It turns out that October baseball in Toronto may not be that far-fetched after all.
As the Blue Jays continue their post-trade deadline surge, they’ve suddenly increased their playoff odds significantly within just the past few weeks. And their timing could not be any better to go on a 7-3 run in their last 10 games and 12-8 in their last 20 games.
Depending on which playoff odds projection system you prefer, the Blue Jays’ odds of making the playoffs are somewhere in the 64.7% to 65.1% range.
Those are fairly good odds considering the Jays’ playoff chances were as low as 28.8% on Friday July 10th, just over three weeks ago. But Toronto’s recent surge combined with their trade deadline acquisitions have put them in a great position.
I think what’s most impressive about all this is how short of a span the Blue Jays have gone from middling around the .500 level to suddenly becoming contenders.
Entering last Tuesday’s game against the Phillies, the Blue Jays’ playoff odds sat at 34.6%. As of today, their chances have skyrocketed up to 64.7%; meaning the Blue Jays nearly doubled their playoff chances in one single week.
It’s also helped that one of the teams the Blue Jays were staring up at in the Wild Card standings, the Minnesota Twins, have lost eight of their last 10 games.
If the Blue Jays are going to squeak into the playoffs, it would likely be as a Wild Card team. But the club surely has their sights set on catching the New York Yankees for the division lead. Unfortunately, the Jays have an uphill battle ahead of them.
According to Baseball Prospectus’ projected win totals the remainder of the season, the Blue Jays could go 30-24 in their final 54 games, with the Yankees going 29-28. Total those projections with the current standings, and the final AL East standings could look something like this.
Suddenly, the odds of the Blue Jays catching the Yankees suddenly doesn’t seem so insurmountable.
Not to mention, the Blue Jays have 13 of their remaining 54 games against the Yankees; which makes for a opportune time for them to take a bite out of the team they’re after.
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