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The Blue Jays need to play well in August to control their own fate in September

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Photo credit:Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Prasad
8 months ago
As the summer starts to cool down, the Toronto Blue Jays schedule is microwaving by the week. As we approach mid-August with September beyond our windshield, each game becomes pertinent leading up to the fall. 
The Blue Jays are one foot in one foot out with regard to the post-season chase. At this very moment, they are very much one foot in, sitting in the third American League wild-card spot with three clubs breathing down their neck. Believe it or not, Toronto is two-arms lengths away from the top seed in the American League East, with 42 games left in the regular season, the Birds sit eight games out of first place which is presently occupied by the Baltimore Orioles. With the setup of the remainder of the schedule, how could this affect the Jays? What do these clubs bring to the table?
The Blue Jays have nine games against relative teams below them in the wild card race. Aside from Cleveland and Kansas City who are almost numerically counted out, the two clubs on the schedule are ironically out of the American League East.  The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have a combined nine matches against Toronto. The Red Sox are 5-5 in their last 10 games and currently sit 3.0 games behind the Jays for the last wild card spot. Although Boston has been low-key most of the season, a recent spurt of success has their name relevant while production comes from their big dog, prospects, and pitching. 
Toronto has six games against the New York Yankees who are on an absolute struggle. At the beginning of the season, it seemed that the Yankees would be a top contender for the Blue Jays all season long, the tables have turned and it seems that general manager Brian Cashman and New York are looking forward to an offseason reconstruction. The Blue Jays can gain ground by capitalizing on a few wins in these two series against the Bronx Bombers. 
Another nine games are deemed necessary for teams right above the Blue Jays. Since they’re eight games out of first place, Toronto can at least gain three full games with a series sweep against the hot Baltimore Orioles who currently run the East. More importantly, six of these nine matchups are against a club we can possibly go head-to-head with in a wild card showdown, the division rival Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are up 5.0 games in the AL Wild card race at a record of 71-49. To gain ground in the race wins in these series are crucial and could be a possible determining factor once 162 games are completed. 
With September on the horizon, the American League East becomes fully active in its own sense regarding meaningful baseball. Toronto must capitalize on wins to control their own fate come fall. 

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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