The Toronto Blue Jays have won eight in a row and counting; the New York Yankees are now looking over their shoulder in fear of dropping their Wild Card ticket.
The birds have strung together a much-needed winning streak that has shrunk the barrier gap in the American League Wild Card chase. After taking all four games to complete a sweep in the Bronx, the Blue Jays have plated 53 runs while letting up a total of 26 runs over a 7-win rally coming into last night’s game. They sit half a game behind the 2nd wild card spot, and the Yankees can feel the hot Blue Jay breath hitting the back of their necks, with nothing but pressure and push.
As we move further into September, the race will heat up and nothing will be set in stone until the final weeks, with the American League Wild Card scheduled for Tuesday, October 5th.
Between now and then, things have to fall into place, so let’s look at what the next few weeks could look like.
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What September looks like in and around Blue Jays land
1. Blue Jays: Remainder of the Schedule
The Blue Jays have 23 remaining games on the regular season. What needs to happen here? WIN ALL THE GAMES. You must control what you can control and fuel your own fate by wins. With 23 remaining games, there are nine against direct competing American League East teams. Out of those nine games, only three pertain to direct Wild Card contenders, the New York Yankees.
– Springer expected to return to the lineup within days
– Blue Jays bullpen proven dominant of recent; innings 7, 8, and 9
– Run support and aggressive approaches at the plate have been present during the past 10 games
– Starting pitching has been dominant and consistent
– Teams in the schedule such as Baltimore, playing hardcore spoiler and will not let up; Jays see Baltimore for seven games
– Jays have six against the hot 1st place Tampa Bay Rays
2. Yankees remaining Schedule
After losing five in a row, the Wild Card villain contending New York Yankees have 22 remaining games, with nine games against contending American League divisional teams; six of those games against the Red Sox and Blue Jays, with playoff implications.
3. Seattle Remaining Schedule
The Mariners have 22 remaining games; 10 games against AL Wild Card contending teams, three against the Red Sox, seven against the team they’re tied at 2.5 games in the Wild Card, the Oakland Athletics.
4. Oakland Remaining Schedule
The Athletics also have 22 games with seven games against the head-to-head Mariners, and three games against the Houston Astros, whom they trail 5.5 games back of the top of the AL West.
5. Red Sox Remaining Schedule
The Red Sox have 20 games remaining with six games facing direct Wild Card contenders, such as the Mariners and the Yankees
We have a long and quick September to go; currently, the Wild Card seats are no man’s land and the fight will be neck-to-neck until October.