The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t currently positioned to make the 2021 MLB postseason, but that could change over the next week.
The team is currently one game back of the Boston Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot and two games back of the New York Yankees for the top Wild Card spot.
With six games remaining for all three of those teams, the final week of the season is going to be extremely intense.
And to top it all off, the Blue Jays and Yankees are about to meet for a crucial three-game set.
Red Sox 88-68
Blue Jays 87-69
NY vs. Jays for three, then Yanks-Rays. Sox get Orioles and Nats. Jays end with O's. Mariners-A's in eliminator series. Then: M's-Angels, A's-Astros.
Top two play in wild card game.
This week is gonna rule.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 27, 2021
Toronto has a massive week ahead, and it all starts with this series against New York.
A Must-Win Series
Fans throw the term “must-win” around pretty loosely, but sometimes, it’s not hyperbole.
And in this case, the Blue Jays are absolutely about to begin a must-win series against the Yankees.
The three-game set will start on Tuesday in Toronto.
If the Blue Jays find a way to sweep the thing, then they’ll move into a Wild Card spot heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
If the Blue Jays win the series (but don’t sweep it), then they’ll likely enter the final weekend of the season in pretty good shape.
But if the Blue Jays lose the series (or get swept), then it’s going to be an uphill climb the rest of the way.
This is an outstanding opportunity for Toronto to move into the driver’s seat for a playoff bid, and the team can’t afford to let it slip away.
A Favorable Matchup To Finish The Year
After the Blue Jays and Yankees meet, Toronto will finish the season with a favorable matchup against the Baltimore Orioles.
Candidly, this is a series the Blue Jays should sweep.
While it’s always hard to sweep a big-league club, these two teams are in absurdly different positions.
Toronto is trying to extend its season, while Baltimore just wants its campaign to end.
Baltimore is no stranger to playing the role of spoiler in the final month of seasons, but this O’s team looks lifeless.
The Blue Jays need to make sure it stays that way.
What Do The Jays Need To Do To Get A Playoff Bid?
Simply put, the Blue Jays just need to take care of business the rest of the way.
If they finish 6-0, they’re in.
If they finish 5-1, they’ll have a great shot at getting in.
If they take two out of three from both the Yankees and Orioles, thus finishing 4-2, then Toronto will likely find itself scoreboard watching and hoping for some favorable results around the AL.
But still, the team would have a fighting chance.
For the Blue Jays to make the playoffs at 4-2, two of the following can not happen:
– Yankees go 3-3 or better.
– Red Sox go 4-2 or better.
– Mariners go 5-1 or better.
– A's go 6-0.
I don't think they *have* to go 5-1, but there's a good chance they'll need to. https://t.co/5CDpN0Et8S
— Craig Needles (@NeedlesOnNews) September 27, 2021
However, anything short of a 4-2 finish to the year would likely put the Blue Jays on life support.
There’s always a chance some favorable results around the league could allow the Jays to sneak in the back door even with a poor finish, but don’t bank on it.
If this team wants its campaign to continue into next week, it needs to play like its season is on the line.
Because it is.