Blue Jays In Good Shape Heading Into September

Blue Jays In Good Shape Heading Into September&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Toronto Blue Jays are idle on Thursday with a short Major League Baseball card of just four games. That gives us an opportunity to take a look at where the Jays are at as they end August and head into September.

After taking 2 of 3 from the Baltimore Orioles the Blue Jays are in good shape as they head into September. They went 17-11 in the month of August and improved their record against divisional opponents to 31-23 with Wednesday’s victory. They’ve also done very well against opponents with winning records both in the second half and the entire season. Against opponents with a record over .500 the Blue Jays are 43-30 +5.9 units on the year including 19-10 +6.2 units in the second half of the season. This has been a Blue Jays’ strength over the past few season–in the last three years the Jays are 127-99 +15.8 units against winning teams and 65-47 in the second half of the season for +11.6 units.

They’ve also improved their play on the road this season which was a bit of a liability in the past two years. In the past three seasons, Toronto is 115-117 -5 units away from the Rogers Centre. This year they haven’t made a lot of money but have a decent record at 36-29 +2.7 units. This, along with the ‘winning record opponent’ metric is a good measure of a team’s postseason potential. Obviously, a team can’t do well in the playoffs if they can’t beat winning opponents and it also helps to be able to compete in ‘enemy territory’.

If Toronto has a liability, it’s their over-reliance on the ‘long ball’. They’re #2 in the Majors in home runs (193) but are just #5 in RBI’s and runs scored. Their reliance on home runs for their offense is especially evident looking at their .250 team batting average with is #20 in all of Major League Baseball. On balance, they’ve received very good pitching this season with a team ERA of 3.80. This puts them at #6 in the Majors. Toronto doesn’t really have a reputation of having a good pitching staff but they’re in the mix with teams like the Nationals and Mets at the top of the stat sheet.

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