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Blue Jays control playoff destiny


A series of wins over the Baltimore Orioles this week gave the Toronto Blue Jays some much-needed breathing room in the American League playoff race.

Canada’s only Major League Baseball team is taking control of its own destiny with four weeks remaining in the season.

Securing one in three wildcard points is still a possible outcome for Toronto. The home field advantage in the first leg series is entirely possible and the chance to finish first in the Eastern rankings is very likely.

Toronto started its three-game game against the Texas Rangers on Friday night before returning to Rogers Center for a pivotal eight-game game against division-level opponents.

With a 76-60 record and some momentum thanks to a strong road trip, the Blue Jays seem well positioned for an extended driveway.

EAST FEAST

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Six of Toronto’s remaining eight series will be against East Division opponents. The pivotal five-match series against Tampa Bay will be shown next week ahead of the three-match series against the Orioles.

Going into Thursday’s game, the idle Toronto was half a game behind the Seattle Mariners (77-60) and a half-game loss to the Rays (77-58). The New York Yankees (83-54) led team played 5 games on Tampa Bay and 6 1/2 against the Blue Jays.

In the wild card race, Toronto is 4 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore and 7 1/2 more than the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox.

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Under the new knockout format, an AL wild mid-series hand pair will be played against the two winners of the higher-ranking division that will bid farewell to the deal series. The winning team in the other division (seeded 3) will host the third wild card (seeded 6) in a series of three while the first wild card club (seeded 4) will hold the second match. – card team (seed 5) remaining.

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The Blue Jays have a 5.7% chance of winning the East and a 92.1% chance of winning a wild card slot, according to the website FanGraphs.

HIGH ACES

Alek Manoah’s one-of-a-kind punch (14-7, 2.42 ERA) and Kevin Gausman (11-9, 3.12) at the top of the spin helped Toronto remain in the playoff picture.

Ross Stripling (7-4, 3.03) has been a reliable presence since replacing Hyun-Jin Ryu in the rotation, but he only worked the seventh inning in two of his 19 starts. he.

Inconsistency has plagued Jose Berrios (10-5, 5.23) all year, and Toronto’s No. 5 spot – previously held by the reliever Yusei Kikuchi and most recently by Mitch White – could be filled with who opens the score depends on the opponent.

SWEET Credibility

The return of left-hander Tim Mayza from two weeks sitting on the injury list last month has helped stabilize a bullish cycle anchored by all the closer stars Jordan Romano.

Yimi Garcia and the trading term buyout Anthony Bass are solid high leverage options while the sidekick Adam Cimber is a dark horse with 63 appearances leading the team.

A high speed pick like Julian Merryweather could be used more often over the next few weeks. And firefighter Nate Pearson remains an intriguing possibility as he continues to perform minor league rehabilitation duties.

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OFF SCHNEID

John Schneider has not been afraid to put his stamp on the team since being appointed interim coach following the mid-season sacking of Charlie Montoyo.

The Blue Jays have been more active in games under the new captain, who has frequently learned the batting order. Schneider has also extended Romano’s appearances more often than his predecessor.

Romano, who leads the AL with 31 saves, has worked more than one inning just once under Montoyo this year. Under Schneider, Closer scored four saves on four occasions and made a pair of two-half appearances.

Schneider is 30-18 in his new role (.625 percent win) while Montoyo leaves when the team is 46-42 (.523).

SWEET SPOT

Pre-season expectations were high for the Blue Jays, who were initially rated as one of the favorites to enter the World Series.

A strong record from April 14 to 8 was followed by four months of average results. Memories in eight of their last 10 games and a more balanced performance on the field and on disc have renewed post-season optimism.

Toronto has 26 games left to play, including nine games against Tampa Bay, six games against Baltimore and three games against New York and Boston. The Blue Jays’ season ended in early October with a three-match series against the Orioles.

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This report by the Canadian Press was first published on September 8, 2022.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

© 2022 Canadian Press





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