Toronto Blue Jays Finish Strong To End First Half of MLB Season

Toronto Blue Jays Finish Strong To End First Half of MLB Season&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Toronto Blue Jays are right where they were expected to be when the 2016 Major League Baseball season started. Only it took them a few months. The Jays were expected to contend–if not flat out dominate–the American League East this year. The prevailing wisdom was that Toronto would come storming out of the gate to start the season and the rest of the division would be hard pressed to keep up. It didn’t exactly happen that way.

Early in the year, Toronto had trouble doing the one thing that no one expected them to have trouble doing–hit the baseball and score runs. The Jays were getting decent pitching but weren’t generating any offense. That was almost inexplicable for a team that obliterated the rest of the Majors in most offensive statistics in 2015. Toronto led the Majors with 891 runs scored–that was 127 more than the second place run scoring team, the New York Yankees. It would have made sense if there had been injuries or other issues but that wasn’t the case–it was just that the best run producing offense in baseball just wasn’t producing any runs.

It seemed like a complete fluke which is why it wasn’t a surprise when things turned around completely in mid June. The Jays started scoring runs in bunches and head into the All Star Break as the #5 run producing team in baseball. Over the past week they’ve averaged more than 7 runs per game and that kind of output gives the pitching staff a big ‘margin for error’.

Toronto has been in great form during the month of July and will enter the All Star Break on an 8-2 run which included a 7 game winning streak. They haven’t been facing doormats either–they dropped the first two games of their four game series to the red hot Cleveland Indians earlier this month but came back to win the final two contests and ended the Tribe’s 14 game winning streak in the process. At the halfway point, they’re tied for second place in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox two games back of the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles aren’t playing especially well losing 6 of their last 10 and they’ll be under a lot of pressure from below once the second half of the season begins.

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