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Blue Jays: The magic number to play at home on Friday is 2

The Blue Jays had a good day yesterday. The Toronto club beat the Red Sox for the 16th time this season (in 19 games) and although Kevin Gausman gave club fans a good scare by leaving the game quickly, the relievers held on.

Gausman is fine, otherwise. It got cut off, but it will likely be okay for the playoffs.

After a victory (in which the offense was there and in which it was the Canadians Zach Pop and Jordan Romano who had the victory and the save), the Blue Jays also saw the Rays and the Mariners lose.

Results? The odds of seeing Toronto play at home next Friday, for the start of the playoffs, are more than good right now.

It will be remembered that the Rays and the Mariners, which are the other teams drafted, are the only teams that could dislodge the Blue Jays from the first place wild card. The Rays’ defeat, however, took the club out of the running.

And the Mariners are now pretty far from the Blue Jays. The magic number to ensure home court advantage in the second-best round is 2.

If the Blue Jays win tonight and the Mariners elude it, home-field advantage will be secured for next weekend. Reminder: the wild card series is a 2-of-3 where all matches take place on the team with home advantage.

The Jays will be in Baltimore for three games to end the year while the Mariners will host the Tigers for four games, including a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Mariners should also find the services of Julio Rodriguez.

The Jays’ goal will be to secure home-court advantage as quickly as possible. After all, if it’s done, I believe the veterans of the club will have time off to rest for the playoffs.

And clearly, the home-field advantage would be big for a Blue Jays who have been on the road for a long time in 2020 and 2021. Everyone seems to understand that…including the fans, who have been there. you this season.

Right now, there are three possible scenarios for the Blue Jays: play Toronto against the Rays, play Toronto against the Mariners, or play Seattle against the Mariners.

In any case, if the club wins its series, the reward will be the right to face the mighty Astros, who will be on leave during the second-best round.

In an attempt to get there, Jose Berrios (tonight) and Mitch White (tomorrow) will be on the mound. Wednesday probably won’t be Alek Manoah, who will pitch on Friday.

Yusei Kikuchi (bullpen day) could be the winner on Wednesday.

I expect to see Kevin Gausman pitching on Saturday and if there is a game on Sunday will it be Ross Stripling or Jose Berrios?

I’d bet a $2 on Stripling…

Either way, Manoah, Gausman, Stripling and Berrios will form the series rotation. Will Yusei Kikuchi and Mitch White be in the bullpen? I do not know.

After all, John Schneider will have big questions to ask about his 26-man playoff roster. That’s what Ben Nicholson-Smith reported a few days ago.

If the Jays want to go with 14 position players, which is a possibility, 12 pitchers will have to be available to the team.

And besides the four starters, we can add these guys with certainty:

  • Jordan Romano
  • Yimi Garcia
  • Tim Mayza
  • Anthony Bass
  • Adam Cimber
  • Trevor Richards

And just like the analyst, I think guys like Zach Pop and David Phelps can have their place in the sun, making 12 guys.

Much to the misfortune of the Kikuchi and White of this world.

After all, we must not forget that it is a roster of 26 players until Sunday only. With those eight relievers (and one starter too many, at least), Schneider can go a long way.

This would potentially leave 14 position players for maximum flexibility and to have plenty of pinch hitters, pinch runners and defensive players.

  • Danny Jansen
  • Alejandro Kirk
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Cavan Biggio
  • Santiago Espinal
  • Whit Merrifield
  • Bo Bichette
  • Matt Chapman
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • george springer
  • Teoscar Hernandez
  • Raimel Tapia
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • Bradley Zimmer

The only one who could be left out is Zimmer (in favor of a pitcher), but the club loves his speed and defensive play late in the game. I see him being present, hence the 12 pitchers only.

I can’t wait to see if Santiago Espinal will be healthy, but anyway, at the moment Whit Merrifield seems to have bought himself playing time at second base. He is playing well and he has regained his splendor at the offensive level.

What’s good is that the club has had its difficulties in the last few months, but at the moment, offensively, everyone is finding their bearings – especially Bo Bichette.

Collectively, in September, the Jays were bullies.

Yes, it’s as if the pitchers had to face Francisco Lindor nine times in a row.

There are no downtimes in the roster (and on the bench) and that’s what’s scaring other teams right now. And as we know that the circuits make the difference in series…

Obviously, the club must think, above all, of reducing its magic number. On the other hand, looking towards Friday is starting to matter more and more.

With that, don’t forget to go vote today. It is important.

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