The Blue Jays are wiping the champagne from their eyes, as the team has clinched a postseason berth late last week. Not only was a postseason ticket punched, but the Rogers Centre will fill up to 45,000 plus to witness the wild card showdown after clinching home field advantage late Monday night.
We are days away from game one of the 2022 Major League Baseball American League Wild Card fiesta. If you have never been to Toronto during a Blue Jays playoff run, it is a site to see. The Lakeshore West train to the 71 train from Stouffville, the King Street streetcars, and all subway lines leading into the city will shuttle in a wave of blue, white, and grey jerseys. From Bremner Avenue to Front Street up to Blue Jays Way, and Lower Simcoe, the cheers of “Let’s Go Blue Jays” will pollute the crisp Ontario autumn air.
After last night, Blue Jays will now be facing the Seattle Mariners in their AL Wild Card matchup. Although Seattle may be a more preferable opponent over Tampa Bay, the Blue Jays need to look to their key offensive pieces to be effective and contribute in any given circumstance.
Blue Jays’ key offensive pieces will play a heavy role in the 3-game wild card set
The team to win two games in this series will advance to the next round of the playoff bracket. In this Wild Card format, the Blue Jays are built to succeed. We know the Jays may have the best offence in the MLB this year; they have the highest team batting average at .263, leading the league in hits at 1443, ranking third in RBI with 747, and also ranking third in on-base percentage at .328. Blue Jays nation knows when the lineup is hot, it’s on fire, but when it’s silent, the silence is contagious.
This is a lineup built for power and the ability to get on base. The key to winning on the offensive side is to get runners over. They rank 21st overall in stolen bases at 66 stolen bags so far. The other offensive key is utilizing the small ball; something that is almost never in the team’s game plan for years. With the international tie-breaker rule in extra innings, it is pertinent to get that runner across early in the inning; with home-field advantage, this puts pressure on the opponent’s pitching and defense.
We are aware of the powerhouse sticks in the lineup; the Blue Jays rank seventh overall in home runs this year, with 199 so far. Five hitters in the Blue Jays lineup have 20+ home runs, followed by 1-2 punch pair of catchers with 10+. Ten players in the lineup have 40+ RBI on the year. As long as the bats are awake and functioning at status quo, the offense will provide the Blue Jays with a legitimate shot to outscore this series; with the assumption that the pitching pulls through.