The 2023 Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs show many similarities to each other
By Edward Eng
For the Leafs management with GM Kyle Dubas at the helm, he focuses highly on the numbers and analytics in making decisions for the team to determine their roster configurations, and what would work best for them. Similarly, for Jays' management, with GM Ross Atkins leading the way along with the guidance of manager John Schneider, they too look at analytics to make roster and in-game decisions to help determine outcomes.
Sometimes it’s good to just go with some common sense or the gut feeling once in a while, and let the situations or circumstances play themselves out, but if they believe analytics is still the way to go for success, they sure have to prove it can be done, and this year is a prime year to do it.
Focus on Defense and Not Just Offense
As many tend to believe, offense may be all flashy and entertaining, but defense is what wins championships. Both the Leafs and Jays never really took into that belief at first, with the Leafs playing run and gun hockey at the beginning of their current winning era, and the Jays going for the big swings and home runs in their recent winning era as well. However, similar fates appear to have met them both as they ultimately failed to get out of the first round whenever they made the playoffs the past few years.
This year, it appears they have taken a different approach, with defence being a major focus on their success. The Leafs acquired the likes of Jake McCabe and Luke Schenn to help shore up and toughen up their defence for the Cup run, whereas the Jays added the likes of Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier to enhance their outfield defence, hoping for similar success for a potential postseason run of their own at the season’s end.