This season, the Toronto Blue Jays are hoping to make the MLB playoffs for the second time in three years.
Currently, the team has a 44-36 record, good for third in the AL East.
Toronto’s past few weeks haven’t exactly been pretty, as the squad has lost 11 of its last 18 games.
The Jays are also in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
Worst team earned run averages in MLB since June 14:
5.70- #BlueJays (Dropping their 5-game home series to the Rays with a 7-3 loss earlier today- their 3rd straight defeat and their 12th in the last 20 games overall)
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) July 3, 2022
But there may be brighter days ahead, as Toronto’s remaining schedule should give the team a legitimate advantage over all the other clubs in the AL East.
Let’s take a closer look at that.
A Chance To Do Some Damage
So far in the 2022 season, the Blue Jays have played the toughest schedule in all of baseball, according to Power Rankings Guru.
That’s going to change soon.
The Blue Jays’ remaining schedule ranks 21st out of all 30 teams in terms of difficulty, meaning only nine teams have easier schedules than Toronto does from here on out.
That’s obviously a nice advantage to have in your back pocket, but for the Blue Jays, it doesn’t stop there.
That’s because the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Yankees — all of Toronto’s divisional foes — have remaining schedules that rank in the top 10 in terms of difficulty.
The Orioles have the third-toughest remaining schedule in all of baseball.
The Red Sox have the fourth-toughest.
The Rays have the seventh-toughest.
And the Yankees have the eighth-toughest.
Needless to say, this bodes very well for the Blue Jays.
Now, to be clear, it’s probably not realistic to expect Toronto to make up enough ground over the remainder of the regular season to steal New York’s spot atop the AL East.
After all, a 14-game deficit is a pretty tall obstacle to overcome.
However, the schedule advantage that Toronto possesses over AL East teams like the Red Sox and Rays may very well come into play in the Wild Card race.
That’s no small thing.
The AL East Is Dominating The Wild Card Race
As things stand now, teams from the AL East hold every single Wild Card spot on the American League side.
The three AL Wild Card spots currently belong to the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Rays, in that order.
There’s very little separation between those three teams, making every game feel important.
But for the Blue Jays, they obviously have a schedule advantage that the Red Sox and Rays don’t.
That advantage could start to yield positive results for Toronto sooner than later, as the Jays have some very winnable games coming up.
And so it's off to Oakland and Seattle for the Jays. Hopefully they'll rack up wins this week #NextLevel
— Kevin Agustin (@_kevinagustin) July 3, 2022
In fact, the squad has 13 games remaining before the All-Star break, and 11 of them will come against teams that currently have losing records.
The same can’t be said for the Red Sox or Rays.
If the Blue Jays capitalize on that and start to string some wins together, they could find themselves with a nice little cushion in the Wild Card race.
Time will tell if that’s in the cards.
Things are lining up nicely for Toronto, but at the end of the day, the team still needs to take care of business for it to matter.