Blue Jays facing critical 11 day-stretch that could tell the tale of the season
By Dave Litman
It's been a bit of a roller coaster season thus far for the Blue Jays, hasn't it? They've had their ups and downs, thankfully more of the former. But if you thought it's been a wild ride so far, you'd better really get strapped in for this next week-and-a-half stretch.
Four games against the New York Yankees. Three games with the Baltimore Orioles. Four more with the Tampa Bay Rays. That's what the Blue Jays have in store, back-to-back-to-back, starting Monday.
Make no mistake, the three-game sweep over the Atlanta Braves this past weekend was a real eye-opener of what this team can do. But over the next 11 days, the Jays will really get an idea of where they stand within their own division.
First up, a battle with the Yankees. You might recall that back in April, the Jays went into Yankee Stadium and swept a three-game set from the Bombers right in the Bronx. You can bet that the Yankees remember. They'll be trying to even the score, and more, with a four-game set at the Rogers Centre this week. And don't think it can't be done, the way these teams have been road warriors against each other lately.
While the two teams have battled each other to a near standstill the past couple of years, it's the road team that's come out victorious more times than not. While the Jays are 15-8 at Yankee Stadium since 2021, the Pinstripers are 12-6 at Rogers Centre. The Jays currently have a two-game lead on New York for third place in the division, and anything short of a split for Toronto would allow the Yanks to at least pull even.
Next up, the Jays will get a first-hand look at what all the fuss is about with the Orioles this season. They're off to an unexpected soaring start at 26-14. That's good for 2nd place in the East, and two games better than the Jays heading into Monday. It's crucial for the Jays to show the O's who's boss of the birds in the division.
With no days off through this entire stretch, there's no rest for the weary. And it's the final four-game set of this crucial run that will really tell the tale of where the Jays stand. A four-game series at The Trop (yikes) will let us know once and for all whether this team has it in them to battle the 1st-place Rays for AL East dominance. Toronto comes into the new week six games back of Tampa.
Buckle up, this is going to be one wild 11-day ride.