Another Sunday in the books and another series win for the Blue Jays, a common theme in the month of September that has this team on a historic run and is garnering attention from quite a few different parties across the league.
While the Blue Jays seemed to be counted out last month, sitting 4.5 games back of a Wild Card spot and a 31.5% chance of making the playoffs on August 15th, a resurgence in the month of September now sees Canada’s only baseball team occupying one of the AL Wild Card spots while also winning 15 of their last 18 games. They have won their last seven series and swept the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees two weeks ago, dropping their opponents further down the playoff standings and putting the Blue Jays in the playoff hunt once again.
This team right now is putting others in the hot seat and quite a few different sources are starting to take notice.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network, “The Blue Jays are the team *no one* wants to face in the postseason. They have clinched yet another series and have won 20 of their last 27, the best record in @MLB over that span.”
Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic took a poll of ten people baseball on who they would not want to face in the postseason and the unanimous answer was the Toronto Blue Jays, “Nobody wants to play the Jays, certainly not in a one-game-anything-can-happen scenario.”
The Blue Jays keep on winning and the rest of the American League is taking notice, with no team wanting to face the Jays this late in the season.
Even New York Yankees pitcher and Cy Young award candidate Gerrit Cole had an NSFW reaction to seeing the out-of-town scoreboard when the Blue Jays were ahead of the Minnesota Twins early during yesterday’s game, eventually securing the win while Cole and the Yankees got trounced by the Cleveland Indians 11-1.
Teams should be afraid of the Blue Jays.
The club is boasting a .797 OPS which leads the entire league while also sitting first in slugging (.464) and home runs (237) and trailing only the Astros in terms of RBI (756) and batting average (.267). The pitching staff also sports a 3.87 ERA which is good for tenth across the entire Major Leagues while the bullpen has seemed to settle down with key contributions from pitchers like Trevor Richards, Adam Cimber, Nate Pearson, and closer Jordan Romano.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is putting up gaudy numbers that have him not only in contention for the MVP award but also potentially a Triple Crown, a feat that has not been accomplished since 2012 by Detroit Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera. Marcus Semien leads all second-baseman in the league with 40 home runs while boasting a .882 OPS and Bo Bichette has 26 home runs on the season. Both Semien and Guerrero Jr. lead all position players in terms of bWAR with 6.7 and 6.6 respectively.
Teoscar Hernandez missed two to three weeks earlier this season yet sits third in RBI with 106 and the club continues to get contributions from the rest of the lineup in Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Randal Grichuk, George Springer, and Alejandro Kirk. Hell, even Danny Jansen is hitting well since his return from the IL.
Throw in a rotation that is boasting incredible seasons from Robbie Ray (potential Cy Young winner), Jose Berrios, and Alek Manoah, and the Blue Jays are earning the moniker of being one of the scariest teams in baseball right now. Even with the recent struggles of Hyun Jin Ryu, who is now on the ten-day IL, the club continues to win ballgames and a strong finish to the season could see them make the playoffs once again. Steven Matz is also finding a rhythym to finish the campaign which will only help the club’s cause to secure a postseason berth via the Wild Card.
Even Jeff Passon of ESPN took notice, “…. Their playoff rotation could be Robbie Ray, José Berríos, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alek Manoah. They have gotten very, very scary.”
The Blue Jays head down to Tropicana Field to take on the Tampa Bay Rays for three games before traveling to Minnesota to finish out the week with four games at Target Field.
A three-game series against the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles to finish out the year could provide some drama late in the campaign but if the Blue Jays can keep up their winning ways, the celebration at home while the Yankees walk off in defeat would not be a sight for sore eyes for those at the Rogers Centre.