After a terrific start to the season, the Blue Jays now find themselves in the middle of the pack in the AL East, behind the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. The Boston Red Sox are also hot on the Jays heels, just two games back. The team is not an automatic anymore to make the playoffs and will require a strong second half of the season to finish with a top seed. The question is, does the team have what it takes?
The short answer is a resounding yes.
The team clearly hasn’t been playing up to its potential. The Jays also have had the tendency over the past couple of seasons to finish stronger than they started. Their schedule in the first half of the season according to ESPN’s Relative Power Index, was amongst the most difficult of any team in MLB. The second half will be no cake walk either but should be slightly easier, with games against many sub .500 teams in the league.
The other big unknown is what the Blue Jays’ organizational leadership will do in terms of acquiring pieces to bring home a World Series. In the past, the orgainzation has shown ample willingness to be extremely aggressive and pick up valuable pieces to help win out a season. There will definitely be chances for the Jays to make some big trades that could end up making or breaking their season.
Winning the AL East Division now looks well out of hand, with over 13 games between the Jays and the dominant Yankees. The Jays will likely need to secure a wild card spot as their way into the playoffs which will likely end in a battle with the Red Sox and Rays. Both teams have had their ups and downs as well this season.
Getting in Form
As of late, the Blue Jays have looked in good form, winning 4 games on the trott and posting a couple of big wins against division rivals, the Boston Red Sox. A massive 20+ run win on the 22nd of July will definitely lift the team’s spirit entering the second half of the season.
Unfortunately, Toronto hasn’t been consistent this year, mixing in stretches of brilliance with some very ordinary performances. For the team to get some distance between themselves and other Wild Card competitors they will need to string along multiple weeks of playing at a high level. Whether this will happen is still yet to be seen, but if we’re going off just potential then it would be hard to bet against a team with so much talent.