .268.
Also, the Yankees are a much more experienced team than the Blue Jays are. The Yankees have veterans like D.J. LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and others. The Jays are a much younger team who is built for the future than right now.
If the Jays got past the Rays and faced the Yankees in the ALDS, I don’t think they would have advanced to ALCS, but who knows what exactly would have happened. There’s always the potential for playoff magic, but the Blue Jays most certainly would have been in tough.