Considering the current tie-breaker implications for the Blue Jays

With several teams still battling for playoff spots, we consider how the tie-breakers will impact the Blue Jays versus those around them in the standings.
Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays
Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Bring up potential tie-breaker situations and some would fairly argue it's still too soon to be thinking about this. On the flip side however, the Blue Jays -- and the rest of the Majors -- now have just over five weeks to go in the regular season.

Further, at the time of writing the Blue Jays are in a nip and tuck race with several other teams, all fighting for one of those precious playoff places. With this in mind, here is how Canada's one Major League team stacks up versus the competition when it comes to tiebreakers as follows:

1) Head-to-head - Simply put, the record of the two teams versus each other.

2) Intradivision record - Whichever team has the better record within their own division.

3) Interdivision record - Whichever team has the better combined record versus the other two divisions in the AL.

4) Last half of Intraleague games - Better combined record versus the rest of the AL over the final 81 games of the regular season.

5) Last half of Intraleague games plus one - Same as four, plus the final game of the first half of the regular season. If still tied, keep adding the game before until a winner is determined.

NB - All standings/records are up to and including August 24, with games remaining for each tie-breaker scenario in brackets.

Mariners

Tie-breaker

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Blue Jays

3-3 (0)

12-25 (15)

32-19 (13)

26-21 (34)

W +3

Mariners

3-3 (0)

22-11 (19)

29-28 (7)

32-14 (35)

L +3

These two teams are linked together by virtue of both entering the Major in 1977 and the Mariners annually have to contend with Blue Jays fans invading their stadium, due to Seattle's close proximity to the Canadian border. Last year's playoff series added a little extra spice to the rivalry, with the Blue Jays losing the second game -- and the series -- in heart-breaking fashion.

This season the two teams have underachieved at times, but both are in the thick of it as we edge ever closer to the finishing line. The Blue Jays are in the worst situation versus the Mariners out of the five teams we'll cover, in respect of their respective intradivision records, but currently in the second-best position for interdivision records if they can somehow force the third tie-breaker.

Astros

Tie-breaker

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Blue Jays

4-3 (0)

12-25 (15)

32-19 (13)

26-21 (34)

L +2

Astros

3-4 (0)

26-17 (9)

23-23 (18)

28-20 (33)

W +2

As the reigning World Series champions you're not going to count the Astros out, with them also well-placed in the standings. However, something just doesn't seem quite right -- or threatening -- about them this year.

Whether you agree with this or not, the reality remains that the Blue Jays lose out head-to-head and have a much poorer intradivision record. As such, they need to drastically improve over the remainder of the season versus the AL East, hope the Astros struggle more against the AL West, and pray for another team to be involved in the event of finishing with the same record.

Rays

Tie-breaker

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Blue Jays

3-4 (6)

12-25 (15)

32-19 (13)

26-21 (34)

W +4

Rays

4-3 (6)

20-14 (18)

33-18 (13)

24-24 (33)

L +4

Building off a record-equaling 13 wins to begin this season, at one point the Rays seemed almost unstoppable. However, while they still have hopes of a division title -- currently 2.0 games back of the AL East-leading Orioles -- the team is looking not nearly as impressive in the second half of the campaign.

Despite the Rays currently sitting 7.5 games ahead in the standings, the Blue Jays have hope in clawing this deficit back. This is specifically helped by having to face their rivals six more times, and having matched up well versus them thus far in 2023.

Rangers

Tie-breaker

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Blue Jays

1-2 (4)

12-25 (15)

32-19 (13)

26-21 (34)

W +1

Rangers

2-1 (4)

21-15 (16)

31-17 (16)

23-23 (35)

L +1

This is an intriguing and somewhat surprising potential scenario, given that at one point the Rangers wouldn't have even been on the radar to track down. However, Texas' finest is in free-fall, with seven consecutive losses.

This is one matchup where the Blue Jays at least have their fate in their own hands, despite trailing in the head-to-head season series. That's because the remaining four games will all be played in Toronto, with them even having the luxury -- for lack of a better description given what's at stake -- of being able to drop one game.

Red Sox

Tie-breaker

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Blue Jays

3-7 (3)

12-25 (15)

32-19 (13)

26-21 (34)

W +1

Red Sox

7-3 (3)

19-14 (19)

30-22 (12)

28-19 (34)

L +1

There has been a long-held belief by some (during this season), that the Red Sox are not that good of a ballclub. However, at some point you can no longer ignore their record or the fact that this team can just plain score, as evidenced by the sixth-most runs in the Majors.

In respect of the tie-breakers, the Blue Jays are currently in a bad position, with a much poorer intradivision record and having already lost the head-to-head season series. This is a similar situation to the potential tie-breakers with the Astros, so it's probably better if the Blue Jays just take anywhere any unnecessary stress by finishing with a better record than the Red Sox. (Of course easier said than done.)