It absolutely fucking does.
There are two types of people that are reading this because of my clickbait title: the first group are the ones that rolled their eyes and thought “well, duh” and came here to read this and then roast me, and second group are people that aren’t impressed by the Jays start and are excited at the idea of me shitting on the team that they love because they secretly hate them.
This is for the latter.
The Blue Jays are currently 12-5 after all the complaining that was done this winter! Instead of going for a huge splash, the Blue Jays aim was to just stay competitive while not completely ruining the Bo and Vlad show in a few years. Your friends at Blue Jays Nation have all echoed the same sentiment that it was by and large a pretty good offseason throughout, even though they didn’t make the big splash we wanted to see.
But even still, the voices on the internet, where everybody speaks in absolutes for some reason, all claimed something along the lines of the Jays never making the playoffs again in their existence, which might be a stretch. Then again, I write for Blue Jays Nation, so that might be biased.
Through the first few weeks of the 2018 season, the Blue Jays have not lost a series. They split against New York, took two of three from the White Sox, Rangers, and Orioles, won a game against Cleveland (before having the other two postponed), and swept the Royals. They’ve also been bludgeoning teams. Their run differential after their first 17 is +38, behind only the 15-2 Red Sox, who sit first in the majors.
“Why should I care? They beat up on some pretty awful teams.”
Baseball has a long and at-times gruelling season. We’ve heard the whole “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” argument many times last year when the Blue Jays fell flat on their face in April. It’s also a league where you almost have to beat up on the bad teams in order to be successful.
Even though they were awful, they still were three games back in the wildcard race as late as August. Problem was, there were six teams between the Blue Jays and the second wildcard Angels. At the very least, this hot start (and continued success against bad teams) will help down the road when we’re nervously scoreboard watching. Doing what you should against these teams inflates your win totals and keeps you in a realistic position to contend for a playoff spot.
Food for thought: last season, the two World Series participants, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, were a combined 54-48 (.529) against teams over .500, aka good teams. The titans of the regular season, who won 205 games between them, were a combined six games over .500 when it came to besting these “good” teams!
Where they created their distance in the standings was against the weaker teams. I’m talking about the Orioles, White Sox, and Royals of the league. Combined, the Astros and Dodgers beat up on them to the tune of a 151-71 (.680) record. Yes, the Blue Jays are 12-5 primarily due to facing weak opposition, but if they can be somewhat respectable against the good teams, the ceiling for this team is sky high. They do have what look to be two powerhouses playing in their division, but if they can just play them close and keep doing what they’ve been doing to the shitty teams, they’ll be in the race in September. No, not the wildcard race, the division race.
We now get to watch them play the Yankees and then Red Sox for seven days in a row. A strong showing here might cause the hype train to fly off the rails, and I’m here for it.
I don’t know, the Blue Jays have been extremely fun these few weeks and have almost effortlessly been putting up crooked numbers. You can either sulk and complain on the internet about not knowing who a single reliever in the Royals bullpen is, or you can hopefully enjoy the start of a ride that leads to Yangervis Solarte dancing throughout October.