Not for the first time this season, the Toronto Blue Jays fell short when it mattered most of all in their recent series against the Chicago Cubs. From there, John Gibbons’ side haven’t recovered and another defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays was not a huge surprise.
With five defeats in their last six Major League Baseball outings, Toronto are in decline and it would be fair to state that most Blue Jays fans have given up hope on a late surge towards the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins are flying high and almost look playoff-bound already. You would find it difficult to make an argument for a World Series run but they certainly look good enough to compete in the latter stages – especially on the road. Statistically, the Twins are one of the strongest teams away from home in MLB.
Toronto Blue Jays
Write this season off – the Blue Jays are done. Yes, they could still feature in the postseason mathematically but it would take a major turnaround and there are next to no signs of one happening any time soon. Toronto are blessed with a rich history of success in Major League Baseball and it has been sad to watch their decline; hopefully they can turn things around in the near future.
In Justin Smoak and Josh Donaldson, they have enough quality to cause problems for the Twins but the Blue Jays rarely get both men playing well. When Toronto click, they are like dynamite – explosive on both sides of the field – but this one may be another contest that gets away from the hosts. On their day, they can compete with anybody but far too many off days have haunted the Blue Jays this season.
KEY MAN: JOSH DONALDSON. Time is running out for Gibbons and the end is near for the Blue Jays boss. At times, Donaldson and Smoak have kept the Toronto man in a job and it would be wise to look towards those two men for inspiration again here.
Donaldson has been in fine form in recent weeks but he just hasn’t been able to motivate his peers to hit the same heights. In time, he could be a major asset in MLB but not at this Blue Jays franchise; he is now playing for his own personal future – and he is sure to attract top sides if he continues to shine.
The Twins have been in fine form as of late, winning six of their last 10 Major League Baseball games – a solid run to say the least. Minnesota aren’t the most consistent outfit in the league but they have plenty of talent and the collective is much more important than its parts. If they find their best form, they should be far too strong for Toronto here…
With three World Series titles, Minnesota are not one of the most successful franchises but they are on an upwards trajectory. Their last victory came back in 1991 but the Twins have potential to challenge in the coming years. For now, it is all about momentum in the second half of the season ahead of what could be a memorable playoffs for Minnesota fans.
We want to go with a Toronto victory here but it is hard to envision a Minnesota collapse in this series. The Twins are just too strong and Gibbons’ side probably won’t put up too much of a fight. Over the course of the weekend, Toronto may give the visitors a decent game but in typical Blue Jays fashion, expect the hosts to crumble if the going gets tough. Sadly, this is a step too far for the Toronto Blue Jays…
BLUE JAYS 3-6 TWINS