We’re one third of the way in which by the season. What have we realized? – BlueJaysNation


The Blue Jays pulled off a two-game sweep of the Miami Marlins of their return to Buffalo this week.

The primary was a commanding 5-1 win on the again of a wonderful begin from Robbie Ray and the second got here on a three-run ninth-inning rally that ended on a Joe Panik walk-off sacrifice fly.

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We’re now one-third of the way in which by the season and the Blue Jays personal a 29-25 file. Let’s have a look again on the season so far and discuss what we’ve realized and what we will anticipate the remainder of the way in which.
The American League Beast is loaded
The Blue Jays have scored the fifth-most runs in baseball they usually rank twelfth when it comes to runs towards. They’re eighth in baseball when it comes to run differential and their precise file, a good 29-25, is a slight underachievement in comparison with their Pythagorean file.
Regardless of all of this, the Blue Jays sit fourth of their division. Welcome to the American League East.
What we’ve realized thus far, and this comes actually as no shock, is that the Blue Jays are enjoying in one of many two greatest divisions in baseball. You possibly can argue it’s the perfect, however the California groups would possibly disagree.

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As of proper now, the crimson scorching Rays, who’ve three losses of their final 19 video games, are in first place with a 35-22 file. The Yankees, who began sluggish, have began to discover a little bit of a groove because of some robust pitching. They’re now in third with a 31-25 file. Lastly, there’s the Purple Sox, who haven’t slowed down since their stunning begin. Boston continues to be in second place with a 32-23 file.
So, yeah, the American League East is actually good. I imply, it all the time is, however the division being 4 aggressive groups deep is a little bit of a shock. I don’t suppose anybody anticipated the Purple Sox to be way more than a .500 crew and I don’t suppose many assumed Tampa would stay the highest crew within the American League after their low season turnover.
To ensure that the Blue Jays to make the playoffs, they should, on the very least, end third of their division. They’ll even have to complete above whoever loses the American League West, both Houston or Oakland. It’s going to be a problem.

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Issues are going to get a bit simpler from right here
Given the division the Blue Jays play in, it doesn’t come as a lot of a shock that they’ve had essentially the most troublesome schedule in baseball thus far this season. Additionally, this solely takes into consideration Toronto’s opponents. It doesn’t think about the truth that the Blue Jays spent their first two months as a street crew getting booed and heckled by opposing followers of their “house” park in Dunedin.
Their month of Might specifically was a grind. They performed Atlanta, Oakland, Houston, Atlanta once more, Philadelphia, Boston, Tampa, the Yankees, and Cleveland and got here out with their heads above water, which is spectacular given all of those groups apart from the Nationwide League East opponents are over .500. The weak level of that stretch was the Phillies and the Braves, and the latter was one win from reaching the World Collection final 12 months.
However issues are going to get simpler for the Blue Jays… Ultimately.

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They’ve a troublesome stretch arising towards Houston, the White Sox, Boston, and the Yankees, however then there’s an extended checklist of video games towards the Orioles to be performed in late June and early July. There are additionally video games towards weak opponents like Seattle and Miami arising later within the month.
Obligatory Credit score: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports activities
Vladdy has arrived and the offence appears like a juggernaut
Undoubtedly the perfect story on the Blue Jays this season has been the breakout efficiency of Vladimir Guererro Jr.
He’s making everybody who doubted him look actually, actually dumb for pondering that he was a bust or that he would by no means attain the lofty expectations that had been placed on him as he made minor-league baseball seem like rec league.
Vladdy is presently slashing a .335/.440/.665 line and his 1.105 OPS is simply barely behind Carlos Delgado’s 2000 season (1.134 OPS) for the perfect particular person season in franchise historical past. He’s tied with Ronald Acuna Jr. for baseball’s house run lead with 17 and we have now a respectable triple crown watch as his .333 common is the perfect in baseball and his 45 RBIs is second solely to 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu.
Based on FanGraphs, Vladdy has been baseball’s greatest participant by a large margin. He’s on the prime of the fWAR leaderboard at 3.5 and the subsequent man behind him is Nick Castellanos at 2.9. That’s a testomony to Vladdy’s superb offence but in addition the truth that he’s turned himself into a fairly rattling good fielder at first base.
In third place when it comes to fWAR is Marcus Semien, Toronto’s buy-low signing from the low season. Semien is again to his 2019 MVP-finalist type this 12 months. He’s slashing a .301/.372/.546 line and is second on the crew with 13 homers.
Toronto’s offence is rounded out by Teoscar Hernandez, who’s placing up one other nice season within the cleanup spot, Bo Bichette, who’s having a advantageous season however hasn’t but gone on an enormous scorching streak, and Randal Grichuk, who was clearly bothered by all the low season commerce proposals he discovered himself in as a result of he’s placing up his greatest numbers since getting traded to the Blue Jays.
The very fact the Blue Jays are scoring the third-most runs per recreation in baseball regardless of the actual fact George Springer has performed 4 video games and names like Lourdes Gurriel and Rowdy Tellez haven’t but hit their stride is unimaginable. A totally wholesome, absolutely rolling model of this lineup may very well be even higher than the 2015 crew.
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The pitching workers goes to want some reinforcements
Pitching hasn’t been a power for the Blue Jays this season however the truth it hasn’t been a obtrusive weak point is spectacular given the accidents the workers has handled.
Hyun Jin Ryu, Robbie Ray, Ross Stripling, Jordan Romano, Tyler Chatwood, Ryan Borucki, Travis Bergen, A.J. Cole, Julian Merryweather, Patrick Murphy, Thomas Hatch, and Anthony Kay have all been on the Injured Checklist this 12 months and Kirby Yates and David Phelps are executed for the season.
Regardless of these accidents, the Blue Jays have someway patched issues collectively. Ryu and Ray have persistently put up high quality begins this 12 months, Matz has been good extra usually than he’s been dangerous, and the crew has operated with a next-man-up method within the bullpen. I imply, no person anticipated Joel Payamps to be pitching high-leverage innings this season, however right here we’re.
All advised, the pitching workers has executed good work regardless of the challenges they’ve confronted, but when the Blue Jays need to make the playoffs, they’re going to want some reinforcements.
Ryu, Ray, and Matz type 60 % of a powerful rotation, however Toronto wants two extra starters to fill it out. Alek Manoah had an important debut however struggled in his subsequent outing towards Miami. Nate Pearson was a catastrophe in his begin towards Houston and wishes time in Triple-A. Neither Anthony Kay nor T.J. Zeuch acquired the job executed, Ross Stripling continues to be an enigma regardless of back-to-back robust outings, and the crew would clearly prefer to keep away from doing bullpen days as a lot as attainable given how taxed these arms already are.
Including a great beginning pitcher and a few high quality relievers would assist flip the Blue Jays from a great crew with flaws right into a critical contender.

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