FanPost

Predicting the Blue Jays Postseason Push

While most of us are sitting back and enjoying the MLB All-Star celebrations, some of us remain anxious over the remainder of the MLB season. For the Blue Jays in particular, clinching a playoff berth after 21 years on the outside is a very realistic possibility. With 66 games remaining, and the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles threatening to run away with the division, these are very anxious times in Toronto.

While the MLB is taking a break from itself this week, us fans should take the time to examine the Blue Jays' and Orioles' upcoming schedules and see if we cannot predict who will rise and fall down the stretch based on quality of competition. Just for fun, I decided to make reserved series predictions and update both teams' records accordingly.

Blue Jays Post-All Star Schedule
Date Opponent Above, Below, or Even at .500 Expected Series Result Updated TOR Record
July 18 – 20 vs. TEX B 2W 1L 51-48
July 21 – 24 vs. BOS B 3W 1L 54-49
July 25 – 27 @ NYY E 1W 3L 55-52
July 28 – 30 @ BOS B 2W 1L 57-53
July 31 – Aug 3 @ HOU B 3W 1L 60-54
Aug 8 – 10 vs. DET A 1W 2L 61-56
Aug 11 – 13 @ SEA A 2W 1L 63-57
Aug 15 – 17 @ CWS B 2W 1L 65-58
Aug 19 – 20 @ MIL A 1W 1L 66-59
Aug 22 – 24 vs. TB B 3W 69-59
Aug 25 – 27 vs. BOS B 2W 1L 71-60
Aug 29 – 31 vs. NYY E 2W 1L 73-61
Sep 2 – 4 @ TB B 1W 2L 74-63
Sep 5 – 7 @ BOS B 2W 1L 76-64
Sep 8 – 10 vs. CHC B 3W 79-64
Sep 12 – 14 vs. TB B 2W 1L 81-65
Sep 18 – 21 @ NYY E 2W 2L 83-67
Sep 22 – 25 vs. SEA A 3W 1L 86-68

Orioles Post-All Star Schedule
Date Opponent Above, Below, or Even at .500 Expected Series Result Updated BAL Record
July 18 – 20 @ OAK A 1W 2L 53-44
July 21 – 23 @ LAA A 1W 2L 54-46
July 24 – 27 @ SEA A 2W 2L 56-48
July 29 – July 31 vs. LAA A 2W 1L 58-49
Aug 1 – 3 vs. SEA A 2W 1L 60-50
Aug 4 @ WSH A 1L 60-51
Aug 8 – 10 vs. STL A 1W 2L 61-53
Aug 11 – 13 vs. NYY E 2W 1L 63-54
Aug 15 – 17 @ CLE E 2W 1L 65-55
Aug 18 – 20 @ CWS B 2W 1L 67-56
Aug 22 – 24 @ CHC B 3W 70-56
Aug 25 – 28 vs. TB B 2W 2L 72-58
Aug 29 – Sep 1 vs. MIN B 2W 2L 74-60
Sep 2 – 4 vs. CIN A 1W 2L 75-62
Sep 5 – 7 @ TB B 2W 1L 77-63
Sep 8 – 10 @ BOS B 2W 1L 79-64
Sep 12 – 14 vs. NYY E 2W 1L 81-65
Sep 19 – 21 vs. BOS B 2W 1L 83-66
Sep 22 – 24 @ NYY E 2W 1L 85-67

Starting on July 18, the Jays will play 4 series vs. opponents with records above .500 compared to Baltimore's 8. The Jays also face 11 series against teams below the line, 4 more than the Orioles' 7. If these records play out as written, The Jays would finish with a .530 Win% vs. Baltimore's .526%.

However, these schedules conveniently omit 9 very important games these two teams play...against each other. If both teams perform as expected against the rest of the competition they will face, the AL East crown will be decided by the 9 games played between us and our Maryland nemeses. What makes things even more intriguing is the season series between the two clubs is currently tied at 5-5. In this upcoming 9 game matchup, 3 are to be played at Camden Yards and 6 will be played at Rogers Centre. The final three games conclude both season schedules for these clubs, so the AL East crown could very likely be decided in Toronto on the final day of the season. How exciting will that be for everyone who is NOT a fan of either of these teams?

Obviously, there are deeper details which need consideration in making predictions like this, such as expected BABIP regression or deadline trades. However, if the schedule is taken simply at face value, I truly believe the odds favour the Blue Jays. They are facing much weaker competition compared to the Orioles down the stretch, and have a massive home field advantage in the final 9 games of the season series. If the Blue Jays capitalize on these fortunes like they can and should, they will edge Baltimore for first place in the AL East.

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