Blue Jays playoff hopes all come down to homestand newsbhunt

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TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays’ post-season fate will be determined this week.

Toronto will host the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in a six-game homestand starting Tuesday.

The Blue Jays hold the second of three American League wild-card berths.

How Toronto fares against the Yankees and Rays will help determine if the Blue Jays finish second or third in the wild-card race.

Three AL West teams will also have some control on the wild-card picture, with the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners also in the post-season hunt.

Texas entered play on Monday atop the west division, with Houston holding the third wild-card spot and the Mariners a half a game back of the Astros.

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Seattle hosted Houston in the first game of a three-game series on Monday night. The outcome of that series, coupled with a series of Blue Jays losses at Rogers Centre, could knock Toronto down to the third wild-card spot.

Significantly, the Blue Jays’ lacklustre 19-27 intradivision record means that if it ends the regular season with an identical record to the Mariners (29-16 against AL West opponents), Toronto would be out.

It’s very unlikely that the Blue Jays will fall all the way out of a playoff spot, however.

FanGraphs.com, a baseball analysis website, has Toronto’s odds of clinching a wild-card spot at 97.7 per cent on Monday. Baseball Reference.com had the Blue Jays’ chances of seeing the post-season at 97.9 per cent.

Ace Kevin Gausman (12-9) will get the start when Toronto hosts the Yankees on Tuesday night. New York will send Michael King (4-7) to the mound.

The Yankees (79-77) are six games out of the AL’s third wild-card spot.

Tampa Bay has already clinched a post-season berth and holds the AL’s first wild-card spot, but could switch places with the East-leading Baltimore Orioles this week.

The Rangers opened a three-game series against the Angels in Los Angeles on Monday. The Rays start a two-game set in Boston on Tuesday.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press



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