The Blue Jays entered this year's All-Star Break on a roll, momentum is rising

For all of the inconsistency the Toronto Blue Jays have displayed so far during the 2023 season, they actually enter the All-Star Break in a decent position and with the promise of more to come.
Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers
Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

If you were to sum up the first half of the season for the Blue Jays, the overriding narrative would arguably be that they have underachieved to date in 2023. They have been far too inconsistent, considering the level of talent on the roster.

And yet, the Blue Jays still finds themselves in a decent position at the All-Star Break. In fact, even allowing for the inexcusable no-hitter in Detroit, this is a ballclub which is steadily building momentum.

The Blue Jays have been on a roll of late, which has seen them win five of their past six series. However, you can go back even further to trace the start of their positive run.

American League-leading record

As of May 25, morale was arguably at its lowest point of the season in Toronto. After going a collective 2-9 versus the Yankees, Orioles and Rays, they were sitting last in their division and 3.0 games back of a wild card spot with a 26-25 record.

This was clearly not good enough, especially when you factored in the seventh-highest payroll in all of baseball. Things were so bad, the team called a players-only meeting, to hash things out and try to get to the bottom of what was wrong.

While we'll never know exactly what was discussed -- and nor should we -- clearly the meeting had some positive impact. Since then, the Blue Jays have been rolling and gone 24-16.

While this may not seem particularly impressive on the surface, consider that this is the best record in the American League since May 26. Aside from the Guardians' 24-17 record during the same stretch, every other team in the AL has lost at least three more games than the Blue Jays.

Bigger goals now more attainable

As a result, the Blue Jays have moved up to third in the ultra-competitive AL East and currently hold the second wild card spot. Further we're now at a point where they can -- at least theoretically -- strive for bigger goals.

Back on May 25 when the Blue Jays were 26-25, they were 10.5 games behind the Rays for the division lead. Now, this gap has been closed to 7.0 games.

While this may not sound that much better, it still counts for something. The Rays have been on a terrible run of form recently, where a series loss in Seattle started a seven-game losing streak, which was only ended one game before the All-Star Break.

Yes, we don't expect the Rays to continue losing so frequently moving forward. However, they have at least come back down to the real world, following their phenomenal record-breaking start to the season.

Blue Jays versus Rays

It's a shame that the Blue Jays and Rays are not due to face each other again until towards the end of September. Even though Toronto has played poorly in general versus the AL East so far this season (7-20), they have held their own against Tampa Bay specifically, going 3-4 in the two series to date.

On the flip side, if the Blue Jays can continue to win (at least) as consistently as since May 26, they should remain in touching distance of the Rays. And if they do, facing them in six of their final nine regular season games will become even more meaningful and important.

There's still a long way to go before then of course. However, for all the frustration the Blue Jays have caused their fans so far this season, things are looking up for Canada's only (for now) Major League baseball team.