After losing Thursday night’s series finale to the Yankees, the Blue Jays have to sweep Baltimore this weekend or they’ll be packing their offseason bags.
Despite the fact that they missed a huge opportunity to make up some important ground against the Yankees this week, there’s still a reasonably feasible path for the Blue Jays to make the playoffs, or at least play in a Game 163 this season. However, they pretty much have to win all three games against the Orioles if they want to have a chance.
As things stand they can pretty much kiss the first Wild Card spot goodbye after dropping two of three at home against the Yankees. That leaves the Jays 3.0 games behind the Yankees, which means Toronto would have to sweep and New York would have to be swept by the Rays, and that would still only bring them to a tie. That also doesn’t even mention the other two teams that the Blue Jays have to worry about.
The only good news after last night’s game was that the Red Sox also lost, and the Mariners didn’t play. That leaves the Jays a full game behind both of those clubs, who are now tied for the 2nd Wild Card spot with just three to play. The Red Sox will close things off against the Nationals in a road series in Washington, while the Yankees will host the AL-leading Tampa Bay Rays. As for the Mariners, they’ll finish up at home against the Angels.
With the Blue Jays chasing both the Red Sox and Mariners, they’re going to have to hope that the Nationals and Angels can give them a bit of help. For example, if the Red Sox and Mariners each win two of their next three games while the Blue Jays sweep the Orioles, that would make for a three-way tie for the 2nd Wild Card spot. The same scenario would play out if both the Sox and Mariners went 1-2 while the Jays went 2-1. You get the idea, the Blue Jays have to win one more game than BOTH of the teams they’re chasing.
It’s pretty hard to imagine a scenario where both the Red Sox and Mariners lose more than one game though. The Mariners are the hottest team in baseball right now, and their competition in the Angels doesn’t have anything meaningful to play for. That can be dangerous at times, but not so much when you’re talking about a team as hot as Seattle.
The Red Sox feel like the shakier of the two teams that the Blue Jays need to leapfrog, but they have a reasonably soft match-up with the Nationals as well. That said, they just played the 107-loss Orioles and dropped a three-game set, so it just goes to show that anything can happen in this beautiful game we call baseball.
That said, the Blue Jays have two teams to catch, and even if they’re lucky enough to see one of them tank their final three games, it’s hard to imagine both of them will. With that in mind, the Blue Jays have enter their series with the mindset of a sweep or go home. It’s a tall order, but through these rose-coloured glasses I’m still telling you that it’s possible.