Boston and New York
Not to be forgotten are the remaining games head-to-head versus the Yankees (three games) and Red Sox (three games).
These will be over a home stand straddling September and October. While the Blue Jays have already taken the season series versus Boston, that tiebreaker is meaningless given the Sox are 8.0 games back in the Wild Card standings and not playing well. The Jays already swept Boston at Fenway last week after taking three of four from the Yankees in the Bronx.
The Yankees continue their swoon, going 8-17 since the trade deadline. If anything, these may be statement games for the Blue Jays ahead of a potential postseason series in the ALDS or ALCS. Another three-game sweep would also give the Jays the season series 10-9, which may not help in a tiebreaker given they remain 8.0 games back in the AL East, but it would certainly add to the postseason series intrigue should they meet after the Wild Card round.
Despite decent pitching (3.85 ERA and 4.04 FIP since August 2nd), the Yankee bats have gone dead; they’re slashing just .219/.295/.340/.635 since then, with a power outage beyond likely AL MVP Aaron Judge.
Regardless of what happens, this is what baseball fandom is all about: meaningful baseball games as the calendar turns to September and October.
With the Blue Jays in the middle of their competitive window, fans should be thrilled to bear witness to a potential playoff run. Given the team hasn’t won a single playoff game since the ALCS team of 2016, they just have to get in to have a chance to break that curse.
Whether or not they can break the now 29-year World Series drought is a matter for another article. But as the appearance of Blue Jays royalty proved last weekend, with the 30th-anniversary celebration of the 1992 World Series Champions, that is definitely a potential outcome.
So let’s enjoy these key matchups against AL East opponents through the end of the season and see where it takes the team, the city and the country. Let’s go Jays!