3 reasons the Blue Jays still have what it takes to contend, 2 why they do not

With the trade deadline now in the rear-view mirror, we look at three reasons why the Blue Jays are still in contention and a couple of reasons why they will fall by the wayside.
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Runners in scoring position

Generally speaking, the Blue Jays have one of the best hitting teams in all of baseball. They're third in the Majors in hits, tied-fifth in batting average and ninth in OBP.

Unfortunately however for their fans, the team seems to almost lose this ability to hit the ball when runners are on base. Specifically, they more often than not fail with runners in scoring position (RISP).

Consider that the Blue Jays are third-worst in the Majors for batting average with RISP. Along these lines, it doesn't help that they are also fifth-worst when it comes to strikeouts in this scenario.

Breaking it down further, the Blue Jays are fourth-worst in batting average with RISP, when they have no outs. They are only slightly better with one and two outs, at tied-10th worst and seventh-worst respectively.

On an individual basis, it will come as little surprise to find Varsho is the worst of all regular Blue Jays players with RISP (.175 batting average). Second-worst, is Santiago Espinal (.178).

Slightly more surprising is Brandon Belt, who is next-worst on the Blue Jays (.180). As much as this isn't one of his best seasons, it's still concerning when your main DH is also struggling in scoring opportunities.

When considering all this, it's no wonder the Blue Jays are ranked just 15th in runs scored. For some reason there is a collective mental block with this team, when it comes to clutch situations.

Talking of clutch situations, we're now approaching the business end of the regular season. The Blue Jays quite simply have to improve with RISP or it will conceivably cost them a playoff spot, especially in the even more than usual ultra-competitive AL East.