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Looking at Toronto, Boston, and New York’s schedule the rest of the way

The Blue Jays have pulled themselves right into the thick of the wild-card chase.

A couple of weeks ago, the Detroit Tigers hit an inside-the-park home run and it looked like the season was pretty much over. Fast forward to today and the Blue Jays are on an eight-game winning streak that featured sweeps over the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees, two teams they were chasing.

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Toronto currently owns a 77-62 record. They’re a half-game back of the Yankees for the second wild-card and they’re one-and-a-half back of Boston, who occupies the top wild-card. Oakland and Seattle are both one-and-a-half back of Toronto.

Logic generally tends to indicate that 90 wins are enough to get a team into the playoffs. That, of course, is far from a guarantee given how much better the American League East is this year compared to your standard division. But, if we set the goal for 90 wins, Toronto would have to go 13-10 over their final 23 games to reach that point.

Toronto’s schedule…

  • Four in Baltimore.
  • Three against Tampa Bay at home.
  • Three against Minnesota at home.
  • Three in Tampa Bay.
  • Four in Minnesota.
  • Three against the Yankees at home.
  • Three against Baltimore at home.

The Blue Jays have an interesting schedule here. 14 of their remaining 23 games are against the Orioles and Twins, who are awful. Taking care of business there would give them a lot of room for error in those six against the Rays. And then there’s also one more head-to-head with the Yankees late in the season that could ultimately decide who makes the playoffs.

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If Toronto goes 12-2 against Baltimore and Minnesota and they win that series against New York, they can lose all six to Tampa Bay and still clear 90 wins.

New York’s schedule…

  • Three in Flushing against the Mets.
  • One against Minnesota at home.
  • Three in Baltimore.
  • Three against Cleveland at home.
  • Three against Texas at home.
  • Three in Boston.
  • Three in Toronto.
  • Three against Tampa Bay at home.

New York’s schedule isn’t all that difficult, either. They have seven games remaining against Texas, Minnesota, and Baltimore, who are very bad, and three against Cleveland and the Mets who are decent but not terrible. They only have to play Tampa Bay three times but they also play the Red Sox three times, which should help the Blue Jays, because it means one of those teams they’ll be chasing will lose on each of those three given nights.

Boston’s schedule…

  • Three in Chicago against the White Sox.
  • Three in Seattle.
  • Three against Baltimore at home.
  • Two against the Mets at home.
  • Three in The Bronx against the Yankees.
  • Three in Baltimore.
  • Three in Washington.

Boston has finished up all of their games against Tampa Bay, which is good for them. The only difficult opponent they face the rest of the way is the White Sox, who might be a little overrated due to their weak division. Seattle, of course, is a huge wild-card here. Boston losing these games to Seattle could vault the Mariners up the wild-card race and we have a brand new problem. Otherwise, it’s a bunch of crap teams, like Washington and Baltimore, and that aforementioned head-to-head with New York.

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When you add it all up, the Blue Jays have put themselves in a situation in which they’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to their own destiny. Toronto has three games in hand on Boston and they’re one-and-a-half games back. The Blue Jays could make up that deficit by winning all of the games they have in hand. Toronto also has a chance to take care of business against the Yankees when they come to Toronto for the first time in two years.

Neither Boston nor New York have tough schedules, so the Blue Jays can’t really be relying on other teams to do the work for them. Toronto has to beat the piss out of Minnesota and Baltimore so that they have some room for error against the Rays and then they have to win their head-to-head with New York.

It’s doable.

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