There haven’t been many positives to the 2013 MLB season for the Toronto Blue Jays. Injuries have decimated the starting rotation (yes, Esmil Rogers made the start yesterday), slow starts and underperformance have cost the teams runs and some awful fundamental baseball has led to this season becoming an unmitigated disaster.
The Blue Jays currently sit at 23-30 and given the current state of the roster I think that is actually an accomplishment. Wes touched on one of the lone bright spots for the team this season and it is pretty fitting that it is a relief pitcher. No offense to Brett Cecil, who is having a great start to the season but when your bright spot is a guy who might throw 60 innings in a season thing must be pretty bleak.
The schedule makers did the Blue Jays no favours in April & May. The team played a total of 18 series (I split the Atlanta home/home series into two) with ten at home and eight on the road. The combined records of our opponents in those 18 series is a ridiculous 514-427 – good for an impressive .546 winning percentage.
Compare that to the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers who currently sit at 29-22. In April/May their opponents had a combined record of 428-457 – or a meagre .484 winning percentage. Such is life in the AL East I guess but when pondering the relative success (or lack thereof) of the Blue Jays in the grand scheme of the American League one must definitely factor in the absolutely relentless schedule we just faced.
Ponder the stark difference in overall strength of schedule between two American League teams for a minute – 546 vs. 484? To put that number into perspective the Blue Jays April & May schedule on average has essentially been like playing the Baltimore Orioles (29-24) given the O’s current winning percentage sits neatly at .547.
Things get a touch easier heading into June and July for the 17 series our opponents current combined record is 462-425 – or a .520 winning clip. While much of the optimism and hope has faded with a loud thud after a terrible start none of the teams in the AL East has really pulled away. Whether or not the Jays are capable of putting together a big-time winning streak to get within striking distance remains to be seen. Wes touched on this very subject HERE.