Conventional wisdom suggests that the Major League Baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. That won’t be the case this year.
We’re living in unprecedented times, and, as a result, we’re going to have an unprecedented baseball season. MLB is moving forward with a plan to execute a 60-game season, which would be baseball’s shortest schedule since the 1870s.
You know what that means? Chaos. It’s usually pretty hard for a team to bullshit their way through a 162 grind, but anything can happen in such a small sample size.
According to FanGraphs, who put out their 60-game season ZiPS projections on Wednesday, the Blue Jays now have a 15.1 percent chance of making the playoffs. That’s a 14.5 percent increase on the minuscule odds that FanGraphs had them at when projecting a 162-game season back in March.
Of all the teams in baseball, Toronto saw the fourth-highest playoff odds increase with the change from 162 games to 60 games. The other teams above them were the White Sox, Diamondbacks, and Rangers. The team that took the biggest hit? The Yankees, who now have 66.5 percent odds rather than 97.7 percent odds they had rolling into a normal season.
I mean, the Jays are still most certainly a loooooooong shot to make the playoffs, but, at the very least, this young team could make things interesting in such a short season. Last year, the team put up a respectable 22-24 record in the 46 games that Bo Bichette played in after he was called up. Add Hyun-Jin Ryu and potentially Nate Pearson to the mix and who knows what’ll happen.
Optimism! It feels nice!