2 reasons for optimism, 3 for concern as the Blue Jays enter final five weeks of 2023

What are the key strengths and weaknesses of the Blue Jays heading into the stretch run?
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Presently, with a tidy 71-60 record, the Toronto Blue Jays sit in third place in the AL East division, two games ahead of their arch rivals the Boston Red Sox. In addition, they find themselves trailing both the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros by 2.5 games for the second and third Wild Card spots in the American League playoff race. As they head into the final stretch of the season in pursuit of a postseason berth, there are currently certain aspects that could work in their favour, whereas other aspects that could be a cause for concern.

Here, we take a look at two things we are grateful for that could help the Blue Jays down the stretch, and three things that could spell the end of their season if they don’t get their act together soon enough.

2 things working in favour for the Jays

Upcoming schedule against underachieving ballclubs

Starting on August 28th, the Jays will begin a string of games against divisional bottom feeders in the Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals. On top of that, the Rockies, Athletics, and Royals are currently the three worst teams in the league based on their records. That doesn't mean the Jays should underestimate them, but it certainly presents a great opportunity for the Jays to fully take advantage of the weakest part of their schedule to put them firmly into a Wild Card playoff spot heading into the final three weeks of the season.

For the season, they hold a stellar 33-18 record against teams below a .500 winning percentage. In addition, with the first two series being against interleague teams, they also sport a strong record of 26-14 against National League foes. As a result, this important stretch could potentially make or break the Jays season, so it will be critical for the team to get as many wins as possible in the upcoming two weeks. Anything less than a winning record during this stretch would put them possibly in an insurmountable hole to get out of.