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Oops! They did it again...

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They played with our heart, got lost in the standings

Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images

Just over a year ago, I wrote that the Blue Jays were entering their "danger zone": the roughly three weeks leading into the All-Star Break in which they had badly stumbled for three successive years from 2013-15. By going 6-11, 4-11 and 5-11 respectively in those seasons, they had on average roughly halved their postseason odds from 40% to 20% over this troubled stretch of time.

Last year, they not only managed to avoid doing so, but significantly helped themselves. The Jays were sitting at 40-34 when I wrote that, with FanGraphs estimating about 57% postseason odds (25% division, 32% wild card). Thanks to a seven game winning streak following the Canada Day marathon loss, they went 11-6 to get to 51-40 by the Midsummer Classic. That pushed their postseason odds up to 70% (32% division, 38% wild card).

But in 2017, it was right back to form. After sweeping Cincinnati to finish May at just a game under .500, those FanGraphs playoffs were up at about 36%. Not quite where they were in to start the season (52%), but about as good as could be expected given the disasterous start. They treaded water for the next three weeks, failing six times to actually get back to .500, but still at 37% odds after a win on June 21st as they made their seventh attempt.

Of course, they lost the series finale in Texas, and then the opener in Kansas City in brutal fashion. Starting from the Texas loss, they went 6-11 into the All-Star Break (always with the 11 losses), sending their playoff odds down to an estimated 21% (3% division). And that's after rebounding from a 15% low by arresting the freefall with a 4-2 finish.

As I noted last year, there's nothing particularly special about this ~10% stretch of the season (indeed, I only noted it in the first place because these rotten stretches started roughly as I marked another trip around the Sun). They've had worse stretches this year, and just as the last week breathed some life back into their chances, a good couple weeks coming out of the All-Star break would essentially reverse most or all of the damage.

But it would be really nice if they would stop digging such a hole with these late-June swoons.