It seemed like it was not so long ago when the Toronto Blue Jays finished off a miserable, deflating series against the now AL West-leading Texas Rangers, their odds of making the playoffs appeared very bleak. At the time, FanGraphs had the Jays at a worrisome 33.8 percent chance of reaching the postseason with just 15 games left in the regular season. Not only that, but the Jays were set to finish off the rest of the season strictly facing AL East opponents, in which they held a horrific 12-25 record so far for 2023 heading into that final stretch.
But now let's fast forward to a little less than two weeks later. After running more than halfway through the dreaded gauntlet of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Rays, the Jays have surprised many people by posting a strong 7-2 record against their division rivals. Most impressively, they managed to exorcise their demons by actually winning a series against the Rays at Tropicana Field, despite their miserable lifetime record playing in the Rays’ home ballpark.
In doing so, boy, have things turned around in a hurry. The latest updated odds, as per FanGraphs, now have the Blue Jays at an extremely favourable 97.8% chance of making the playoffs heading into the final week of the season with six games to go. That certainly feels a LOT better than when things were just a couple weeks ago, and definitely instills a lot of confidence and motivation into both the Jays’ faithful and the team as a whole. More importantly, the offence, defence, and pitching all appear to be clicking at just the right time, which bodes well for the team right now and the not-so-distant future.
The Jays will now aim to officially secure their playoff spot in the coming days. If they can maintain their momentum and pull off a similar result against the same Yankees and Rays teams this week, there may eventually be more things to celebrate about than just a big win over their long-time rivals. But first things first, they will need to focus on the task at hand and get the job done no matter what it takes.