Toronto’s away woes continued this week, losing four of their six games against the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. It is now going to take a catastrophic collapse or a minor miracle for the Blue Jays to scrape their way into the playoffs and it might be time to start planning ahead for the 2018 Major League Baseball season.
On their day, the Blue Jays are capable of beating anybody but they are left wanting far too often. John Gibbons has tried to mix things up from time to time but to no avail; Toronto are slipping out of postseason contention. At the time of writing, the Blue Jays are now as high as 150/1 with Bet365 to win the World Series this year.
By contrast, Cleveland are right up there and the Indians will be expecting a whitewash run of results this weekend. Currently sitting pretty at the top of the American League Central, Terry Francona’s men will be looking to emulate what divisional rivals Detroit did last week and pile further misery on the Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays
It has been hard work for the Blue Jays in July. Glimpses of a midseason revival have been shattered and any hope of reaching the playoffs is now all but gone. Instead, Toronto have to focus on the handful of positives for the remainder of the campaign. As of July 19th, the Blue Jays have lost 27 of their 48 away fixtures so far this season – a very disappointing run of results.
Toronto have been negotiating trade offers in recent days according to a number of news outlets and that might suggest that the Blue Jays already have one eye on next season. The likes of Jose Bautista and Kevin Pillar may find themselves surplus to requirements at Rogers Centre unless they turn their own form around in the near future.
KEY MAN: MARCO ESTRADA. Estrada has struggled to inspire confidence in the last couple of months but he could make all the difference this weekend. Justin Smoak is still firing on all cylinders with the bat but Estrada, an MLB All-Star last season, will be desperate to make an impression amid reports of a trade to the Kansas City Royals.
With an ERA of over 9.50 since the beginning of June, it would be fair to state that things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Estrada in recent times. If the Blue Jays can get solid value for him, they might be willing to trade him away but for now, he remains a Toronto player and a big couple of weeks could be on the cards.
Cleveland are a class above their divisional rivals and the hosts will be quietly confident of pipping Toronto to victory this weekend. Francona’s side are chasing a first World Series title since 1948 and it would take a brave man to back against the Indians in their pursuit of glory – they are certainly playing with the bit between their teeth right now.
They may have lost six of the last 10 games but Cleveland are looking like a solid outfit and a playoff place beckons if they keep composed. At home, the Indians have struggled for form at times this year – losing 24 of their 45 games – but a string of impressive performances may be just around the corner.
Cleveland have had their own issues but Toronto’s struggles are much deeper and this will be extremely tough. The Blue Jays are looking very weak right now and not even the hard-hitting Justin Smoak can save them. This one has potential but Cleveland could run out convincing winners.
BLUE JAYS 3-6 INDIANS