To say the Toronto Blue Jays are struggling would be an understatement. After a 14-8 April they’ve fallen to 23-20 and are now seven games back of the first-place Yankees in the American League East.
The rotation has been really solid for the most part with Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah pitching like Cy Young Award candidates. However, the offense has been non-existent for the most part. The Blue Jays have scored four or more runs just six times in 21 May games.
George Springer has swung the bat well this season and Santiago Espinal has been a nice surprise, but other than that the Jays offense has been a disappointment so far this year. 2021 AL MVP runner-up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has an OPS roughly 200 points lower than last season and Bo Bichette has an 89 WRC+. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has been so bad he’s starting to lose some at-bats and has been dropped to eighth in the order when he has played.
The Blue Jays’ offense has to pick it up and they must win the series at home against the White Sox next week and regain their April form.
The Jays find themselves in the third Wild Card spot which is good, but they’re slipping. Even with the additional spot, the Blue Jays can’t afford to be slumping like they have been in the Month of May with how loaded the American League is. The Yankees are 16 games over .500 already, the chances of them missing the playoffs are slim. The Rays seemingly always do well no matter what, they’re likely going to get in as well. With the way the Astros and Angels are playing, both of those teams will make the playoffs given their current trajectories with one taking the AL West and the other via Wild Card.
That leaves the AL Central winner and one Wild Card spot for the two other playoff teams. The Twins have a 4.5-game lead in the Central right now but a big reason for that is all of the injuries the White Sox have endured.
The White Sox are just half a game back of Toronto while not even having Lance Lynn pitch an inning for them this season. Lynn finished third in the Cy Young balloting last season. Guys like Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada have also missed substantial time on the IL to begin the campaign as well. While the Jays have had their share of injuries to key players, the White Sox won 93 games last season and the division. They can easily return to form.
The Blue Jays have an opportunity at home to take a series against a team that will not have their best pitcher in Lynn, and will not have one of their best hitters in Jimenez. This is coming right after a tough road trip in St. Louis and Los Angeles, and the road does not get easier as the Twins come to Rogers Centre right after the White Sox do.
The White Sox are not 100% and this is the time for the Jays to strike before they get back to full strength. They are already 2.5 games back of Tampa Bay for the second AL Wild Card spot and if they continue to lose series’ they’ll keep falling and eventually fall out of a playoff spot.