The Toronto Blue Jays were well backed to shine in 2018 but it hasn’t exactly gone to plan so far this year. Currently fourth in Major League Baseball’s American League East division, the Blue Jays have failed to inspire confidence in recent months and another playoff-less season is looking likely. John Gibbons is a competent head coach but his spot at the helm is under threat – more disappointment could spell the end of his spell at Rogers Centre.
Blue Jays Will Be Quietly Confident Despite Recent Woes
Gibbons knows that his job is on the line and a series defeat to the Orioles might be the final nail in the coffin. Baltimore are currently ranked beneath the Blue Jays in the AL East – the home supporters will be expecting a solid weekend here. A lot has changed during the 2018 offseason but performances are still sub-par at best on a regular basis.
Toronto looked to be heading in the right direction but a complete shift in dynamics may be required at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays are in a rut and it is hard to back the Canadian side on current form. With just three wins in their previous 10 Major League Baseball games, the recent results guide shows just how tough Toronto have had it in recent weeks.
KEY MAN: Yangervis Solarte. Toronto’s leading home run scorer (12) so far this year, Solarte can be their difference maker this weekend. The Blue Jays need somebody to step up and take control of the batting unit and Solarte could be the man to inspire the Canadian outfit to victory. His form has cooled a little in recent weeks but he still boasts that ability to score big when you least expect it.
Are the Orioles Worse Than Toronto?
Baltimore have really failed to make a positive impact this year and the Orioles are rooted to the foot of the AL East. With just two victories in their last 10 league games, Baltimore are in poor form themselves and neutrals probably won’t be tuning into this clash. Barring a dramatic turn of events, this one won’t be living long in the memory for neutrals.
Orioles fans expected a tough campaign this year but there is no excuse for their clear lack of effort. The organisation is in a tricky situation at this moment in time and it is hard to see Baltimore turning things around in the near future. A win against this Blue Jays team may give the Orioles some hope of a revival but even that looks unlikely – Toronto should be too strong.
KEY MAN: Manny Machado. Selected with the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, Machado has been a pivotal figure for Baltimore ever since. This year, he has once again carried the batting offense – notching 18 home runs so far in 2018. He’s also recorded more hits, runs and second base hits than any of his teammates. His impact and influence are huge for the Orioles and he will be looking to lead his side to a huge confidence-boosting win.
The Blue Jays emerged victorious 5-4 in the first encounter and a second successive triumph looks likely. Toronto have struggled to inspire confidence at times this season but Baltimore are in a worse state. The home crowd can give Toronto an advantage in this clash and punters should consider backing the Canadian outfit to prevail. It will be close but the Blue Jays should have enough quality to secure a win.
BLUE JAYS 4-2 ORIOLES