The Toronto Blue Jays entered the 2022 season as one of the favourites to not only make the playoffs but contend for the World Series title. Although the club lost Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien, and Steven Matz through free agency, the Blue Jays front office brought in Kevin Gausman, Yusei Kikuchi, Matt Chapman, Raimel Tapia, Yimi Garcia, and Bradley Zimmer prior to Opening Day to go along with a strong core consisting of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez, Alek Manoah, and George Springer.
Fast forward to today and the season has definitely not shaped up the way many fans were expecting with such a powerful lineup and rotation. The club currently occupies the top AL Wild Card spot with the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays close behind, followed by a handful of teams that sit just outside the cusp in the Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays 61-51 record this year has them 10 games back of the AL East leading New York Yankees with just over a month and a half of baseball left on the year.
The Jays squad does boast one of the most potent lineups in the league yet struggles to find consistency, having been shut out five times this season already but also besting their franchise record for most runs in a single game with 28 runs against Boston just after the All-Star break. The RISP was one of their weak points to start the year but the club has found a way to improve their stats, sitting 8th in the league with their .263 batting average with 349 RBI while also sitting in the top five in numerous offensive categories across the Major Leagues.
The Toronto Blue Jays have 50 games left in the season and will be facing AL East rivals 35 times before the 2022 campaign makes way for the postseason.
On the other hand, the Blue Jays pitching has been one of their weaker areas, as the likes of Kikuchi and Jose Berrios have struggled to be consistent on the mound and pitch quality outings while the bullpen has seen its fair shares of ups and downs over the season. The pitching staff currently owns an 18th-ranked 3.94 ERA and a 4.03 FIP, putting them at 15th overall. This will need to improve moving forward if the club wants to go deep into the postseason (should they make it).
Looking at the Blue Jays Playoff Odds
As of right now, the Blue Jays playoff odds per FanGraphs currently sit at 93.3%, with the club most likely making the postseason via the Wild Card (88.3% chance) given the gap between them and the Yankees (barring a monumental slump from the Bronx Bombers and some stellar play by the Jays). Looking at the remaining schedule, the Blue Jays face every AL East team at least one more series, including 13 games against a pesky Orioles squad, nine against Tampa, six against Boston, and seven games against New York. 35 of their remaining 50 games involve facing an AL East rival that also features two doubleheaders, one against Tampa Bay (makeup for the lockout) and one against Baltimore to make up for the rainout earlier this week.
Looking at the strength of the Jays remaining schedule, they sit in the middle of the pack considering they will face Tampa Bay, New York, Baltimore, and a surging Philadelphia Phillies squad while also facing some weaker clubs like the Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh, and Boston before the final buzzer.
Overall, the Blue Jays cannot afford to go on another slump like they did prior to the All-Star break, especially since many of the clubs they are facing are competing for a postseason spot within the AL Wild Card. Both Springer and Stripling will hopefully be returning from the IL shortly and the Jays pitching corps can hopefully support Manoah and Gausman at the front end, both of whom are in Cy Young contention with their strong seasons.